Feature Article of Thursday, 5 January 2012
Columnist: Tamakloe, Sebastian
A need or a Luxury Part 1
The year 2011 will be remembered more for its turmoil than anything else . It started quietly with An Arab youth , frustrated by being unemployed and being abused by the authorities, a common occurrence in his country, killing himself thereby igniting bent up frustrations resulting in revolts and protests that have toppled governments in the Arab world , Tunisia, Egypt, Libya. As the year ends we still have turmoil in some of these states. There a is fluid situation and no knows what the future will shape up to be
The West , a bastion of stability and predictability has also not been spared . Greece, Ireland, Italy, with Spain and Portugal awaiting in the wings . Big brother, USA has since its real estate bust , Wall Street crash and later down grading in credit rating with its political infighting, is having instability of its own . There are protests across its cities and States over Wall Street . Not only that, the Democrats and the Republicans for political reasons cannot agree even on how to cut the size of their debt based on ideological reasons So the very foundations of our political and economic systems are being shaken . The root cause being un equitable distribution of wealth and political power
What then will become of Africa. ? Is the scenario a threat or an opportunity? How can Africa emerge unscathed or take advantage knowing our fundamental problem of dependence on the West, our undemocratic political systems and our unequal distribution of wealth and power and the growing disparities of these ?
A history lesson will show how our founding founders sought to avert the time bomb on which we sit and move Africa forward.
As African countries gained “ independence” they sought to create a United States of Africa , starting with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) . Below I reprint its aims and objectives
The OAU had the following primary aims:
• To promote the unity and solidarity of the African states and act as a collective voice for the African continent. This was important to secure Africa's long-term economic and political future. Years of colonialism had weakened it socially, politically and economically.
• To co-ordinate and intensify the co-operation of African states in order to achieve a better life for the people of Africa
• To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of African states.
• The OAU was also dedicated to the eradication of all forms of colonialism, as, when it was established, there were several states that had not yet won their independence or were minority-ruled. South Africa and Angola were two such countries. The OAU proposed two ways of ridding the continent of colonialism. Firstly, it would defend the interests of independent countries and help to pursue those of still-colonized ones. Secondly, it would remain NEUTRAL in terms of world affairs, preventing its members from being controlled once more by outside powers.
A Liberation Committee was established to aid independence movements and look after the interests of already-liberated states. The OAU also aimed to stay neutral in terms of global politics, which would prevent them from being controlled once more by outside forces – an especial danger with the Cold War.
The OAU had other aims, too:
• Ensure that all Africans enjoyed human rights.
• Raise the living standards of all Africans.
• Settle arguments and disputes between members – not through fighting but rather peaceful and diplomatic negotiation.
So why have the objectives not been met and why has Africa been subjected to human rights abuses and the least of living standards on any of the continents
In My next installments I will discuss why in my opinion Africans have remained at the bottom of the political, social and most importantly the economic ladder\
I have put “independence” thus as my understanding of independence is that one takes full responsibility of self The author Kojo Tamakloe is a Pan Africanist who believes the problems of Africa’s under development lies is disunity and could be solved by the ideology of Nkrumaism