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Opinions of Sunday, 26 May 2013

Columnist: Brako-Powers, Austin

50 years of Hunger, Conflict and Survival for African Citizens

From the era of “Dictator’s club” in the early hours of the formation of the Organization of Africa Union (OAU) on 25 May, 1963 to the formation of African Union (AU) in Durban, South Africa in 2002 Africans have simply survived but not lived. Today, with the exception of the excessive metropolitan agenda of Morocco to annexed Western Saharan (Sahrawi), the Organization of Africa Union (OAU) remained focused to its founding ideals and today there’s no country under colonialism in the continent. The likes of apartheid South Africa and Namibia have all been freed.
Many changes had taken place in the continent from the days of OAU in 1963 to the AU in 2002 right up to this year 2013 and some of the changes had largely taken place for the betterment of the continent we love. The new understanding of respect for democracy pervading the body politic of the continent is one such a great change worthy of our attention. Unlike in the past when the only surest way of assuming office as President is through the bullet, today Africa is different. The need to subject oneself through the ballot is now the focus of the African Union (AU) since its formation. Also, the recent election petition initiated by Nana Akuffo-Addo - the Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) – challenging the victory of President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress in Ghana and Raili Odinga’s challenge of the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kenyan courts are cases in point. The love for democracy or the seemingly love for democracy has taken root in the continent however, its deficiencies.
Again, there is a new understanding of Government’s accountability in the continent sparked by the Arab Spring 2010 – the tidal wave of Arab people’s revolution that torpedoes incorrigible national leaders in Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and Egypt among others. The Arab Spring –which came about as a result of difficulties the citizens of the “Arab African Nations” find themselves have shaped the way our leaders see the citizens of the continent – “that you cannot fool all the people all the time”. And as a result of the revolutionary wave, the people of the “Arab African Nations” see the ballot as a means of empowering a national leader. The actions of these people have brought to bear the need for our national Governments to provide the “public goods” to the citizenry.
There’s also a new phenomenon sweeping the continent that the gender advocates have been shortsighted – the wave of female leaders emerging in the political scene of the body politic of the continent. The election of Madam Ellen Sirleaf Johnson as the President of the Republic of Liberia; the rising of Madam Joyce Banda as the President of Malawi after the death of the President Mutharika; and the election of Madam Nkossanza Dlamini Zuma of South Africa as the new AU Commission boss have all happened for the forward march of the continent. Like it or not, there’s a new demonstration of “all hands on deck” in the holistic development of Africa.
However, the continent has grown too fragile as consequences of African Union’s (AU) dependence on outside support for its operation, growing hunger of the many poor citizens, non-committal of its members to the rule of governance, conflict, war and petty political squabbles that are stiffening the political health of the continent.
Many of the citizens in the continent are everything but living in a country they have sworn to love and respect. To live is to enjoy the luxury that comes with the attainment of the “African Dream”, whiles surviving is the struggle one goes through to exist by irking out living in a more challenging manner and this horribly is the situation most citizens of the continent have found themselves in to the chagrin of world. From the poor man living in the ghettos of the South Western Township (SOWETO) in South Africa to the poor fisherman in Chorkor – a fishing community in Ghana – a typical life has been full of unemployment of the graduate class, war in Somalia, Mali and Central African Republic and the recent terrorist attack in Nigeria by Islamist groups such as Boko Haram.
To win the next Golden Jubilee, the leaders of the continent must commit their Governments to a visible economic empowerment of its impoverished and unemployed Graduates; the prevention of conflict in the continent and the strengthening of the educational institutions in the continent

Mr. Kobby Brako-Powers
Director (International Relations)
20 Greatest African Inc.