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Opinions of Monday, 6 June 2011

Columnist: Appiah-Adjei, Daniel

Ghana Sums Up The African Union

ORAL VILLAGE IDEAS

BY

DANIEL APPIAH-ADJEI

Ghana Sums Up The African Union (A.U)

When we were young in the Primary and Middle schools and very enthusiastic about our beloved country, Ghana, we heard some of our seniors explaining Ghana as GOD HAS APPOINTED NKRUMAH ALREADY. Pupils at that time pleased themselves with the beautiful arrangements of the word. I remember how one of my friends, Karikari Nyame was whacked mercilessly when his father returned from trek and heard him using that slogan almost like a well arranged poem by Professor Kofi Anyidoho or Professor Atukwei Okai. I hope you can guess why. (Political differences)

GHANA
Thinking and tossing Ghana in my memory for the enviable position she holds and her peaceful nature, I tried to formulate another meaning which to me sums up the mental picture, I have for our country.

G H A N A

God’s own appointed Nation

Healing the wounds of Africa

Attentive Mother of all time

Natural Canopy, Peoples Home

Africa, (Abibiman) arise and Shine….

As African leaders continuously debate on the grand plan for a continental government, one thing stands out clearly and that is uniting Africans to heal her wounds. There is an urgent cry from Civil Society pleading with the leaders to halt conflicts in Lybia, L’ Cote D’voire, Egypt, Dafur and Somalia and also tackle enduring poverty in the continent.

The AU’s policy making and Pan-African roots date back to 1900, when the first Pan African congress met in London. Between 1900 and 1927, five (5) congresses were organized to promote Black solidarity and protest against colonial rule, but it is interesting to note that the delegates were primarily from the United States and the West Indies. During the 1930’s the movement was almost non-existent, but in 1944 several Black organizations founded the Pan-African confederation and in 1945, the sixth Pan-African congress was organized. Africans, who now were in the majority, sponsored resolutions demanding political independence in the 1950’s and new African states formed various political and economic organizations.

GHANA TO THE RESCUE
The first conference of independent African states met in Ghana in 1958 to deliberate on African issues. In the early 1960’s, two blocs emerged. One, the Casablanca Group, consisting of the more “radical” states was created in January, 1961 under the leadership of Dr.Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. It argued for Pan African -Political Unity. Like what we are experiencing today, the Monrovia Group at that time included the more “conservative” African states that met and outlined a programme of gradual economic Unity. “History repeats itself”. Primarily, through the efforts of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Emperor Haile Salassie of Ethiopia, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa , Prime Minister of Nigeria , The President of Guinea,Sokou Toure and representatives from most independent African states met in Addis Ababa in 1963 and on may 25, 1963,O.A.U, now (AU) was founded by 30 states.

THE AFRICAN SPIRIT

The O.A.U (A.U) Charter as signed at Addis Ababa reflected a compromise between the prevailing views among the Casablanca group and Monrovia group envisaging a Unity that “transcends ethnic and national differences” .After the formation of the O.A.U, the two groups disbanded. The big brains at that time created some nice features for the Organization which have universal characteristics and prompt projections into the future. These among other things included the following; to promote unity and solidarity among African states, to co-ordinate political, economic, cultural, medical, and scientific and defence policies to defend the independence and territorial integrity of member states and eliminate colonialism in Africa.

It is hoped and envisaged that the A.U summits to be organised come the AU Day would be very successful reflecting on the charter. It is also heart-warming that some few years ago, (2005), the organizers billed a Three day Accra summit as a tribute to Ghana’s first post independence president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah .It is on record that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah became the standard bearer of Pan-African Unity when he took over from British colonial rule half a century ago coinciding with the celebration of Ghana @50 in 2007.
Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972) was the leader of Ghana, the former British colony of the Gold Coast and the first of the in Africa to gain independence with majority rule. Until he was deposed by a coup d'état in 1966, he was a major spokesman for modern Africa. In the celebration of this year of our Lord, I wish to emphasise that his vision and ideologies as far as the African Union is concerned but re-visited.


FOOD FOR THOUGHT
It is clear that we must find an African solution to our problems, and that this can only be found in African unity. Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world.
For centuries, Europeans dominated the African continent. The white man arrogated to himself the right to rule and to be obeyed by the non-white; his mission, he claimed, was to "civilise"Africa. Under this cloak, the Europeans robbed the continent of vast riches and inflicted unimaginable suffering on the African people.
All this makes a sad story, but now we must be prepared to bury the past with its unpleasant memories and look to the future. All we ask of the former colonial powers is their goodwill and co-operation to remedy past mistakes and injustices. Although most Africans are poor, our continent is potentially extremely rich. Our mineral resources, which are being exploited with foreign capital, only to enrich foreign investors, range from gold and diamonds to uranium and petroleum. Our forests contain some of the finest woods to be grown anywhere. Our cash crops include cocoa, coffee, rubber, tobacco and cotton. As for power, which is an important factor in any economic development, Africa contains over 40% of the potential water power of the world, as compared with about 10% in Europe and 13% in North America. Yet so far, less than 1% has been developed. This is one of the reasons why we have in Africa the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty, and scarcity in the midst of abundance.
Never before have a people had within their grasp so great an opportunity for developing a continent endowed with so much wealth. Individually, the independent states of Africa, some of them potentially rich, others poor, can do little for their people. Together, by mutual help, we can achieve much. But the economic development of the continent must be planned and pursued as a whole. A loose confederation designed only for economic co-operation would not provide the necessary unity of purpose. Only a strong political union can bring about full and effective development of our natural resources for the benefit of our people.

I titled this article, GHANA SUMS UP AFRICAN UNION (A.U) with the inspiration from the Welcome speech delivered by the Former President of the Republic of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor at the opening ceremony of the A.U summit in Accra, (2007)

“Ghana is a warm and beautiful country and we are delighted to
Host this important event…….in our Jubilee year…….I wish you
A happy stay in Ghana and hope you return with good memories of
The proverbial Ghanaian hospitality”





MICHAEL ESSIEN’ DREAM

The year 2011 is no exceptional when one of Ghana’s finest players, Michael Essien of Chelsea fame dreams of uniting Africa through Football and most importantly, the match coinciding with the African Union Day.

HOW TIMELY!

“Absence of war does not mean peace. Meaningful peace can only be achieved by accepting separate identities and by trying to understand and accept the differences and uniqueness of cultural diversity. Peace cannot be achieved by blurring the uniqueness and denying separate identities. Peace cannot be achieved by suppression or by force; peace has to emerge from mutual understanding and respect” says Godwin Constantine. The gesture initiated by Michael and the speeches by his friends from other parts of the world sums up mutual respect, cultural diversity and unity and the promotion of brotherliness among people.

Fish have bones. Everybody knows that. But I am not going to say: “because fish have bones, I’m going to boycott fish,” or go the other way and pretend that the bones are not there, or that they add flavor and are healthy. They’re bones, just deal with them and enjoy the fish. Some fish taste better than others, but all still have bones. Likely, a bunch of Essien’s ideology is fishy and all wet. It is not to just assume that all Africans are happy about Michael’s initiative. Some are very very against.
WHY?
Because many might hate Michael personally, and wouldn’t want anything good to come from him. Dear brothers and sisters, it would be like rejecting a good movie because the hero makes some tough positive decision, impeding his motivation. Take note of the misstep, learn from it, but don’t say the whole movie is invalid or that there are no good morals in the movie and we should avoid it.
A hero who makes the right choice but takes the round-about, bumpy way to arrive at it is better than one who doesn’t make the right choice at all, or just critiques from the sidelines.
Metaphor on AU
Every occupation has tools. The tools of the poet are words. In sharing emotions, stories, feelings or moments, words are the tools used by poets to forge images in our minds. Words are selected and fashioned by poets in a numbers of ways to form such images. One of the most commonly used methods of drawing images through words is known as metaphor.
A metaphor is figure of speech where a word or phrase is used to designate an image, mood, tone, or other reference through comparison. Michael Essien has given us food for thought. A metaphor of peace and stability.

Indeed, Ghana sums up the African Union.

By His Grace, I shall be back.
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