- The African Union (Official Site)
- Birth of the African Union (FCN, 07-14-2002)
TRIPOLI (FinalCall.com) – “Africa should not be in the position of beggars,” insisted Colonel Muammar Gadhafi, the head of Libya, in his opening remarks to the Fifth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union held July 4-5.
Serving as host for the summit, his remarks echoed his historic push for the establishment of the United States of Africa.
Invited to the conference by Col. Gadhafi, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was the only representative for the Africans in the Diaspora. He said that he thoroughly enjoyed the conference. What was most inspiring was that, as each of the presidents came forward, they knew Minister Farrakhan and showed much love and admiration for his work in America. Many shared how happy they were to see him present, showing concern about how Africa moves forward in this critical time.
Historic visionary roots
In July 1998, Muammar Gadhafi, the leader of Libya, attended the Organization of African Unity (OAU) summit held in Algeria. In his 45-minute address before the member states, he stressed that Africa will have to unite in order to survive.
One of the foreign ministers present, who later talked to this author, observed that many initially dismissed Col. Gadhafi’s remarks and some even chuckled. That is–until the revolutionary Libyan leader invoked the names of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Gamal Abdel-Nasser and Sekou Toure, and reminded the summit participants of the core philosophies and aspirations of these heroic African heads of state.
Kwame Nkrumah, one of the foremost proponents of Pan-Africanism who organized the 1945 Pan-African Congress in England, led the former British colony the Gold Coast into independence as Ghana in 1957, becoming the country’s first prime minister and president. He was key in bringing the OAU into existence in 1963, as a part of his ultimate vision of “One Africa.”
Gamal Abdel-Nasser, the pioneer of Arab socialism and nationalism, was one of the founders of the military group that led the 1952 Revolution coup that eventually drove the British colonists out of Egypt, and became the country’s president in 1954. His domestic policies were heralded throughout the Arab world for lifting the majority of the Egyptian people out of poverty.
Ahmed Sekou Toure, a daring politician, led Guinea into independence from the French Community after winning a historic 1958 referendum, becoming the country’s first president.
Col. Gadhafi also referenced the formation of the European Union, saying it was seen as necessary among European governments in order to survive the current global environment. So, too, must Africa survive today, he maintained.
One year later, in Sirte, Libya, on Sept. 9, 1999, Col. Gadhafi invited the heads of state of the OAU to a meeting, wherein he issued the Sirte Declaration, which detailed the need for an African Union and its eventual evolution into the United States of Africa.
On July 9-10, 2002, the First Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union convened in Durban, South Africa.
“How can we be free if we don’t produce and feed ourselves and sell the surplus to others? Are we saying that we can’t grow food and cotton, or make the clothes that we wear?” asked Col. Gadhafi during the recent Sirte summit.
AU President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is also the president of Nigeria, delivered brief remarks to the summit. AU Secretary-General Alpha Omar Konare, the former president of Mali, introduced the host of the summit, which was held at the Ouagadougou Hall, named after the capital of Burkina Faso.
The name was given in 1998 after African foreign ministers convening in Burkina Faso determined to disregard the UN sanctions against Libya by flying planes over the politically isolated country if the sanctions were not lifted by a certain date. The sanctions were not lifted, and the planes took to the air in support of the Libyan people and the value of the leadership of Col. Gadhafi to so many African countries.
In honor of that courageous stand, Col. Gadhafi renamed the hall after the capital of Burkina Faso. It is one of the most elegant conference halls to be found anywhere on the African continent.
Col. Gadhafi’s 35-minute speech covered aid to Africa, which he rejected as Africa puts itself in the position of beggars to receive it. With the Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan, sitting on the stage, Col. Gadhafi also stressed that the “democracy” that is pushed by western nations should start at the UN, and even went so far as to state that the UN should be reformed. Advancing the developing of the United States of Africa would include a common currency for Africa, a national passport for the member states of the African Union and an AU parliament, he further outlined.
At the conference, the staff that accompanied Minister Farrakhan distributed three of his messages recorded on CD to the leaders from every African country and foreign officials from the Far East, as well as Europe: his May 25 press conference condemning the abuse of the Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay detention center; his May 3, 2004 press conference on the war and occupation in Iraq; and his May 2, 2005 press conference launching the Millions More Movement in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March. Minister Farrakhan also held interviews with French TV, BBC, Libyan TV and Japanese and Chinese media. During his interaction with a host of presidents from across the African continent, he was invited to visit many of their countries.
At the close of the session, Minister Farrakhan journeyed to Tripoli where he was received by Dr. Muhammad Ahmed Sherif, the secretary-general of the Islamic Call Society. He met with the new president of Mali, Amadou Toumani Toure, as well as Dr. Mohammed ibn Chambas, secretary-general of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), a dear friend of Minister Farrakhan who while in school in America attended many Nation of Islam mosque meetings.
Col. Gadhafi expressed that he was very happy to see Minister Farrakhan in Africa after so many years and invited him to attend a special dinner as an honored guest among other heads of state.