(FinalCall.com) – Representatives of the 53 independent African nations recently met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to discuss the African Union and its moves toward a United States of Africa. Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi was chosen as chairman and again made a passionate argument for the continent to move swiftly toward a united whole.
It appears that the African leaders remain divided on how fast to move forward and have put discussions about continental consolidation on a slower track.
In a world where consolidation has become the norm, whether corporate consolidation in the form of major conglomerates that rape the continent of its resources or political consolidation, as in the European Union, which is using its shared power to force individual African nations to make trade concessions, the need for unity does not appear to be striking a strong enough chord among leaders in the Motherland.
Several years ago, in urging the leaders to move toward a united continent, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan observed that it would be better to be “the tail of something than the head of nothing.” In many nations, economic, social and political problems are pushing sovereign nations backwards and increasing their level of dependence on the largesse of Western nations as opposed to increased independence and self-reliance.
In too many cases, the hand of Western governments or Western corporations are involved in African affairs, extracting precious minerals and strategic metals needed for everything from cell phones to high tech weapons systems.
Though the minerals are precious and the metals strategic, the condition of the Motherland shows that she is not benefiting from wealth extracted by Black hands and used to the profit and benefit of the West and corporations.
According to the United Nations, millennium goals for the reduction of extreme poverty and hunger by 2015 are far off track–and when it comes to Africa the need is great and the prospects for moving forward are dim. None of the goals, which include a 50 percent reduction in extreme poverty and hunger; universal primary education; promotion of gender equality; reduction of child mortality by two-thirds; cutbacks in maternal mortality by three-quarters; combating the spread of malaria, HIV/AIDS and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and developing a North-South global partnership for development are likely to be met in Africa, a United Nations study concluded.
While the goals are for reduction of poverty, poverty actually increased in sub-Saharan Africa between 1990 and 2005, the UN study found.
Civil war and strife are plaguing the continent and military battles between government forces and rebels can be seen in Congo, Sudan, Somalia and other places. There are also cross border skirmishes between nations, based on boundaries drawn by their former oppressors.
As America and European countries seek a common path to protect themselves and to grow stronger, Africa as a whole seems to grow weaker in many respects. In many nations, development has gone backwards since independence and many nations are more fragmented today than when the colonialists left.
Could there be a better time and more urgent reasons for the continent to unite?
“A United States of Africa would ensure that all of the sons and daughters of Africa on the African Continent could be educated, cultivated and developed to bring about not only a renaissance in Africa, but, throughout the world,” said Min. Farrakhan, regarding the United States of Africa. “Although it is an idea whose time has come, it can be no stronger than the will and determination of African leaders to make it a reality.”
The West for centuries has sucked the blood of the Motherland through outright theft of its people, followed by colonial rule, then a Cold War, then corporate domination and now political and economic exploitation in the new century. If the West has used Africa as its playground and as its storehouse for natural resources and human capital for centuries, it should not be surprising that the West would think little of a United Africa.
But the early colonies in America were little more than individual bodies who determined that their future was greater as an independent and collective whole than as the property of rulers an ocean away in Great Britain.
The African nations are not the “property” of Western nations or corporate interests, but these powerful institutions exert major influences on the continent and control vast sums of money through development dollars, military aid, humanitarian assistance, foreign aid, huge debt and policies created by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The Western media is able to easily demonize and isolate any regime it chooses and demand that others follow its lead.
Few, if any, individual nations seem to have the ability to withstand the pressure and the machinations of the West, which can be ruthless in pursuit of its strategic interests.
It is time for Africa to unite. What is the continent’s future without a major departure from the current state of affairs and a bold move outside of the control of her former masters and colonizers? Some have forecast perpetual poverty for the Motherland, concluding that the crushing poverty that grips millions would take hundreds of years to resolve.
Can Africa stand another 100 years as she is–wracked by exploitation, Western manipulation, war, famine, disease, poverty and death?
It is time for Africa’s leaders to determine that a joint future is better than no future at all. Today joint problems hurt the continent as military and political flare-ups cross borders and economic unrest in one nation leads to refugees fleeing and seeking better lives inside neighboring countries. The flight from poverty, want and a lack of opportunity is causing friction as onetime welcoming neighbors feel threatened by an influx of their brothers from across the border.
Africa has to seek a common plan for development that is tied to a common destiny and harnessing the wealth and resources of the continent with the brainpower, money and expertise of her sons and daughters scattered throughout the Diaspora. The vision for a United Africa is a bold vision, but it will take bold vision and strength for Africa to not only survive but to thrive in this century.