Birth of the African Union - 11 July, 2002

Muammar Gaddafy’s brain-child, the African Union, is born today in South Africa, spelling the death-knell of the Organisation of African Unity, called by Ugandan President Museveni “a trade union of criminals”.

The African Union is born on a wave of optimism, aiming to function along the same liners as the European Union, whereby African institutions look after African interests.

The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) finishes its days bankrupt and disrespected, with 45 of its 53 members owing it money. The OAU failed to stop conflict, wars, genocide in the continent and failed to redress the social or political situation in impoverished countries, a situation Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafy intends to reverse.

While the international community looks on with scepticism and the international press has a field day, reporting bickering between the leaders of Africa’s nations on the issue, the fact is that Africa today takes a giant step forward towards creating an organism which, with goodwill from all sides, can create a climate for this continent to heal its own wounds.

The African Union is to have its own pan-African parliament, central bank, court of justice, African monetary fund, investment bank and security council. Ambitious, say some but given Africa’s history of colonial exploitation, where the local populations never had, and continue in many cases not to have, the control over their own resources, where else is Africa to look to if not its own?

Colonel Gaddafy stated recently: “ It is quite hard and difficult for an African man to believe that he will be treated on an equal footing by the colonisers and the racists”. As modern Africa comes to terms with its past, in which first colonial powers and then fledgling, corrupt, pariah governments, controlled from abroad, guaranteed that the continent’s vast resources would continue not to be controlled by its people, steps are made to form a new modus operandi, in which Africa assumes its own responsibilities.

Libya will host the pan-African parliament, while other countries will house the headquarters of the other organisms.


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