Kwame Nkrumah and the other founding members of the Oganisation of Africa Unity must be turning in their graves or pacing at Africa Union Headquarters. And no, it isn’t because they made Obiang Nguema the Chair, but the fact that the current members have no sense of propriety.
They shamelessly threw an office-warming party in Addis Ababa in an office which the Chair of the AU calls a ‘gift’ from China. The whole idea of a Union was to protect the interest of the continent, encourage trade within ourselves and become self-sufficient as we go along. The men who formed the OAU were friendly with China but even they will smell China’s tricks from their grave; China doesn’t have anyone’s interest and they don’t give gifts.
And anyone who met these men knew how much they hated anyone who was out to grab all of Africa’s natural resources,(and China is grabbing it all.) I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be taking gifts left-right-center from the Chinese much less allow them to bring 1,200 men to Addis Ababa to build them office blocks.
As unsettling as the founding members of the AU will find China’s gift of a modern office, that isn’t what will make them bleed. It is the timing of the party and the inability of the Africa Union to stand up for itself, for member countries in trouble and to leaders of countries abusing their power of office.
As I write, the eighty-five year old man has had Senegal’s constitution so he can run for the Presidency of the country. Now age isn’t an issue but this old man has been has already served two terms. And it is a crime for any President does what Wade has done in Senegal. What a responsible Union will do, ask to go quietly, and if he doesn’t threaten and isolate him.
But that would mean the AU would have to develop a muscle and descend on all the petty tyrants on the continents which might include (gasp!) more than half the members of the group.
The AU has not only been disappointing by their encouragement of tyrants in power but how they conduct the affairs of the continent. Not long ago, we saw them led by that old man in Senegal trooping to Libya to convince the rebels and Gaddafi to settle their differences. They spent a great deal of time bashing the transition fighters and NATO and didn’t have one unkind word for the man who was calling his citizens cockroaches and killing them.
They are the boys club where no one gets reprimanded for going against the code of conducts else it wouldn’t have taken Mohamed Bouazizi‘s death to topple some dictators. The fact Somali exists on this continent is proof of their ineffectiveness.
I do not think this is the sort of Union Kwame Nkrumah and his friends envisaged when they dreamed it up. They would be asking Goodluck Jonathan to get a grip on the security of his nation as fundamentalists on any of part of the continent affect every country. They definitely will be dealing with the Chinese on their terms and not handing everything to them on a platter.
Alas, we have men who care more about their pockets than the countries they run.