Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has emphasized that Africa must not become a “geostrategic battleground,” he made this known at the African Union Commission, headquarters in Addis Ababa during the 60th anniversary celebration of the Organisation of African Unity which was later renamed the African Union.
Expressing his concerns, the AU Chairperson stated, “In this zero-sum game where gains for others mean losses for Africa, we must oppose any exploitation of our member states.”
During the event, several African leaders, including Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, took the stage to address the ongoing challenges faced by the continent. These challenges include poor leadership, corruption, poverty, war, and negative external influences.
“Can we claim to be free when our people are still trapped in poverty, and corruption, incompetence, and apathy afflict our systems? Can we truly assert independence while seeking help from beyond our continent’s borders to overcome the challenges we face?” questioned one of the speakers.
Highlighting the threats to peace, security, democracy, and development in many African countries, Comoros President, Azali Assoumani stated, “We must urge our brothers and sisters in Sudan to prioritise dialogue to bring an end to the fratricidal war that has been raging in the country for weeks.”
Africa, with its youthful population, valuable resources, and unique metals, also bears the brunt of the climate crisis, lack of unity, and international power struggles that should have minimal impact on the continent.
Professor Adeoye Akinola, an expert on African affairs in an interview stated “I believe there is a lack of commitment among the political allies responsible for advancing Africa’s regional agenda. Political will is lacking among leaders who are tasked with leading the African Union, making it challenging for the AU to effectively address the continent’s challenges. While the sovereignty of AU members must be respected, many African leaders who are AU members contribute to the problems faced by the continent.”
The commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the African Union by African leaders, who call upon others to do what they have failed to accomplish in their own countries, exposes the weakness of the organisation and hampers Africa’s potential to become a strong nation.
Personal interests and egos often take precedence over unity, as African countries engage in discussions about the war in Ukraine and their involvement, while minimal efforts are made to address the ongoing conflict in Sudan.
Professor Akinola further remarked, “We should acknowledge the AU for introducing commendable programs, but there is an argument that the AU might struggle to compel member states to implement their agenda. For instance, if we talk about promoting democracy, we must acknowledge that elitist democracy is favoured in Africa. How can there be democracy in Africa when there are Africans who are hostile to each other?
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