Africa Union (AU) has deviated from the set objectives of the founding fathers, retired diplomat, Mr. KB Asante, has lamented.
In an article in the Daily Graphic, Mr. Asante explained that the AU had aspirations of enhancing unity politically, socially and economically but these aspirations have not been met.
“The old are often nostalgic about the past and apprehensive of the future,” he said, adding the current AU does not inspire confidence.
The AU was established in 2002 to take over from the OAU set up in the 1960s. Leaders of that time, including Dr Kwame Nkrumah believed that African unity is the only way newly independent African countries can become a political and economic force.
At a 1958 conference of eight newly independent African countries, Dr. Nkrumah stated that unity will help us “to know ourselves and to encourage views on matters of common interest to explore ways and means of consolidating our hard-won independence to strengthen economic and cultural ties between our countries”.
Mr. Asante observed that Africans do not seem to see the purpose of the AU as they are not beneficiaries of any of the set goals. There is no socio-economic integration and solidarity as the AU aimed at for Africa, he observed.
He indicates in his article published Monday, July 11, that socio-economic stability sought for by African states has not been brought to light.
According to him, the AU has failed to make the dreams of the founding members a reality.
The African Union has been criticised widely for not doing much to promote unity and economic empowerment of member states.
Commentators have also blamed the failure of intra-regional trade on the continent on the interference of non-African countries with trade in Africa, a problem the AU has done nothing about.
The statesman said in spite of these challenges, AU leaders must strive for the betterment of the lives of Africans.
He recommends that funds should be raised from more wealthy African countries to support and to invest in monetary and human resources of the union.
“Africans deserve more than just an annual purposeless meeting of its leaders,” he said.
He stated self-respect of Africans demands progress of Africans and not foreign assistance to survive.
“It is only by the effort of Africans that Africa can be truly free and hold its own in the comity of nations,” Mr Asante said.