The African Union : A need to go back to the drawing board
- The reconstruction of Africa needs restructuring the AU and repudiating Africa’s post colonial heritage
- Targeted objectives and expected benefits
- The demonstration of the AU political credibility
- A step-by-step approach on institutions building
- Mobilisation of resources
- Africa’s rebuilding is the cure to globalisation woes
- Work Programme : the AU and NEPAD
- AU way of functioning
- absence of a strong motivation and a real commitment on the part of the African leadership;
- for their own cooperation and union, African rulers signed treaties that they failed to implement. On the other hand, treaties detrimental to the interests of their people have been signed with former colonial powers by most African leaders and duly honoured ;
- lack of resources and absence of a proper and unified budgeting system;
- use of a global and bureaucratic approach rather than a step-by-step approach to unity;
- recycling retired and failed politicians and patronage as a way of renewing human resources.
- Projects lending and structural adjustment programmes are country based rather than coordinated at regional and continental levels;
- continuous interference in African political and economic matters of former colonial powers determined to perpetuate the international labour division which devotes to Africa the role of supplier of basic products and raw materials;
The reconstruction of Africa needs restructuring the AU and repudiating Africa’s post colonial heritage
Targeted objectives and expected benefits
- expanded market and economic possibilities;
- increased efficiency and economies of scale;
- extended bargaining power;
- growing volume of intra-trade, profit, income generation and birth of middle class entrepreneurs ;
- better understanding between peoples and readiness to accept diversity and considering it as an asset rather than a source of confrontation ;
- greater solidarity and deepening sense of organisation, method, responsibility and respect for order ;
- instauration of a durable climate of peace and security;
The demonstration of the AU political credibility
- genuine motivation and political commitment from the African leadership and from the International community as well;
- well established criteria to hire the staff of the AU based solely on merit, competence, honesty and proven professional tract record ;
- involvement of the elite and the masses (Professional associations, Trade unions, NGOs, Civil society, Academics, Students, the members of the Diaspora particularly in the United States, Europe, Brazil, the Caribbean’s, etc.) in formulating policies and strategies. The African integration process will not be possible without the active involvement of the populations. They will be needed to keep the issue of African Union high on the agenda throughout the process. A way to achieve such aim would be to set up AU clubs linked to each other, to all regional groupings and to the centre in Addis Ababa through an intra-net network;
- educating the people on the costs and benefits of cooperation and integration which requires partial surrendering of national sovereignty to regional authorities;
- restructuring of existing regional groupings involved in regional cooperation and integration in order to give priority to increasing the volume of intra-Regional trade.
A step-by-step approach on institutions building
The sequencing in building the institutions should take into account that the first overall priority of the AU is to eradicate poverty and to improve the living conditions of the masses.
To that end, the emphasis should be put on the creation of :
- an “Organisation for Economic Cooperation” with the aim to dismantle quantitative restrictions on intra-African trade ;
- an “African Payments Union” and “Clearing Houses” to finance intra-regional trade.
- the establishment of “Compensatory Mechanisms” to mitigate disparities and to avoid out-migration from the less-favoured to the more prosperous areas;
- a mechanism of “Monetary Cooperation” with an emphasis put on stable exchange rates and improvements in the area of monetary policy coordination and currency convertibility.
Mobilisation of resources
Institutions such the regional Organisations for Economic Cooperation, the African Payments Unions, the regional Clearing Houses and the Compensatory mechanisms have to be strong, independent and well endowed with sufficient and readily available resources to function smoothly. The AU should put itself in the position to borrow in the capital markets at the most favourable conditions.
To achieve such a fate, the AU has to secure a AAA rating to be in the position to raise money in the Capital markets and issue bonds in international and African Stock Exchanges in addition to securing concessionary loans. This will be only possible with the involvement of the UN security council in the building of the AU. The security council might run a reformed scheme based on the Iraq oil sales for food. This time, the UN will earmark part of the export revenues of any given AU Member State for specific and defined programs and budget contributions. A zero tolerance policy must be applied for arrears on contributions.
Africa’s rebuilding is the cure to globalisation woes
Work Programme : the AU and NEPAD
AU way of functioning
By Sanou MBAYE
About Sanou Mbaye (185 Articles)
Sanou Mbaye, ancien haut fonctionnaire de la Banque africaine de développement, est un chroniqueur politique et économique. Ses écrits sur le développement des pays africains proposent des politiques alternatives à celles mises en place, en Afrique, par des Occidentaux et leurs bras alliés : le FMI et la Banque mondiale.