9th Summit of the African Union:
A Foreseeable Failure

The summit of the African Union (AU), held in Accra (Ghana) from July 1 to 3, 2007, has concluded and the mountain has given birth to a mouse. All the uproar about this meeting has the goal of forming an African government as if the preliminary conditions had already been realised.

Presidents Abdoulaye Wade (Senegal) and Qaddafi (Libya) are the greatest supporters of the immediate formation of this government, while Mbeki of South Africa is more moderate on this question while others such as Yaya Jammeh (Gambia) are opposed.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal, Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, tried for a month to theorise on this government and tried in vain to recruit other African countries. He placed the reasons for this failure on the Western press which had done everything to distort the objectives of this summit.

Incapable of coming to an understanding among themselves because their interests are not those of their people, the African heads of state postponed the discussion to a meeting in Addis Ababa in 6 months. But what kind of African unity can one speak of at a time when the main share of the commercial trade of the various African countries is carried out with the former metropolises, the Western countries and the USA (90%) to the detriment of trade among the African countries themselves (only 10%)?

Take the example of the countries of the UEMOA [Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa] that share the same currency, the CFA (Central African Franc). This currency is a link between them, but above all it is a rope which binds all of them to perpetual financial dependence on France, the former colonial power. It is though this means that all their foreign trade is controlled by France, which keeps their hard currency and retains 65% of the income from this trade.

Even the circulation of books among these countries passes through France which has its hand in their culture with the hegemony of the French language over all the national languages in these countries.

Of what African Union can one speak when the movement of people is restricted for Africans in the African countries while the borders are widely open for Westerners?

One should remember that recently people who tried to emigrate clandestinely have been sent back from Libya, which does not have a good reputation for the treatment of black emigrants who live and work on its soil. They are often victims of xenophobia or are deported by the Libyan authorities.

One should also remember how Morocco, which is always absent from the summits of the African Union, has treated barbarously the emigrants who reach their soil. Moroccan soldiers have even shot at these emigrants who are mainly from black sub-Saharan Africa.

This summit of the so-called African Union is in no way different from past summits of the OAU [Organization of African Unity], which in reality was an association of African heads of state since their populations were never associated with this process.

How could this be otherwise to the degree that the power holders in Africa send most of their time selling off the national patrimony to the money powers? They would rather decapitalise their own countries to the benefit of the imperialist countries, thus putting a break on the development of the productive forces of the African countries. They are active accomplices in the systematic looting that their own countries are suffering.

A number of oil-producing African countries such as Nigeria, Chad, the Sudan, etc. still remain under the domination of the oil multinationals who are looting their resources and allowing their leaders to transfer the income to foreign banks, while their populations suffer from misery and hunger. Moreover, some of these leaders were put into power by these same powers. This is the case with countries such as Congo and Chad, among others.

And the opponents of these regimes are often victims of assassination, also with the complicity of the multinationals. This was the case of the poet Ken Saro Wiwa, hung with the complicity of Shell in Nigeria. But how many have been killed in the different civil wars instigated and maintained by these powers in the wild race towards black gold?

The African masses are naturally for African unity, but on solid, healthy and mutually advantageous bases for the different populations on the basis of a free union of free peoples. However, this objective is hard to realise with the present corrupt powers who are more preoccupied with maintaining a lavish lifestyle to the limit of insolence at a time when the misery of the popular masses has not stopped growing.

In the historic conditions of today, a government of the African Union cannot be anything other than a club of anti-national governments, subservient to the former colonial powers and serving the interests of the latter and not those of the African populations.

Even in the past, before 1960, Pan-Africanism’s goal was then nothing but political independence of African nations from France, England, Portugal, etc.; and making the African leaders the heads of States. While the African masses were fighting for their liberation from colonialism, most if not all of their leaders compromised the liberation movement and got to power with the help of the colonial power. They, indeed, made a deal with their colonial masters against the interests of their people. Hence, the African countries were transformed from colonies to semi-colonies or neo-colonies with the African national bourgeoisies in power. In Guinea, for example, one of the foremost defenders of Pan-Africanism was hand in hand with David Rockefeller. The All African People’s Revolutionary Party with Stokely Carmichael or Kwame Toure didn’t serve the anti-imperialist movement with his romantic and illusionary view of Africa or Pan-Africanism. The All African People’s Revolutionary Party and the African Peoples Socialist Party are both for Nkrumah’s view of ‘the liberation and unification of Africa under scientific socialism’ but refuse to recognise the right of self-determination of Blacks in the Black Belt South. As African heads of states of this new African Union, they all deny that right of self-determination up to separation to different nationalities within their artificial borders inherited from imperialist forces. That the case in Casamance (South in Senegal), in Sudan (Darfour), in Mauritania, in the Ivory Coast etc.

This is the reason why we do not believe at all in the initiative of the African Union because it is nothing but propaganda. Their failure was foreseeable. The real African Union or United States of Africa will be built by African peoples and not their oppressors or their local agents. It is conceived on the basis of a FREE UNION OF FREE PEOPLES with respect for the principle of nations, peoples and nationalities to have free choice.

Secretariat of the RTA-S [Union of African Workers – Senegal]

Tel. 221-643-9068

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