Current African Union Leader, the radical Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi came into power through a coup d’état; he has been accused by some of crimes against humanity; he has often been linked with perpetuating conflicts and resource-wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone… but among all these accusations he refuses to be deterred from using his position to build Kwame Nkrumahs dream of a United States of Africa. He called on the continent to speed up the integration process against a backdrop of confused support and opposition.
Col. Muammar Gaddafi has outlined his plans towards a one African state, but like the disputes that rocked the February African Union summit in Ethiopia, his plans have again been back-lashed by the AU Executive Council members in a session in Tripoli, Libya.
According to Gaddafi: The current AU Executive Council would appoint a head secretary to be in charge of the continent’s foreign affairs. The AU’s economic development program, known as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), would oversee foreign trade. The head of the AU’s Peace and Security Council would run the continent’s defense matters. An African Union Authority would replace all other organs and be run by three coordinators.
However this seemingly feasible agenda was not generally welcomed by some members of the Executive council. Just as his vision of a one-African government was the source of disputes at February’s AU summit in Ethiopia, it was no different in Tripoli, Libya where more than 60 AU ministers and delegates gathered for a one-day meeting. Concerns were expressed over key issues like state sovereignty while some other executive members expressed a positive view towards the plan. At the end of the day the room was divided, a startling reminder of the organisation’s last summit in Ethiopia.
The Libyan leader, like Nkrumah of Ghana, envisages a single African military force, a single currency and a single passport for Africans to move freely around the continent but political experts have insisted that it will take some time to implement or achieve Gaddafi’s plans due to the divisions across the continent over a United States of Africa.
Commenting on the differences amongst AU executive council members over the creation of a common African state, Dr. Ali Mazrui, Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York, said that the lack of support from other heads of states towards Gaddafi’s initiatives are not because Gaddafi’s ideas and visions are not welcomed or important, but simply because many of the executive members do not think he (Gaddafi) is worthy of leading such a worthy cause. “But somebody has got to take the lead,” he added.