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AFRICA DAY 2020

TODAY is Africa Day-2020; Today 57-Years ago, 32 Leaders of 32 African Countries that had Re-gained their Independence met in Addis Ababa for the very First Historic Independent African Leaders Summit. This Fateful Summit ended with the formation of the ‘Organization of African Unity’ (OAU)-Today Known as the ‘African Union’ (AU).

Each of the 32 Leaders in this Summit made Great Historic Speech but the Speech below made by Ghana’s Founding Father H.E President Kwame Nkrumah; a Courageous Anti-Colonialism and Anti-Imperialism Crusader, a Selfless and Visionary Pan-African stood out, stands out and shall forever stand out as the Ideal of African Unity and African Dream.

“Your Excellencies, Colleagues, Brothers and Friends;

I am happy to be here in Addis Ababa on this most historic occasion. I bring with me the hopes and fraternal greetings of the government and people of Ghana.

Our objective is African union now. There is no time to waste. We must unite now or perish. I am confident that by our concerted effort and determination, we shall lay here the foundations for a continental Union of African States.

A whole continent has imposed a mandate upon us to lay the foundation of our union at this conference. It is our responsibility to execute this mandate by creating here and now, the formula upon which the requisite superstructure may be created.

On this continent, it has not taken us long to discover that the struggle against colonialism does not end with the attainment of national independence. Independence is only the prelude to a new and more involved struggle for the right to conduct our own economic and social affairs; to construct our society according to our aspirations, unhampered by crushing and humiliating neo-colonialist controls and interference.

From the start we have been threatened with frustration where rapid change is imperative and with instability where sustained effort and ordered rule are indispensable. No sporadic act nor pious resolution can resolve our present problems. Nothing will be of avail, except the united act of a united Africa.

We have already reached the stage where we must unite or sink into that condition which has made Latin America the unwilling and distressed prey of imperialism after one-and-a-half centuries of political independence.

As a continent, we have emerged into independence in a different age, with imperialism grown stronger, more ruthless and experienced, and more dangerous in its international associations. Our economic advancement demands the end of colonialist and neo-colonialist domination of Africa.

But just as we understood that the shaping of our national destinies required of each of us our political independence and bent all our strength to this attainment, so we must recognize that our economic independence resides in our African union and requires the same concentration upon the political achievement.

The unity of our continent, no less than our separate independence, will be delayed if, indeed, we do not lose it, by hobnobbing with colonialism.

African unity is, above all, a political kingdom which can only be gained by political means. The social and economic development of Africa will come only within the political kingdom, not the other way round.

Is it not unity alone that can weld us into an effective force, capable of creating our own progress and making our valuable contribution to world peace? Which independent African state, which of you here, will claim that its financial structure and banking institutions are fully harnessed to its national development?

Which will claim that its material resources and human energies are available for its own national aspirations? Which will disclaim a substantial measure of disappointment and disillusionment in its agricultural and urban development? In independent Africa, we are already re-experiencing the instability and frustration which existed under colonial rule.

We are fast learning that political independence is not enough to rid us of the consequences of colonial rule. The movement of the masses of the people of Africa for freedom from that kind of rule was not only a revolt against the conditions which it imposed. Our people supported us in our fight for independence because they believed that African governments could cure the ills of the past in a way which could never be accomplished under colonial rule.

If, therefore, now that we are independent we allow the same conditions to exist that existed in colonial days, all the resentment which overthrew colonialism will be mobilized against us. The resources are there. It is for us to marshal them in the active service of our people.

Unless we do this by our concerted efforts, within the framework of our combined planning, we shall not progress at the tempo demanded by today’s events and the mood of our people. The symptoms of our troubles will grow, and the troubles themselves become chronic. It will then be too late for pan-African unity to secure for us stability and tranquility in our labors for a continent of social justice and material wellbeing.

Our continent certainly exceeds all the others in potential hydroelectric power, which some experts assess as 42% of the world’s total. What need is there for us to remain hewers of wood and drawers of water for the industrialized areas of the world?

It is said, of course, that we have no capital, no industrial skill, no communications, and no internal markets, and that we cannot even agree among ourselves how best to utilize our resources for our own social needs. Yet all stock exchanges in the world are preoccupied with Africa’s gold, diamonds, uranium, platinum, copper and iron ore.

Our capital flows out in streams to irrigate the whole system of Western economy. Fifty-two per cent of the gold in Fort Knox at this moment, where the USA stores its bullion, is believed to have originated from our shores. Africa provides more than 60% of the world’s gold.

A great deal of the uranium for nuclear power, of copper for electronics, of titanium for supersonic projectiles, of iron and steel for heavy industries, of other minerals and raw materials for lighter industries – the basic economic might of the foreign powers – come from our continent.

Experts have estimated that the Congo Basin alone can produce enough food crops to satisfy the requirements of nearly half the population of the whole world, and here we sit talking about gradualism, talking about step by step.

Are you afraid to tackle the bull by the horn? For centuries, Africa has been the Milch cow of the Western world. Was it not our continent that helped the Western world to build up its accumulated wealth?

We have the resources. It was colonialism in the first place that prevented us from accumulating the effective capital; but we ourselves have failed to make full use of our power in independence to mobilize our resources for the most effective take-off into thorough-going economic and social development.

We have been too busy nursing our separate states to understand fully the basic need of our union, rooted in common purpose, common planning and common endeavor.

A union that ignores these fundamental necessities will be but a sham. It is only by uniting our productive capacity and the resultant production that we can amass capital. And once we start, the momentum will increase. With capital controlled by our own banks, harnessed to our own true industrial and agricultural development, we shall make our advance.

We shall accumulate machinery and establish steel works, iron foundries and factories; we shall link the various states of our continent with communications by land, sea, and air. We shall cable from one place to another, phone from one place to the other and astound the world with our hydro-electric power; we shall drain marshes and swamps, clear infested areas, feed the undernourished, and rid our people of parasites and disease.

Camels and Donkeys No More

It is within the possibility of science and technology to make even the Sahara bloom into a vast field with verdant vegetation for agricultural and industrial development. We shall harness the radio, television, giant printing presses to lift our people from the dark recesses of illiteracy. A decade ago, these would have been visionary words, the fantasies of an idle dreamer. But this is the age in which science has transcended the limits of the material world, and technology has invaded the silences of nature.

Time and space have been reduced to unimportant abstractions. Giant machines make roads, clear forests, dig dams, lay out aerodromes; monster trucks and planes distribute goods; huge laboratories manufacture drugs; complicated geological surveys are made; mighty power stations are built; colossal factories erected – all at an incredible speed. The world is no longer moving through bush paths or on camels and donkeys.

We cannot afford to pace our needs, our development, our security, to the gait of camels and donkeys. We cannot afford not to cut down the overgrown bush of outmoded attitudes that obstruct our path to the modern open road of the widest and earliest achievement of economic independence and the raising up of the lives of our people to the highest level.

Even for other continents lacking the resources of Africa, this is the age that sees the end of human want. For us it is a simple matter of grasping with certainty our heritage by using the political might of unity. All we need to do is to develop with our united strength the enormous resources of our continent.

What use to the farmer is education and mechanization, what use is even capital for development, unless we can ensure for him a fair price and a ready market?

What has the peasant, worker and farmer gained from political independence, unless we can ensure for him a fair return for his labor and a higher standard of living? Unless we can establish great industrial complexes in Africa, what have the urban worker, and those peasants on overcrowded land gained from political independence? If they are to remain unemployed or in unskilled occupation, what will avail them the better facilities for education, technical training, energy, and ambition which independence enables us to provide?

There is hardly any African state without a frontier problem with its adjacent neighbors. It would be futile for me to enumerate them because they are already so familiar to us all. But let me suggest that this fatal relic of colonialism will drive us to war against one another as our unplanned and uncoordinated industrial development expands, just as happened in Europe.

Unless we succeed in arresting the danger through mutual understanding on fundamental issues and through African unity, which will render existing boundaries obsolete and superfluous, we shall have fought in vain for independence.

Only African unity can heal this festering sore of boundary disputes between our various states. The remedy for these ills is ready in our hands. It stares us in the face at every customs barrier, it shouts to us from every African heart. By creating a true political union of all the independent states of Africa, with executive powers for political direction, we can tackle hopefully every emergency and every complexity.

This is because we have emerged in the age of science and technology in which poverty, ignorance, and disease are no longer the masters, but the retreating foes of mankind. Above all, we have emerged at a time when a continental land mass like Africa with its population approaching 300 million is necessary to the economic capitalization and profitability of modern productive methods and techniques. Not one of us working singly and individually can successfully attain the fullest development.

Certainly, in the circumstances, it will not be possible to give adequate assistance to sister states trying, against the most difficult conditions, to improve their economic and social structures. Only a united Africa functioning under a union government can forcefully mobilize the material and moral resources of our separate countries and apply them efficiently and energetically to bring a rapid change in the conditions of our people.

Unite we must. Without necessarily sacrificing our sovereignties, big or small, we can here and now forge a political union based on defense, foreign affairs and diplomacy, and a common citizenship, an African currency, an African monetary zone, and an African central bank. We must unite in order to achieve the full liberation of our continent.

We need a common defense system with African high command to ensure the stability and security of Africa. We have been charged with this sacred task by our own people, and we cannot betray their trust by failing them. We will be mocking the hopes of our people if we show the slightest hesitation or delay in tackling realistically this question of African unity.

We need unified economic planning for Africa. Until the economic power of Africa is in our hands, the masses can have no real concern and no real interest for safeguarding our security, for ensuring the stability of our regimes, and for bending their strength to the fulfilment of our ends.

With our united resources, energies and talents we have the means, as soon as we show the will, to transform the economic structures of our individual states from poverty to that of wealth, from inequality to the satisfaction of popular needs. Only on a continental basis shall we be able to plan the proper utilization of all our resources for the full development of our continent.

How else will we retain our own capital for own development? How else will we establish an internal market for our own industries? By belonging to different economic zones, how will we break down the currency and trading barriers between African states, and how will the economically stronger amongst us be able to assist the weaker and less developed states?

It is important to remember that independent financing and independent development cannot take place without an independent currency. A currency system that is backed by the resources of a foreign state is ipso facto subject to the trade and financial arrangements of that foreign country.

Because we have so many customs and currency barriers as a result of being subject to the different currency systems of foreign powers, this has served to widen the gap between us in Africa. How, for example, can related communities and families trade with, and support one another successfully, if they find themselves divided by national boundaries and currency restrictions? The only alternative open to them in these circumstances is to use smuggled currency and enrich national and international racketeers and crooks who prey upon our financial and economic difficulties.

Our Resources

No independent African state today by itself has a chance to follow an independent course of economic development, and many of us who have tried to do this have been almost ruined or have had to return to the fold of the former colonial rulers.

This position will not change unless we have a unified policy working at the continental level. The first step towards our cohesive economy would be a unified monetary zone, with, initially, an agreed common parity for our currencies. To facilitate this arrangement, Ghana would change to a decimal system.

When we find that the arrangement of a fixed common parity is working successfully, there would seem to be no reason for not instituting one common currency and a single bank of issue.

With a common currency from one common bank of issue, we should be able to stand erect on our own feet because such an arrangement would be fully backed by the combined national products of the states composing the union. After all, the purchasing power of money depends on productivity and the productive exploitation of the natural, human and physical resources of the nation.

While we are assuring our stability by a common defense system, and our economy is being orientated beyond foreign control by a common currency, monetary zone, and central bank of issue, we can investigate the resources of our continent.

We can begin to ascertain whether in reality we are the richest, and not, as we have been taught to believe, the poorest among the continents. We can determine whether we possess the largest potential in hydro-electric power, and whether we can harness it and other sources of energy to our industries. We can proceed to plan our industrialization on a continental scale, and to build up a common market for nearly 300 million people. Common continental planning for the industrial and agricultural development of Africa is a vital necessity!

So many blessings flow from our unity; so many disasters must follow on our continued disunity. The hour of history which has brought us to this assembly is a revolutionary hour. It is the hour of decision.

The masses of the people of Africa are crying for unity. The people of Africa call for the breaking down of the boundaries that keep them apart. They demand an end to the border disputes between sister African states – disputes that arise out of the artificial barriers raised by colonialism. It was colonialism’s purpose that divided us. It was colonialism’s purpose that left us with our border irredentism, that rejected our ethnic and cultural fusion.

Our people call for unity so that they may not lose their patrimony in the perpetual service of neo-colonialism. In their fervent push for unity, they understand that only its realization will give full meaning to their freedom and our African independence.

It is this popular determination that must move us on to a union of independent African states. In delay lies danger to our well-being, to our very existence as free states. It has been suggested that our approach to unity should be gradual, that it should go piecemeal. This point of view conceives of Africa as a static entity with “frozen” problems which can be eliminated one by one and when all have been cleared then we can come together and say: “Now all is well, let us now unite.”

This view takes no account of the impact of external pressures. Nor does it take cognizance of the danger that delay can deepen our isolations and exclusiveness; that it can enlarge our differences and set us drifting further and further apart into the net of neo-colonialism, so that our union will become nothing but a fading hope, and the great design of Africa’s full redemption will be lost, perhaps, forever.

The Dangers of Regionalism

The view is also expressed that our difficulties can be resolved simply by a greater collaboration through cooperative association in our inter-territorial relationships. This way of looking at our problems denies a proper conception of their inter-relationship and mutuality. It denies faith in a future for African advancement in African independence. It betrays a sense of solution only in continued reliance upon external sources through bilateral agreements for economic and other forms of aid.

The fact is that although we have been cooperating and associating with one another in various fields of common endeavor even before colonial times, this has not given us the continental identity and the political and economic force which would help us to deal effectively with the complicated problems confronting us in Africa today.

As far as foreign aid is concerned, a United Africa should be in a more favorable position to attract assistance from foreign sources. There is the far more compelling advantage which this arrangement offers, in that aid will come from anywhere to a United Africa because our bargaining power would become infinitely greater. We shall no longer be dependent upon aid from restricted sources. We shall have the world to choose from.

What are we looking for in Africa? Are we looking for Charters, conceived in the light of the United Nations’ example? A type of United Nations Organization whose decisions are framed on the basis of resolutions that in our experience have sometimes been ignored by member states? Where groupings are formed and pressures develop in accordance with the interest of the groups concerned?

Or is it intended that Africa should be turned into a loose organization of states on the model of the Organization of American States, in which the weaker states within it can be at the mercy of the stronger or more powerful ones politically or economically and all at the mercy of some powerful outside nation or group of nations? Is this the kind of association we want for ourselves in the United Africa we all speak of with such feeling and emotion?

We all want a united Africa, united not only in our concept of what unity connotes, but united in our common desire to move forward together in dealing with all the problems that can best be solved only on a continental basis.

We meet here today not as Ghanaians, Guineans, Egyptians, Algerians, Moroccans, Malians, Liberians, Congolese or Nigerians, but as Africans.

Africans united in our resolve to remain here until we have agreed on the basic principles of a new compact of unity among ourselves which guarantees for us and our future a new arrangement of continental government. If we succeed in establishing a new set of principles as the basis of a new charter for the establishment of a continental unity of Africa, and the creation of social and political progress for our people, then in my view, this conference should mark the end of our various groupings and regional blocs.

But if we fail and let this grand and historic opportunity slip by, then we shall give way to greater dissension and division among us for which the people of Africa will never forgive us. And the popular and progressive forces and movements within Africa will condemn us.

I am sure therefore that we shall not fail them. To this end, I propose for your consideration the following: As a first step, a declaration of principles uniting and binding us together and to which we must all faithfully and loyally adhere, and laying the foundations of unity, should be set down.

As a second and urgent step for the realization of the unification of Africa, an All-Africa Committee of Foreign Ministers should be set up now. The Committee should establish on behalf of the heads of our governments, a permanent body of officials and experts to work out a machinery for the union government of Africa.

This body of officials and experts should be made up of two of the best brains from each independent African state. The various charters of existing groupings and other relevant documents could also be submitted to the officials and experts.

We must also decide on a location where this body of officials and experts will work as the new headquarters or capital of our union government. Some central place in Africa might be the fairest suggestion, either in Bangui in the Central African Republic or Leopoldville [Kinshasa] in Congo. My colleagues may have other proposals.

The Committee of Foreign Ministers, officials and experts, should be empowered to establish: (1) A commission to frame a constitution for a Union Government of African States. (2) A commission to work out a continent-wide plan for a unified or common economic and industrial program for Africa; this should include proposals for setting up: a common market for Africa; an African currency; an African monetary zone; an African central bank; a continental communication system; a commission to draw up details for a common foreign policy and diplomacy; a commission to produce plans for a common system of defense and a commission to make proposals for common African citizenship.

Ethiopia Shall Stretch Forth her Hands unto God; Africa must unite!”.

UNFORTUNATELY, Sir Nkrumah’s Dream and Grand Vision of an Africa United in Fact and Indeed did not Prevail. This Fateful Summit was divided into 2 Factions; the Casablanca Group led by Nkrumah of Ghana, Modibo Keita of Mali, Sekou Toure of Guinea, Gamal Nasser of Egypt, Ben Bella of Algeria, King Hasan 2 of Morocco and Crown Prince Hassan Rida representing King Idris of Libya who wanted One United Government for One United Africa ‘there and then’ against the Monrovia and Libreville Group led by Felix Boigny of Ivory Coast and William Tubman of Liberia and 23 Others who wanted a gradual Approach towards African Unity. On May 25,1963 the Monrovia/Libreville Group prevailed and the Summit ended in a Compromise; the formation of a Weak-kneed ‘Organization of African Unity-OAU that is Today known as the ‘African Union’-AU. Until then to this Day; the Grand Dream of One Africa United in Fact and Indeed remains just that; a Dream!.

The Africa We Want:Radical Thoughts For A Demanding Cause

Introduction

Triggered by his inaugural address remarks to African Youths that they (African Leaders) cannot build Africa without us for we are professional Men and Women with full role to play; Two Days after his Election as the Chair of the African Union (AU) and its Leader of Reforms, I wrote an Open Letter to President Paul Kagame through the Weekly East African Newspaper of February 3,2018.In it was a Congratulatory Note, my take on AU?s 2018 Theme on the War against Corruption and a request to have Youths in Africa actively involved in it and the greater African Prosperity Agenda as enshrined in Aspiration 6 of our Agenda 2063.It is in this light that I express my Thoughts,Ideas and Vision on an Ideal Africa

The Seven Aspirations of Africa’s Agenda 2063 (Graphic Courtesy-NEPAD)

under the Theme of The Africa We Want. As a Pan-African Youth who passionately subscribes and believes in an African Dream;an Ideal Africa I hereby Propose my Composed Thoughts of an Ideal Africa as I Envision it.

I am in my Submission solely guided by the African Union Concept,Ideal and Spirit of the January 1961 Casablanca Summit and most importantly the Casablanca Group’s Submission at the Historic first ever Independent African States Leaders Summit at Addis Ababa on May 24,1963 as Concisely captured in One of the greatest Pan-African of all times;Ghana’s Founding Father President Kwame Nkrumah’s Speech in this 1963 Summit THAT; “No Sporadic Act nor Pious Resolution can Resolve our current Problems;Nothing will be of Avail except the United Act of a United Africa”.

My Submission is built on the 7 Aspirations of our Agenda 2063 on Critical Questions that we need to ask ourselves and Actions needed to be taken now to revamp and fast track the realization of our Grand Goals and Dreams as spelt out on our Africa Agenda 2063.

My Proposal Essay

  1. A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development

Being the Youngest Continent in the World; I fail to understand why Africa and her Young Nations are so much obsessed with extortionate Infrastructural Projects that are way beyond our Financial Wherewithal with little investment to the basics of a developing Society. In as much as Infrastructure is a requisite for growth and development, let us go for modest Infrastructure in order to strike balance with other equally important requisites of a developing Continent for sustainable growth and development. It’s alarming that the International Monetary Fund has warned of our Debt Burden saying over 40% of Low Income and Low Middle Income Countries in Africa are already in Debt distress. China; our biggest Trade Partner who has now become our biggest Creditor has Cancelled Debts owed to it by over 30 African Countries that it has described as Poor and heavily in Debt 3 times in a row. What this basically means is that we are borrowing to Finance unsustainable and unviable development Projects. As the acclaimed Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of needs puts it; Physiological human needs are the basis of their survival and the first step of Motivation that must be fulfilled before pursuing satisfaction on a higher level failure to which other further pursues lose meaning. What would a homeless Man, hungry, thirsty, depressed in tattered Clothes want to do with a Bullet Train or a Multi-Lane Super Expressway?. The Global Hunger Index shows that 4 out of the Hungriest Countries in the World are in Africa with 12 out of the 15 Hungriest Countries also being in Africa. Is this really the Africa we want?. What inclusive growth and development can we claim before feeding our Hungry and Undernourished People?.

I suggest strategic high investment in Food and Livestock Agriculture, Crop Irrigation, Textile and Food Industries, Housing, Health and Lifestyle with modest investment in financially demanding Projects like Transport Infrastructure and other Secondary needs. Inclusive and Sustainable Growth and Development of any Society is always a result of its robust Social aspect. I suggest the consideration and inclusion of this aspect in our Agenda 2063 Flagship Projects.

  1. An integrated Continent, Politically United based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the Vision of Africa’s Renaissance.

Does the Vision, Spirit and Ideals of our very first Leaders in Independent Africa still exist?. Do the Resolutions, Declarations and Aspirations of the Historic May 1963 OAU Conference especially those of the “African Unity Now Casablanca Group” that I consider a precise Panacea to Independent Africa’s Past and Present Problems still exist in the realms of Today’s African Leaders. What was adopted, what was modified and what was ignored and forgotten. The attitude towards Pan-Africanism might change with every generation but the Core of this Ideal is Sacrosanct. The content, message and ideals in the 32 Speeches made at this Historic Conference holds the clearest picture of the African Dream at Get-go. It forms the very naissance of what is and should inform the essence of Pan-Africanism. Do we have an African Character, do we inculcate it to our Children. Pan-Africanism is not about being black in Complexion but rather what identifies and inspires us as we dream, speak, do and be. We can achieve an integrated Africa, yes, when we acknowledge, bespeak and appreciate our entwined past, cultivate our Today together and foster an all-inclusive Future together. It’s so refreshing and promising to see the progress of key Agenda 2063’s Continental Integration Projects namely the Africa Free Continental Trade Area that is almost coming into force, the Single Air Transport Market, Integrated High-speed Train Network, the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the African Passport that are on Course. These are momentous strides in our Integration Journey that we need to zealously Fast track. We must also reinvent our approach to Leadership and Politics. We have over time contaminated our Leadership with wasteful Politics. We have taken Politics for Leadership and Leadership for Politics only to mess the solemn call of Leadership. Authoritarian, Despotic,Dynastic,Personality Cult, Populist Politics of Propaganda,Rhetorics and Charades that are totally Vague in Vision,Ideology and Strategy have costed us Big Time. That our daily discussions and aims are about how to deal with or Oust Failed and mostly oppressive Rulers and Regimes or how and who to install as the next Leader is not only wasteful but also retrogressive. Let us invent a Comprehensive Model of Practical Leadership and Governance that only Recognizes/Adapts What and How to do in Governance not who to get into Leadership/Government. I believe an all-inclusive team of African Union’s Governance Architecture in conjunction with the Political Affairs department can come up with such a Model and then present it for debate, consideration and suggestions of improvement in individual African Countries. This would be a good point to start the process of Political integration which will in time translate to a Politically Sane,Visionary and Informed Continent.

  1. An Africa of Good Governance, Democracy, Respect for Human Rights, Justice and the Rule of Law

The endeavors of this Aspiration are all tied to one thing; the Rationale and Sanctity of our Institutions of Administration and Governance. The Institution of Government Executive, Judiciary, Electoral Agencies, Lawmakers and Human Dignity Activism. We have a tendency in Africa where heads of Institutions always want to be and actually end up being bigger than the Institutions they head always seeking special privileges, immunity and impunity in the face of the Institution’s mandate. This beats all logic behind such Institutions. We can achieve good Governance when every Leader however high or low their office and Institution ranks is subject to Scrutiny and Accountability.An Average African Voter/Common African Man Needs and Deserves to be Enlightened on what Constitutes,What Defines and what Makes a truly Good Government,Governors and Governance Structure.This is the Basic and the Surest Means of achieving Good,Productive and Visionary Governance across Africa.The African Union should recruit specially trained Envoys to make this the very firts and most Elaborate and Intense Activity before every General Election is held in every part of this Continent.We also can achieve True Democracy when all our Centers of Democracy led by our Electoral Agencies and Lawmakers are truly free from all imaginable interference and manipulation. We can achieve true Justice and Rule of Law when we let our Constitutions and Law reign supreme above all regardless and Champion for Justice for all without delay. All African Countries should now ratify Article 1 of June 1998 Protocol to affirm and have the African Court of Human and Peoples Rights Fully-fledged. This will give it Authority to Investigate, Prosecute and Arbitrate on all cases of Human Rights Violation anywhere in this Continent. On the intention to merge this Court with the African Court of justice to have an African Court of Justice and Human Rights that shall have Criminal Jurisdiction as per June 2014 Malabo Protocol I have a reservation. The Rationale behind this is great but one of its critical Provision reeks of Manipulation and Handicap. Why would sitting Heads of States and Senior State Officials want to be free from Charges and Prosecution by this Court? Why would our Leaders create such a good institution as an African Solution to African Problems and then place themselves above it? Is this not an impediment to its mandate and authority? The essence of Justice and Rule of Law is the Supremacy it exerts on all its subjects. I humbly call upon our Leaders to reevaluate and readdress this specific aspect. Human Dignity and Rights advocacy groups across Africa should also be empowered to be the Eye and Ear of this African Court of Justice and Human Rights. As the Celebrated Pan-African, Revolutionist and Former President of Burkina Faso Thomas Sankara said, let our Revolution towards this Aspiration be a collective effort to transform reality and improve the situation of Africans with Concrete solutions not about Public Speaking, Fine phrases and Slogans to look like we are offering solution when we are not.

  1. A Peaceful and Secure Africa

First things first; what ignites Conflicts and War in Africa, what Fuels it?. The leading causes of War and Conflict in Africa are Power, Territorial/Border Conflicts, Resource benefit sharing Conflicts, Ethnic Wars, Religious Extremism and Terrorism. Power is atop the causes. It is the reason behind Coups, Mutinies, Civil Rebellions, Armed Rebellion, Civil Wars and Uprisings witnessed in African Countries from time to time with some going through this at this very moment. Leaders who take Power through Unconstitutional means, Vote Rigging, Authoritarians, Leaders who do not want to Share nor leave Power Fuel such Wars whose aftermath is usually Mass Killings and devastating Human torment/suffering. Border Conflicts fuels armed Rebellion and Confrontations, Natural Resources exploitation by Local and Foreign Cartels fuels animosity and sometimes armed struggle as People seek to benefit from those Natural Resources which are indeed their Birthright. Ethnic Wars mostly ignited by feelings of Segregation in Power and Resources sharing Policy leads to armed confrontations and sometimes Secession struggles. These eventually offers a breeding ground for Religious Extremism and Terrorism as People struggle to dominate or resist domination.Whilst I appreciate the gains of the various Peace and Security Measures spearheaded by African Union’s Peace and Security Council there is still a huge challenge ahead in securing the Peaceful Africa We Want. Even as we seek to Silence Guns by 2020 through the Africa Peace and Security Architecture Road Map 2016-2020 and the ongoing implementation of Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa 2018-2028 we need to invest the biggest amount of Africa Peace Fund on Preventive Diplomacy so as to Pro-actively anticipate and Prevent Conflicts and Wars long before they materialize. The African Governance Architecture should form an all-inclusive body and come up with an African Governance Framework Protocol, Resources Sharing Policy and Formula and also Arbitrate on long-standing Border Conflicts. We shouldn’t let our Individual Sovereignities to set us up against each other but rather to be the undying Source of our Cordial Coexistence,Values,Wisdom,Ideas and Heritage.Peace Education should also be taught to all Generations across all African Communities stressing on the importance of Dialogue, Tolerance, Integration, Peaceful,Productive Co-existence and Synergy amidst our rich Diversity.

  1. An Africa with a Strong Cultural Identity, Common Heritage, Values and Ethics

As I noted in Aspiration Two; being truly African is not a matter of being black in complexion, it’s not even much about being born in Africa; like the Legendary Pan-African and first President of Ghana H.E Kwame Nkrumah said I am not an African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me. True African Cultural Identity is about the African Character, Spirit and Fiber. It’s that which should set you apart as you imagine, envision, speak and do about your Individual Country and ultimately about your Continent Africa. I have seen some African Leaders give very impassioned Pro-Africa speeches only for their Character and Actions to reveal absolute opposite. In order to Treasure and Cherish our common Heritage; we must acknowledge and establish our intertwined Past and History, Foster our present as one People and Collectively Forge our Future as a People of the same Motherland that is Africa.An African Identity will require One Truly African Language which should as a matter of Urgency be actually introduced in every School and in every Community at every Corner of our Continent.Forget about English,French,Portuguese,Spanish,Italian,Arabic,German or even Chinese;These are Colonial Heritage left by the Imperialists to forever Cause Discord in every African Discourse so that for example Anglophone Africans are completely Alien to Francophone Africans.We must rise above this historical impediment Now.Communication is a Basic and the most important point of Contact,Connection,Relation and Interaction between and among Human Beings.We can Never truly Integrate or Unite as One African People without One Common Truly African Language from East-to-Central-to-West-to-Southern-to-Northern Africa.On Values and Ethics; we must effect substantial Renaissance of Pan-Africanism, Afro-Optimism, Afro-Centrism and Afro-Futurism. We must rediscover, reclaim and rekindle our Wisdom and Knowledge on African Morality, African Virtues and Values as fashioned by our Founding Mothers and Fathers whose erosion and corrosion began way back in the Colonial Era and is still going on in the face of a highly influential Foreign and Europe/Western Culture. The African Union’s Social and Cultural Council together with the Pan-African Parliament should kick-start this Mission in earnest.

  1. An Africa whose development is People-driven, relying on the Potential of African People especially our Women, Youth and Caring for Children

To take part in the African Revolution; It’s not enough to write a Revolutionary Song. You must fashion the Revolution with the People; If you fashion it with the People the Songs will come from them;said a True Pan-African; the first President of Guinea Ahmed Sekou Toure. He was absolutely right; Africa’s Agenda 2063 is a Masterpiece but it might not have a meaning for Africans without them at the Center of its every step and stage.Over 60% of Africa’s Population Today is below the age of 25 years with Africa’s Median Age being 19 Years. Africa is home to the World’s Youngest Population. This is in itself a Goldmine; it’s equally a Time Bomb. It all depends on the Strategy Africa has for this delicate Demographic. Whilst our Leaders seek to prepare a Future for us, it’s prudent that they also prepare us for the Future. We are not too young to lead and if indeed we are, then we are not too young to be part of our Continent’s Strategy Formulation. We have our own Visions, Ideas, Opinions and Desires; Involve us actively and consistently. I am glad we now have an AU Youth Envoy; the next most important thing is to transform the Envoy into an Afro-Optimism Movement that shall Traverse Africa conversing with the Youths on what they believe should be an Ideal Africa and bring their ideas together for Action. Our Women our Mothers are our all-time Treasure; they bring and nurture Life to the World. They are the very first Teacher one learns from in their Life. Every Child in this Continent deserves an Enlightened and Empowered Mother. The AU Directorate of Women, Gender and Development should revamp its Policy, Strategically lobby and increase the Fund for African Women and then use Rights of Women in Africa division of our African Court (ACHPR) to establish Women Empowerment, Enlightenment and Welfare Program and Centers across Africa for our Women and Children to Learn and Advance themselves which will translate to Enlightened Communities across Africa.

  1. Africa as a Strong, United, Resilient and Influential Global Player and Partner

During the 7th Forum for China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing last year; President Paul Kagame in his capacity as the AU Chair said Africa is not a Zero-sum game that our vigorously growing ties with China do not come at anyone’s expense; In another High-level Europe-Africa Forum still last year he said that Europeans should view Africa as Partners not beneficiaries of their generosity. We have also in the past seen France-Africa,USA-Africa,India-Africa,Tokyo-Africa,Middle East-Africa,Korea-Africa,Norway-Africa,Germany-Africa and most recently Russia-Africa not forgetting the oncoming January 2020 UK-Africa Summit where the World’s Super Powers are seeking to engage Africa as a Continent. The biggest and most Critical Question is how Africa goes to such Forums;Do we engage as One Bloc of 54 States or each of our 54 States goes into the Negotiation Table Individually.Remember at all these Conferences Africa is rarely the Initiator;It’s usually these Countries that Initiate,Invite and set the Agenda always coming into the Negotiation Table as One;Clear and Conscise on what they want for their Countries and People out of these Summits.This is more often than not a complete opposite of how Africa walks into these Summits.In retrospect;Africa we must with an urgency of now get our Act together,think about our Formation,Place,Space,Position,Gains,Give and Take in such High-level Global Platforms while Strategising on such Events in the Future.For instance our Trade with China our biggest Trade Partner and Creditor has been on a nosedive since 2014 due to weak falling Commodity Prices lowering the Value of our Exports to China as their Exports to Africa increase steadily. How about Africa’s Debt burden to China;why is China always waiving Debts for African Countries referring to them as Poor, least developed and heavily in debt while giving out more Money as Debt to the same Countries?;This is not Strength,it’s neither Influence nor Resilience for Africa.Are we not slowly but surely falling trap to Debt Diplomacy with China?.Russia also did the same in the just concluded Russia-Africa Summit.These continued Debt relief gestures from our Creditors should now be a wake-up call to African Countries;such Diplomacy looks/sounds too good and we must stay both Woke and Warned.Are we biting more than we can chew,what kind of Projects are we financing with these huge high-interest Loans that cannot repay the Loans?.I believe Africa can develop without these external Aid and Loans;we only need the right Mindset to realize this. Our Trade with Europe has also been imbalanced since 2014. Why is our Trade with Global Economic Giants always fluctuating? Here now is where our Agenda 2063’s Africa Commodity Strategy as a Flagship Project comes in handy. We need to introduce a Standard Policy on Commodity State, Volume, Quality, Positioning, Value Addition and Proposition for all Exports from Africa and a Standard Policy for Necessity, Priority, Quality, Validity and Alternative for all Imports to Africa. The AU Trade and Industry Organ should begin this as a Process of revamping our Foreign Trade Policy. The process of Ratifying our very own 1.2 Billion People African Market, $2.5 Trillion worth Africa Continental Free Trade Area is done and dusted;A Grand Stride in our Continental Economic Integration and Naissance. Every African is looking forward to this Great Initiative of our Agenda 2063 that is just about to come into Force;Its operational Phase beginning July 2020. Charity begins at home; the Success of AFCTA will place us as the Single Strongest and Biggest Trade Bloc in the World but we must be very pragmatic as we approach the operational phase of this momentous Program.

Another critical issue towards this Aspiration of becoming a Strong Influential Global Player and Partner lies in our Stake and Voice at Key High-Level Decision Making bodies in the World led by the United Nations Secretariat, United Nations Security Council, the World Trade Organization General Council, the G 7 Alliance among others. As the late Zimbabwean President and Great Pan-African H.E Robert Mugabe once noted;It’s untenable, unreasonable and unfair that Africa has neither Influential nor Permanent Representation in some of these bodies whose Decisions and Decrees we are Subject and bound to oblige.We Must seek and have Real Substantial Place,Positions and Voice in these Key Global Decision-making Bodies and Organizations.

{The Writer Mr.Hezbon Mureithi is One of our Editors at Honourable Media Africa}