Cameroonian internationalist says West fears African Union

Yaounde- Cameroon (PANA) -- "The African Union works against major world interests, which explains why no Head of State has received congratulations from the West after the Lome summit," Prof.
Jean-Emmanuel Pondi, Director of the Institute of International Relations (IRIC) has averred at a public lecture.
The market of 700 million of consumers would certainly try to impose its own interests on the world arena if it awoke to the enormity of its strength, its riches and potentialities, Pondi asserted.
"There is no tenable explanation why what is good for the others is not so for Africa," he argued in reference to other emerging blocs.
"Why are people afraid of Africa's unity? Who stands to lose in this?" the IRIC administrator queried early this week at a a round table conference on the African union in Cameroon's coastal city of Douala.
Dr Pondi drew a parallel between the hostility that the name of Colonel Kadhafi alone arouses, and the opposition Dr Kwame Nkrumah earlier encountered in his efforts to unify the continent.
Even today, Pondi noted, "the promoters of the African Union are as assailed as those who 37 years ago defended the Panafrican plan.
" He wondered aloud the real motives of currents that hold the union initiative to be Colonel Kadhafi's, not Africa's.
"How can one finds it normal that the European Union and other economic blocs like South-East Asia be strengthening themselves and yet turn round to talk advise caution when it comes to Africa?" the Cameroonian scholar in international relations challenged.
"The truth of the matter," he said, "is that detractors of the Union are fully aware that Africa is steering in the right direction, hence they (detractors) must do all they can to cloud the issue and further delay things, if possible.
" Pondi said it was wrong to think that the OAU was found in 1963 to unite Africa, affirming the venture has no more than the fruit of failure.
He posited that when real panafricanists signed the charter of the OAU in Addis Ababa, what they had in mind was the liberation of the continent from colonialism and apartheid - so far the only elements of consensus.
The practical consequence was that its texts were adopted rather with a view to avoiding that the OAU becomes the hostage of one of the ideologies in vogue at the time.
The OAU Secretary General, for instance, wielded little power, a muzzling that has for a long time restricted his leverage of action and initiative.
At the time, Pondi recalled, it was being said just like today, that one needed be careful about Nkrumah: "He wants to be the President of the whole of Africa .
the time is not yet ripe for an African union .
we must wait until the year 2000, etc".
Pondi spiritedly maintained that because it listened to other voices rather than its own, Africa's failure can today be seen in all spheres.
" He warned that the continent's "subjection to the whims of the international system could only get worse if continued to let others dictate what course to take in the global system.

21 april 2001 13:22:00

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