Conflicts in Africa rooted in poverty, says Pan-Africanist

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Pressing the case for a supranational State, a delegate to the ongoing conference of intellectuals in Dakar said Friday that the non-viability of most African States, reinforces the argument for them to pool resources in a common entity, The United Africa (UA).
   "Our nations are ghettos of poverty, and most internal conflicts in Africa are but blown-out quarrels over which community gets what.
Because their economies are not viable, African countries have no alternative but to join forces," Maurice Tadadjeu, a Pan-Africanist and Delegate-General of the Yaounde-based African Civil Society Organisation (ASCO) told PANA.
   He admitted that the turmoil in some parts of the continent were essentially ethnic in character, but insisted that "when ethnic animosity is compounded by poverty, you get conflicts such as the war in Darfur (Sudan).
A war of the poor.
"   Arguing that African conflicts could not be resolved without effective control and equitable distribution of the continent's resources, he said Darfur was "an illustration of our weakness in the midst of enormous wealth the Almighty gave us.
"   On the notion that ethnic, tribal and racial divisions within African countries makes the bid for continental unity too ambitious, Tadadjeu countered that most internal conflicts could be overcome in a supranational context of shared input and resources among African States.
   "In the supranational setting, objectives beyond the reach of individual countries or even regional blocs could be attained with the pooling of resources at continental level," he explained, alluding to a draft constitution being proposed by the ASCO for The United Africa.
   "It is a dispensation under which things achievable at the level of the nation would be addressed by their governments, those attainable at sub-regional levels would be attended to by their respective groupings, while efforts are concerted at continental level to face challenges of greater magnitude," argued the Pan- Africanist.
   He said trans-African highways would, for instance, be built and managed by the continent, while regional bodies would build and run highways within their sub-regions.
   On funding, the draft constitution proposes that each AU member country should transfer 15 percent of its natural resources to the supranational State of United Africa.
   "Each African would have to work 16 days a year for the supranational State - 12 days for the continent and four days for his region.
This would amount to six percent of the income of Africans privileged to be above the threshold of poverty," Tadadjeu further explained of the constitutional proposal.
   He also insisted that Africa needed a regional currency, recalling that well before the European Union came up with the Euro, Pan-Africanists had by 1989 proposed a currency for Africa, the "Afri.
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08 october 2004 22:18:00




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