Ghana supports efforts to push forward Africa's unity

Sirte- Libya (PANA) -- Ghanaian President John Atta Mills, supports the transform ation of the African Union Commission (AUC) into an Authority and hopes that a c o nsensus agreement will be reached on the issue during the heads of state meeting in Sirte, Libya, Foreign Minister Muhammad Mumuni, said here Thursday.
"We are very optimistic.
There is goodwill and we think it (Authority) is achiev able," the Ghanaian minister told reporters after signing a 175-million Euro fin a ncing agreement with the European Union Commissioner for Development, Louis Mich e l, on the sidelines of the AU summit here.
African leaders continued debate on the transformation of the Commission into an Authority for the second day after divisions amongst the foreign ministers laid the matter before the African leaders without a clear-cut agreement on the subje c t.
Diplomats said the African ministers, who hesitated on making any firm commitmen ts on the issue, did so for fear of "breaking diplomatic protocol.
Speaking during the opening of the Executive Council meeting of the AU, bringing together 51 out of the 53 African states on Sunday, Libyan Leader Moummar Khada f i urged the ministers to select one of the three key organs of the AU to become t he Authority and work out its financing.
African leaders agree that there is need for the formation of a stronger organis ation to push through the continent's ideal for a United States of Africa, but a r e stuck on the modalities of implementing it.
"The issue is the implementation of this issue.
We have discussed the structure of this Authority and forwarded our recommendations to the Executive Council," a Nigerian diplomat, speaking on conditions of anonymity, told PANA on the sidelin e s of the AU Summit here.
Ghana supports the efforts to form the Authority and does not consider the plans to work out a new African defence strategy as an impingement of the sovereignty of the African states.
The Executive Council presented a report for the heads of State Summit without i ncluding any recommendations on the creation of the Authority.
This followed the assertion by the Libyan leader that they needed to assign one of the organs of the AU as the centre of power.
The outstanding issues were the size of the Union Authority, whether it should h ave 53 ministers as its cabinet or otherwise.
Ghanaian officials said African countries should not fear the formation of the A uthority, saying this would speed up Africa's integration efforts.
"We have been the torchbearers of Africa's integration and that tradition contin ues to this day.
We are drawing attention to Kwame Nkruma's ideals of Africa's i n tegration and the formation of the Authority, we believe would increase the pace of integration.
There is the necessity to push the matter," Mumuni asserted.
He said Ghana would be holding centenary celebrations to mark 100 years since th e birth of founding President Kwame Nkuruma.
"Globalisation is skewed against the poor countries.
That is why we need to incr ease the pace of integration," the Ghanaian minister added.

02 july 2009 16:12:00




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