Konare speaks for political integration in Africa

Accra- Ghana (PANA) -- The chairperson of the African Union Commission in Accra, Ghana, on Sunday pleaded in favour of African integration, the only way like, he says, to take the continent out of stagnation and internal conflicts.
In his opening speech at the ninth heads of state and government conference of the continental organisation, he said that political integration was the only way toward integrating African economies.
Konare told the African heads of state and government that the African Union would reach a deadlock if the current policies were perpetuated, castigating the failure to implement the texts passed by the states and failure to ratify protocols voted by the African leaders.
Another problem raised by Konare was the contribution arrears amounting to about 106 million US dollars, including 70 million US dollars due for this year.
Only seven countries have fully paid their contributions, while about 20 countries have paid nothing for this year.
Sanctions may be imposed on six chronic debtor countries, which will not participate in the Grand Debate on the Union Government.
"If the process toward political integration is not achieved, the AU will remain an organisation heavy to move, unable to act promptly and therefore pave the way for ushering in the United States of Africa," said the former Malian leader who has declined to seek a new term as head of the AU Commission.
To him, the actions to carry out first involve abolishing the artificial divisions and the ending of wars and conflicts before making suitable decisions towards political integration on the continent, notably by beyond nationalities as currently defined.
About the Darfur crisis, while noting that the situation is still serious, Konare stressed that a step forward had been taken with the acceptance by the Sudanese authorities of the deployment of joint UN- AU forces.
The African countries have now to make their best for the armed force to be quickly operational on the ground, he said.
Over 30 leaders participate in the ninth AU summit expected to end in the Ghanaian capital on Tuesday.
A sole point was on the agenda of the summit, the Grand Debate on the Union Government.

01 july 2007 19:13:00

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