Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- As the Dakar conference of intellectuals from Africa and the Diaspora split into working committees Friday, the African Civil Society Organisation (ACSO) seized the occasion to market its proposed constitution for a supranational State, The United Africa.
In a circular, the Yaounde-based NGO said the initiative dates back to October 1999 when a pre-draft constitution of the "United States of Africa" was mooted by a group of African civil society organisations at the behest of the then Pan African Federation of OAU Associations and Clubs.
Following the debate organised by the federation in Yaounde in January 2000, the document was updated into the first draft, which was tabled before the OAU.
According to ASCO, the transformation of the OAU into the African Union (AU) prompted a review of the first draft to accommodate "new dispositions emanating from the Constitutive Act of the AU.
" It said the 140-article document divided into 33 chapters draws from the AU Constitutive Act, the 1991 Abuja Treaty instituting the African Economic Community, and "some pertinent dispositions of the OAU Charter of 1963.
" The draft also outlines a supranational African State - the United Africa - defining approaches to self-financing, a collegial executive "open to the African people," and the participation of the civil society as well as political parties.
"Its popularisation among African governments and African civil society organisations is in process," ASCO said of the draft constitution, while hinting on plans to test public acceptance of the regional instrument in a referendum.
"ASCO will re-launch the initiative of a pre-referendum on the draft constitution as soon as possible to measure the acceptance of the proposal by the African people," the NGO said in the circular.
It said the third and final draft would be adopted at a forum of the African civil society billed for 23-25 May 2005, to be followed by "a Pan-African referendum for the effective creation of the United States of Africa," by the AU.