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Is it time for Ghana to leave the AU?

Thu, 23 Jun 2011 Source: Pobee-Mensah, Tony

Should Ghana consider leaving the AU, absolutely, if you ask me. Ghana leaving the

AU will be a symbol for registering displeasure with the fact that the AU has not

achieved her original purpose: to unite Africa. It will also signal that at least

Ghana is still interested in uniting Africa. And it will honor our Osagyefo Dr.

Kwame Nkrumah who said, "Independence now, tomorrow, United States of Africa."

Lastly, Ghana has been "a first" in many steps of African progress. Leaving the AU

will get other African nations to start thinking more about the AU, if there is

going to be an AU.

For starters, African Union is not European Union and should not be. Changing the

name of Organization of African Unity to African Union signaled that our leaders

were looking to fashion our "unity" after that of the European Union. It also

signaled maybe a new start for African unity. To date, African Union has achieved

nothing meaningful for Africans. At this point in the existence of European Union,

they had achieved much, much more for their citizens. If they hadn't, I will bet

they would not be in existence today, because their citizens would question their

usefulness. Ghana should be at the head of questioning AU's usefulness.

I said African Union should not be European Union. European countries had all of

their institutions in place before the idea of European Union even came along. Many

of our countries continue to struggle with building many institutions. One African

country will have more resources to build the institutions that we need and will be

in a good place to keep out redundancy where redundancy is not needed. The AU

officials should be spending more time thinking of building these institutions

rather flying around the world from conference to conference in blue suits feeling

big. Ghana leaving the AU will help shine the light on this. We should be the

first that we have always been.

As we sit around trying to figure out if we want to be AU or a united Africa and

failing at it, China is buying up Africa: most notably, Kenya. China is not buying

up Kenya because they like to buy up countries; they are buying up Kenya because

they are planning for their future. Do we Africans not have an interest in planning

for our future? If Ghana leaves, maybe AU will start thinking about planning

something or collapse. If they are not going to achieve, why not let them collapse?

China, in their numbers, provided a dream market for manufacturers that prompted

investment rush for China. One Africa, in our numbers, will provide just as

lucrative a market for investors. When America complained about influx of Japanese

cars, Japan built plants in America to produce cars for Americans to buy. We buy

cars in Africa. Why can't we make a demand for even one plant to produce cars in

Africa; because we are not "one market". African union will not change that. As

one African nation, I am sure we can come up with enough money, qualifications,

skills, and talents to build one plant to manufacture and sell cars to Africans, if

not to the world. At the time of Ghana's independence, Ghana was richer than Korea.

Today, Korea is selling cars in the world market and we can't even create a nation

to get us started. We need something to get us started and Ghana leaving the AU

just might do it.

The powers that be are strongly promoting regional groups like ECOWAS to create mini

EUs. How long has ECOWAS been in existence? What have they achieved? They have

made it clear to us that they cannot resolve election problems in West Africa

without having the United Nations "Army" and foreign military powers come in and

kill Africans. We do not need a group promoted by foreign powers who march to the

tune of the foreign powers. I have yet to figure out the value of ECOWAS passport.

Besides, we do not need small countries; we need a big country to do big things.

The second tier powers (China and India) are on the move while we beat around the

bush. Meanwhile, they have figured out that buying up part of Africa, if not all of

Africa, is in their interest. Our future looks bleak and Ghana must move to help us

confront our problems.

Tony Pobee-Mensah

Columnist: Pobee-Mensah, Tony