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Africa must rise above its challenges

         Date: 2012-05-28

           Tag: Africa, Africa challenges

Summary: frica marked 49 years of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, later re-established as the African Union (AU) in 2002 in tandem with changed political and economic scene a…

Frica marked 49 years of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, later re-established as the African Union (AU) in 2002 in tandem with changed political and economic scene and responsibilities.
 
Africans can look back with pride given the fact that the 54-nation body is still holding together. Overall, the strides and achievements in the political and economic arenas registered over the years have re-shaped Africa for the better.

Yet despite the positive outlook, hunger, food shortages, diseases, internal conflicts and border clashes continue to plague Africa. It is also sad to note that coup d'etats still happen in the continent, notably in its western and northern parts. 

Moreover, despite various natural resource endowments, including rich oil deposits that has made Africa one of the world's biggest oil exporters and abundance of all sorts of minerals, the living standard is still very low. Most Africans live below one dollar a day, hardly enough to afford one meal a day. 

Against this background, it is disturbing to note that more emphasis is being put on politics rather than on economic construction and prosperity. These are negative aspects for which Africa is expected to sober up - and the sooner this is done the better.

It is also high time the issue of African unity was revisited and addressed more seriously. Despite the presence of such regional economic groupings as the EAC, ECOWAS, SADC, etc, progress is still painfully slow. 

The reality on the ground is that these economic blocs are still struggling with progress being marred by internal conflicts, border clashes and still in our minds, the Arab Spring to the North.

This is a big anomaly. It is unacceptable. It is a trend that must be reversed. The reliance on hand-outs among African countries is a big shame. It's time the continent applied the brakes to this situation.

Fine; there have been positive strides in democratization and unity worth mentioning. But economically, there have been more negatives than positives with apparent cracks in the regional economic groupings themselves. 

The AU should do more as an organisation to achieve the objectives for which it was established. It is true that it has failed in a number of ways to carry out its own initiatives and it is high time it reversed the trend.


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