The 9th African Union summit ends today in Accra, Ghana, with African leaders disagreeing on how best to launch a single African government. Reporter Kent Mensah of radio station Joy FM, in Accra, told VOA English to Africa reporter Cole Mallard that economically, the creation of the Pan-African Infrastructure Development Fund is a helpful step in efforts to establish a single African government and to improve the living standards of Africa’s 850 million people.
NO MORE BEGGING
Mensah says Ghana’s foreign minister, Nana Akufo-Addo, sees a united Africa as a way for the continent to avoid being considered a welfare state. Mensah quotes the minister as saying, “The olden days, where Africans run to the international community to beg for money, have come to an end” because the continent is beginning to pool its own development resources.
Mensah observed that the split over how best to implement the concept of a united Africa falls into two camps: the Ghadafi faction, which is pushing for the immediate formation of such a government, and the Mbeki faction, which favors a gradual approach.
Mensah says the AU Secretariat will announce a joint press conference to be held tomorrow morning.
He says the media have been frustrated because of their lack of access to the summit. For example, a forum between media editors and African leaders was cancelled. The reason given was that the leaders have a very tight schedule and did not have time to meet with the editors. Mensah says most journalists were disappointed over what he calls being sidelined at the summit: “On my part as well, I was quite disappointed because I thought there are certain definite issues we as journalists must put across to the leaders for us to have access to them.”