The African Union (AU) summit currently
underway in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa is expected to adopt a document
today that would strengthen commissions to make the African Union effective on
The document is expected to contain proposals aiming to transform the
organization's governing body, the African Union Commission, into an effective
authority with portfolios. This comes after newly elected AU chairman Muammar
Gaddafi promised to pursue his vision of a United States of Africa despite its
rejection Monday by many members. Gaddafi adds that his project to create a
united continental government would be approved at the next meeting in July
unless a majority opposes it. The African Union usually relies on consensus in
reaching decisions. A
participant in the discussion, Professor Okey Onyejekwe, tells reporter Peter
Clottey that the document once adopted would ensure that Africa speaks with one
voice in the future.
main item on the agenda is the adoption of the proposal to transform the AU
commission into an authority, which would now have extended portfolios and more
targeted responsibilities for the new secretaries that would be appointed,"
Professor Onyejekwe said.
said today's adoption of the proposal is a first step towards realizing the
objective of African countries speaking with one voice in the future.
document itself basically is a more targeted roadmap towards the transformation
of the AU into a union government of Africa. So it has more roadmaps and more
width that is clearer towards how the AU will now be transformed into a union
of African states, and it will now have more secretaries rather than
commissioners," he said.
Onyejekwe said the proposals yet to be adopted are cooperation between those
who support the accelerated African Union government and those who are against
it's a compromise between those who would have wanted an accelerated
transformation to a union government, and those who were looking for a
gradualist approach towards this transformation. But what this does basically
is now to create secretaries with various responsibilities at the continental
level, but falling short of now transforming the AU into a United States of
Africa," Professor Onyejekwe pointed out.
said the African Union aims to strengthen its organs to make the organization
effective in handling challenges on the continent.
argument of the proponent for this new structure is that it will help enable
the AU to capacitate itself and build up the structures, and to be now ready to
become more effective in terms of the ultimate objective of a union government with
funded portfolios in areas of defense and foreign policy," he said.
leader Gaddafi, who has been supported staunchly as newly elected chairman of
the AU by AU members like Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, has been pushing for a
unity government for years, saying it is the only way to meet the challenges of
globalization, fighting poverty, and resolving conflicts without what he
describes as Western interference.
But South Africa, among
other member states, sees the idea as a distant and not too pragmatic prospect
that would infringe the sovereignty of member states. Although all 53 members
of the AU say they agree with the idea in principle, Gaddafi's proposal was
formally rejected on the first day of the summit in Ethiopia's capital, Addis