Articles

Articles

25 MAY - AFRICA DAY

* 20/5/1998

What place will Africa occupy in the globalization political- economic structure which is being imposed? Always used by the super powers as a geo-political stake. will it be able to preserve its identity, its values, its culture, its integrity, its sovereignty and resources to the benefit of its populations?
These are globally some of the crucial questions posed on the occasion of this anniversary, Africa Day, and on the eve of the 21st century.

For the record is severe: this large continent at present is being pulled by greedy manifestations from all directions owing to its immense resources. Recently, we have heard numerous declarations about "good intentions" with respect to Africa. At the same time, we have heard veiled excuses, tender remorse and sudden change of mood or shedding “crocodile tears", Vis-à-vis atrocious acts perpetrated in the past the consequences of which Africa continues to suffer. But in fact, are these sentimental and emotional expressions, this mea culpa strongly mediatized, will they alleviate the sufferings of the African people, will they free them from the shackles of poverty, will they promote development in Africa? Thanks to its human resources deported elsewhere as well as profits accrued from exploiting its unlimited riches, other peoples have become extremely wealthy during the years, and have developed at supersonic speed. For these same peoples are boasting that they have the power to impose globalization on all human beings as well as their concept of democracy and human rights forgetting that they themselves supported and assisted for decades anti-democratic, corrupt and despotic regimes.
In this somber and disturbing ambiguity in contemporary history, Africa has commenced to draw from past lessons and experiences. Even a certain Renaissance of an emerging Africa has been mentioned. However, despite the achievements of certain progress in a number of domains of African politics and economy such as the African initiative to control its own future and resolve its own problems, the sad and painful realities persist: interminable conflicts, latent civil wars, violence committed at diverse levels, threat of mutual extermination, human rights violations, debts and disease. However, the responsibility of such a situation does not only fall on Africans.
Yet, is it possible to speak of renaissance if the obstacles confronting it persist, if corruption is left to poison and corrode conscience and mentality; where the diktat of financial powers continue to impose measures that were proved ineffective and tend to globalize poverty and sufferings in the South, including Africa; or where fears and uncertainties haunt the minds regarding globalization which is being shaped? The seeds of anger will be sown like a time bomb about to explode one day.
On the occasion of Africa Day, AAPSO hopes that Africans will reinforce their unity and solidarity in order to terminate the consequences of the sad heritage of the past, and seriously and resolutely pursue their goal towards progress, together with the international community, sparing no effort to preserve their identity, values, culture, integrity, sovereignty and the continent's rich resources. For Africa is searching for a place in this “new international order" which should be free of uncertainty, selfish and hegemonistic ulterior motives and suspicious intentions.
The OAU, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, has been and continue to be the expression of the African identity and a force at the level of the continent. AAPSO salutes the efforts and achievements undertaken by this pan-African organization and underscores the importance of its role in the new circumstances and challenges confronting Africa so that the latter may lead its peoples with confidence into the third millennium.


* 25/5/1999

25 MAY - AFRICA DAY

Once again, Africa Day is commemorated, this year, with signs of despair. In the face of intransigence of tragic and unfortunate events (successive coups-d'etat; endless, ferocious inter- and intra-states wars; latent conflicts; confrontations related to concealed interests placed above national and genuine human interests), the Organization of African Unity (OAU) seems to be impotent despite tremendous efforts exerted-together with or without the United Nations-in order to control the situation aiming at establishing peace and security in Africa.
The OAU is facing enormous challenges. The thirst for power, the spirit of vengeance, undeclared intentions from within or outside the continent with respect to the immense resources engrained in African soil, the craze to procure sophisticated weapons, the growing burden of poverty aggravated by globalization, the negative impact of crises rampant elsewhere, all these are factors that fuel the upsurge of violence- we can say the culture of violence-literally invading the spirit and conscience of certain leaders in search for their own interests, slowing down the process of a certain democracy, that is either stillborn or simply serves as a facade.
Faced with such grave challenges, one should hope that the OAU will succeed in shaping the image of a united and strong Africa capable of restoring peace, security and stability for its populations torn by evils that undermine this great continent.
In this context, a more promising, commendable endeavour is being undertaken by some African leaders to mediate between warring countries (i.e., in Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of Congo.). These efforts are examples which tend to concretize what Africans can do themselves to solve the African problems without foreign interference. The same applies to other regional organizations like SADC, ECOWAS, IGAD..., which are more or less successful in their peace-making or peace-keeping missions. Such way of searching means to resolve conflicts should be encouraged and pursued in order to bring positive effect and must be considered as complementary to OAU's intervention instead of disengagement of the latter from its own mandate.
Equally more promising action, which OAU can be proud of, and which responds to the requirements of the present situation, remains the Mechanism for Prevention, Management and Resolution of conflicts, which the OAU is endeavouring to promote. Are African leaders really aware of the importance of utilizing such instrument? The OAU is desperately in need of resources to carry out its task. Certainly, national priorities impose their rules on the development of each country. But a sound and viable development will not be implemented in an atmosphere of insecurity and chaos.
In commemorating the last Africa Day of this century, AAPSO calls upon the good will of African leaders to collaborate together in order to project another image of Africa cured of its wounds, during the next millennium.


* 24/5/2001

25 MAY - AFRICA DAY

Some time from now ,we will be at a crossroad of deep change brought about by the African Union (AU) whose creation was, decided in Syrte (Libya) during an Organization of African Unity (OAU) Summit. So Africa will sail into a new era of its history.
Undoubtedly, the OAU will hand down its original spirit of unity and union to the new political African organization, turning the pages of somewhat unavoidable pitfalls that in some occasions tarnished its face and its reputation in the eyes of both Africans and the rest of the world. Nonetheless, the future African Union must imperatively take these into account. It is clear that the positive aspects of the OAU mandate indeed outweighed the negative ones, but we must confess that the negative aspects had nevertheless weighed heavily on the daily activities of this Pan-African Organization.
The mechanism of the latter sometimes misfired due to the lack of financial resources that forced it to fix unbearable limits for itself. Its nervous system suffered from a lack of political will on the part of Africans themselves, as they preferred to invest in arm deals with foreign forces.
Still worse, corruption worked havoc at the material and moral levels by reinforcing the poverty and misery of African populations to the great satisfaction of those who strongly wish that the crisis plaguing Africa at the present time that inter-African wars and conflicts might last indefinitely.
All this is topped by the insufficient or rather very regrettable lack of African representation in major international decision-making processes. Strongly marginalized, Africa is also bearing the brunt of its external debt.
The final assessment is a hard one: the OAU, considered as the expression of African political identity union, has been faced with evils that can be called crimes against African humanity: corruption, embezzlement of public funds, coup d'etat, terrorism, illicit traffickings, human rights violations, infringement of sovereignty and territorial integrity, destruction of the environment, factors that can break the unity of African peoples and that prohibit the authentic development of this continent that was ever and is incessantly coveted, from within as well as from without. What matters most is that Africans alone should be responsible for resolving their own problems, as a growing distrust is fed by rumours circulated outside the continent that one day a foreign military alliance would allow itself to intervene in any conflicts worldwide. For Africa, that would mean no less than to fill up the void resulting from the Africans' incapacity to fully and efficiently shoulder their responsibility.
The lesson to be learned from the OAU experience should be put at the top of the agenda of the future African Union. The latter, thus, will have a great deal to achieve. It must lend a careful ear to the legitimate aspirations and demands of the African peoples that globalization tends to leave out in abysses of misery and poverty. Will it succeed, as everyone hopes, in preserving the African identity, African cultures, African values; in perfecting the image of a united, integral Africa that can revive peace, security and stability for its citizens who are plagued by the evils that shame this great continent? This is the hope African peoples in general and the Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organization in particular harbour vividly.


* 22/5/2002

25 MAY, 2002 - AFRICA DAY

If set as scheduled, African Union is on the agenda this year.
A new era of the continent history is being opened stirring great hopes in the minds of Africans as well as that of the whole world; hopes that the problems afflicting Africa will find their solution even at the heart of African populations who are tired, traumatized by years of civil wars, conflicts of diverse origins with unforeseen consequences to their lives.
Looking objectively at the present situation, it is sad however to recognize that hopes for a bright future, at best in the foreseeable time, have been betrayed.
Along with civil wars and conflicts in some parts of the continent, social, economic, military and political disasters are affecting the image of the present Africa. Ethnic and religious confrontations, human right abuses of every kind, slavery, child trafficking, sexual exploitation and prostitution, child soldiers and working children, tortures, summary executions in defiance of all equitable justice, corruption and blackmail often used by high ranking officials, or carrying repressive operations all executed with total impunity. Moreover, the fight against terrorism is even used as a pretext to undertake actions against human rights defenders. Many resources are diverted to arms purchase instead of being invested in social needs, health care and education programs, to fight against poverty. The devastating effects of AIDS in Africa are a case, which should be dealt with as a matter of top urgency. So far, more than 17 million people have lost their lives to AIDS in Africa, leaving 12 million orphaned children behind, and this tragedy continues to be threatening. So will the negative effects of globalization, increasing the sufferings of many Africans already largely marginalized.
Entering into a new era with such chaotic and lamentable situation, Africa nonetheless has been registering positive signs of improvement in some areas of African life:
* The developments of the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo marked by the start of inter-Congolese dialogue have raised hope for a better perspective to the resolution of the conflict.
* The end of the twenty-seven-year bloody and long-standing wars in Angola has paved the way to peace and stability in the country.
* The launching of the "New Partnership for African Development" (NEPAD), now in the process of refinement in its final version, is seen as a major impetus toward efforts aimed at enhancing and reinforcing solidarity and cooperation among Africans and the rest of the world.
* The new initiatives of some big countries like China and Japan to contribute to the development of Africa have stirred hope for the reinforcement of African position in the international arena.
But the dimension of the challenges facing particularly the African Union has raised the question about its ability to meet the hopes and expectations of the African people. Another challenge to be taken into consideration by African Union will be to avoid the repetition of failures, shortcomings and setbacks experienced by its predecessor, the OAU, during its mandate.
Will African Union succeed?
Anyhow, on the Africa day, 25 may, and sincerely, we wish the African Union every success to live on in order to bring into reality the highly expected bright future with peace, stability, progress and prosperity.
The Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization salutes the newborn African Union and wishes it long live and best performance to meet the legitimate aspirations and demands of the African people.

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