Members of the AU Commission, Fellow Africans, and Bilateral partners on the continent, my name is Matthew M. Fred from Liberia, a West African State is known for electing the first woman head of state on the continent. I am a Global Rights Activist and work with the Youth Against Tribalism In Africa (YATIA) a youth-led organization fostering unity, peace, growth and prosperity on the continent regardless of the tribe (ethnic background), geographical location, race, and religion. With sadness, regrets, disappointments and a feeling of exasperation, Matthew writes…
The recent xenophobic attacks on aliens and foreigners in South Africa need to be addressed, the rest of Africa has to show South Africa that she is still dependent on other African countries to boost her fast pacing economy. With South African businesses being the largest African-owned businesses around the continent cannot easily survive economically without the rest of the continent purchasing and be importing their products. We as humans depend on one another to survive, likewise, a nation’s dependency is on another through partnership and trade policy and collaborations to boost one another’s economy. South Africans knowingly lacked to exhibit the good leadership of one of Africa’s greatest heroes, Nelson Madiba Mandela, who inspired a lot of great people and nations around the world.
Asa Global Rights Activist, I believe this does not have to continue, and the rest of Africa must shun on this. The African Union as an organization must address this act of stupidity and discrimination. Africa cannot be fighting to grow her economy in order to minimize western dependency syndrome, a disease that is encouraging corruption, power-greed, dependency, and laziness, when, at the same time be discriminating against ourselves. We have to ensure that this ignorant act of madness and animosity that continues to be carried out by South Africans toward their fellow African brothers and sisters be abolished and never be repeated. This barbaric and unnatural behavior which has the propensity to create conflict and destabilize peace and livelihood in the southern region; also has the possibility of segregating and creating a generational hatred and envious scar from victims of the incident.
I believe that this is another form of tribalism because they are discriminating and humiliating against their fellow African Kinsmen of different tribes, countries, and regions. I also believe that this grudge and envy developed by South Africans toward their fellow African brothers and sisters also have the propensity to undermine and underpin the bilateral relationship that exists between the countries and people of Africa.
South Africans should know that without exporting their products to the rest of the continent, they would not have improved in their economic growth and development. They should not look down on their fellow Africans as an impediment to acquiring their jobs, growth, economic development, and livelihood, but rather the strength behind their economic power. What makes the West powerful is the diversity of people and the help of immigrants that make up its countries.
South Africans ensuring their diversity must understand not to humiliate and discriminate against their fellow Africans, regardless of tribe, color, region, and physical identities, but rather help build one another as one group of people.
One thing the African Union failed to realize over the years, is that they have forgotten to follow the principles and foundation on which it was founded. In order to curtail and address issues in the region, the AU must understand that it cannot do it along with the formulation of untimely and unreasonable policies that cannot sustain, maintain, and curtail issues in its member States, but rather increase and stir up issues in the region.
The AU also seemingly failed to understand that the issues surrounding the region cannot be addressed only by a group of commissioners, AU representatives, members and class of the African elites, but rather with a collective effort that needs the collaboration and consultation of the masses, the community, the local people and the commoners. The AU has to understand that the voices of these people have to be heard. The AU also needs to realize that to Unite, consolidate and govern a group of nations, the people first have to be united, because, without the people, there is no nation, there is no AU, there is no Africa, it is because of the people that these places and sects exist.
To form a city, you have to amalgamate towns and communities, to form a country, you have to amalgamate its geographical territories and regions, same as to amalgamate a continent that contains hundreds of cities, towns, regions, counties, communities, territories, and countries, it has to be with the full involvement of the very people that will inhabit it, uniting them should be the first priority. When the people understand they are of the same kind and from one region, they have a common solidarity and believe in one common objective; which I would term as seeing themselves developing and growing economically, and peacefully as one group of people with one voice.
Is the AU a Mouth talking Body?
The African Union (AU), a body founded by some of Africa most prestigious founding fathers with a dream, passion and an inspiration to unite the African Continent in order to spur economic growth, development, lasting peace, and unity among people of the same race. But however, since its inception in 2001, the African Union, which change to the Organization of African Unity (OAU), has tremendously failed to fully implement some of her many mouth-talking policies. In fact, its auxiliaries, like the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS), The Southern African Development Community, SADC, and the East African Community (EAC) are far better when it comes to improvement in their organizations and policies than that of the AU, and are creating, and restoring economic ties within their regions.
Over the years, the African Union has proven to be a political, social, and economic organization, with no impact, a total rhetoric, and take shop. The institution has failed to restore peace and unity on the continent, thus, helping to instill conflict and disunity by creating un-meaningful policies that do not have a triggered-down effect on the least common people who made up a vast majority of the continent.
They have failed to address the migrant crisis, which is causing thousands of Africans to illegally migrate to Europe in search of jobs and better living, to fully put a stop to the Xenophobic attitude in South Africa, to minimize Tribalism (Ethnic Discrimination) among the African Tribes, minimize poverty and hunger, implement the one passport system, implement the one money system, end long-standing conflicts in some of regions, etc.., but yet, begging for aid that has no impact on curtailing some of the key issues that affect the lives of majority of the citizens. The AU as a body of African Nations is 10 times richer, both in size, population and resources than the EU and received over $200 Billion annually in donor aid, and but yet continue to become beggars to the European Union, China, and the United States. The AU leaders lacked boldness and the courage to act on things placed on paper, hence, they are only good at writing policies that cannot be put into action.
On a majority scale, the African Union is unpopular and unknown in most indigenous parts of the continent, yet it has offices in its member states that have no impact and stride of its presence. The visionaries, Kwame Nkrumah, Muammar Kadafi and the rest of their colleagues should be angry by now in their graves for seeing their dream being transformed into an offering plate for westerners instead of holding onto and living the African Dream. Many may ask; “when will we live the African dream, can this generation allow us”? But the answer lies with the“Mouth-Talking Body”.
I believe that the Union has been unable to achieve tangible progress on its goals due to deep economic and political disagreements stemmed from a power-greed, tribalism, and being more biased, which starts from top to bottom. Many at times, youths from many AU nations dream of an Africa where they will not have to travel to Europe to get the best medical treatment, education, life, living their dream, but for tourism purposes, just as EU citizens traveled to the continent for leisure, tourism and vacation purposes. This can only happen when a group of old people who still follow the same corrupt trend of mouth talking start to act on policies. Africa must Unite, and yes we must! AU wake up, you are not an organization to implement projects, you are a government! You need to start executing the policies to stop ethnic discrimination, Civil conflicts, child marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, negotiating man-made viruses for money to her people, disuniting us, self-insufficiency, dependency, begging, and start working out the African Dream.
The African Union celebrated this year Africa Day on Thursday, 25th May. The formation of the African Union was aimed at fostering unity, peace, progress, and self-determination, but these ideas are yet to be realized fully across the continent. Referring to this year’s celebration, the African Union Commission repeated their paper ritual and collected Africa’s young people as an enormous resource for the continent’s development. It was in that regard that African Union Heads of State and Government declared the theme for 2017 as ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth’. But yet, young people constituting over 60% of the population tend to be the least at some point, most disadvantaged, marginalized and jobless on the continent.