Tree of Eden

Summit takes African Union (AU) back to its roots BBC NEWS | Africa |

Posted in Uncategorized by T.Salami on July 3, 2009

“United you stand, Divided you fall”

Perhaps in attending this summit African leaders are showing some understanding of this phrase.

There are leaders and representatives from some 50 African countries, as well as guests from the international community.

The Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is here. One notable exception is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who cancelled at the last minute.

The theme of the conference is agriculture and how it might lead the continent to greater economic stability.

Africa is certainly in need of some revolutionary ideas…

…Far from the gleaming towers of Wall Street, the UN says it is the countries of sub-Saharan Africa that are now paying the highest price of the world’s economic slowdown.

Growth rates have been slashed as export revenues, remittances, commodity prices and aid budgets have all tumbled…

…Col Gaddafi thinks the long-term solution is unity – a federal government to speak out for all countries on the economy, on defence and foreign policy.

The bold ambitions he has set out for a United States of Africa would be modelled on the European Union, with one economic bloc, one currency, perhaps even one voice on the UN Security Council.

The rationale is sound. African countries have this peculiar trait of trading more with the outside world than they do between themselves. The trade barriers between them are often the biggest obstacle to building competitive economies of scale.

But there are many here who believe the Libyan leader’s ambitions are a pipe dream.

Perhaps they are not quite ready. According to the classics,

A LION used to prowl about a field in which Four Oxen used to dwell. Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they fell a-quarrelling among themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the Lion attacked them one by one and soon made an end of all four.

“UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL.”

BBC NEWS | Africa | Summit takes AU back to its roots.

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