African states struggle over citizens' welfare- AU Commission chief

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat said in spite of its huge economic potential, and its rich, young and dynamic human resources, most African countries struggle to cater for the welfare of their populations.

In a speech delivered in connection with the celebration of the 57th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity now the African Union, Mahamat on Monday said key sectors such as education, health and security are largely dependent on foreign aid. 

“Communitarianism and tribalism have become more marked due to multiparty systems and democratic principles that have oftentimes been perverted” he pointed out.

He said ranging from open crises, caused by terrorism and inter-tribal or inter-religious conflicts to post-electoral crises, Africa is constantly beset by scenes of violence, fragility and uncertainty over the future.

“As Chairperson of the African Union Commission, one of whose key commitments is to silence the guns on the Continent, I am deeply touched by the sight of the current events in Libya, one of the founding members of the OAU, and the principal initiator and proponent of the African Union. The tragedy being played out in this country is of profound concern to us all. No-one is blameless in the failure, neither is any segment of the international community, which has a great responsibility in the persistence or even escalation of the conflict,” he said.

Against this mixed backdrop, Mahamat however believes there are some glimmers of hope, in so far as there is great determination to overcome the odds, and immense resources to break the cycle of dependency and poverty. 

Positive developments and new impetus, as well as fierce determination, and spectacular results, have continued to emerge and pave the way forward, he said.

He added: "Regional organizations are being established, while continental flagship projects such as the AfCFTA are on the right track. The continent’s economic integration, another founding aspiration of our peoples, is now within reach. The emergence of the continent is certainly feasible. However, the ardent wish of the peoples of Africa, particularly the youth, is that leadership and governance invest greater efforts to ensure that Africa gives and avails itself of its best".

Mahamat said a more Africanist vision of this leadership, focusing on common and binding strategic objectives, will be required if Africans are to pursue the legitimate aspirations of the youth and the founding fathers of the continental organisation.

“The reform of the African Union is intended to provide the commission with appropriate legal and policy resources to become an effective instrument for the achievement of priority actions, the essence of which is reflected in Agenda 2063. Our common ambition, that of our leaders and hundreds of millions of Africans, is to advance with greater force and resolve towards this horizon” he added.

According to the chairperson, the coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the entire world as has rarely been seen, has destroyed certainties, undermined assurances, and shattered most of the continent’s beliefs. 

Right from the onset the pandemic, much to the surprise of those who have always belittled the continent, Africa mobilized itself. 

A continental response strategy was developed and implemented promptly.


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