From AU Monitor, the chairman of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, on Monday urged African governments and intellectuals to firmly commit themselves to African integration and make the people more aware in a bid to reach the goal.
‘It lies within the responsibility of governments and the intelligentsia of our continent to commit themselves to the awakening of our peoples’ consciences of all sectors of our societies for a general mobilisation to reach African integration,’ Mr Ping said at the opening of the symposium on the United States of Africa . The three-day meeting that will be followed on Thursday by a forum on world governance is hosted by Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar and the Senegalese government.
‘The Commission will carry on the efforts made to make the member states more aware of the need to speed up the African integration process, which is the only way to salvation and assertion of a strong, united and prosperous Africa,’ Mr ping said. According to him, North America, Europe and Asia developed thanks to the goodwill expressed by their political leaders, ‘but they took off too thanks to the involvement of their peoples who showed talent and competences’.
Ping expressed regret that the debate on the United States of Africa had not proved to be successful since 1963. ‘Actually, if we take into consideration the debate on the future of our continent since the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was transformed into an African Union (AU), one is inclined to think that there is not much development and that whenever the issue on the way to the political union has been raised, the debate always seems to stumble over the same divergences and the same questions.’
The symposium on the United States of Africa opened under the chairmanship of Senegalese president, Mr Abdoulaye Wade, in the presence of the executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (CEA), Abdoulie Diané, and several intellectuals from the continent and the Diaspora.