Africa’s integration: Abdou Diouf backs regional organisations

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Senegal’s former President, Abdou Diouf has called African leaders to revisit their approach on African integration and dwell on development agendas within the framework of regional sets and subsets.

The former Senegalese leader was recently speaking in Tunis in a seminar on "the improvement of African perspectives through regional integration and within the framework of globalization". Abdou Diouf who is the current Secretary-General of the Francophonie Organisation (OIF), believes that African countries do not seem to take full advantage of the regional sets and subsets potential’s as engines for Africa’s integration.

According to Diouf, "African leaders must delegate more powers to regional organisations in the African continent to help them ensure the success of regional integration". Diouf believes that "there cannot be any successful integration without a true will to entrust regional organisations such as Ecowas or SADEC". During the last African Union’s summit in Accra, African Heads of State were divided on the issue of African integration.

While the likes of President Muhammar El Ghaddafi backed the idea for an African government as an instrument for integration, others defended the strengthening of regional and sub regional organisations as the most effective yardstick to measure and progress towards political and economic integration. They believed that many sub regional organisations have done better in that direction than the African Union. Abdou Diouf’s analysis backs the likes of President Jammeh who did not go to Accra as he believed that some African states fear to subdue their authority to regional bodies on certain socio-political and economic matters.

"Certain African States are still reticent to empower regional organisations and allow them to ensure the success of the continent’s efforts towards economic integration" Diouf explained. According to him, a clear testimony of that trend is the failure in its endeavours of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

Abdou Diouf said he is "convinced that Africa will not succeed if African States continue to marginalise themselves by standing behind the fallacious heritage they call national sovereignty imposed on them to refuse African integration". The former Senegalese President said Africa needs regional integration more than ever. "It will help us reduce brain drain and other burning economic difficulties in Africa" Diouf concluded.

Source: The Daily Observer Newspaper