If Africa succeeds in consolidating and developing the African Union (AU), it will make the continent more cohesive than ever before. Africa will be able to speak with one powerful voice in protecting and advancing its own interests.
The existence of a strong, independent, self-reliant and democratic AU leading to a United New Africa, which is sometimes referred to as the United States of Africa, will make it impossible for outside forces to continue to divide, manipulate, marginalise and exploit Africa.
Only a United New Africa can bring about stability and ensure that the vast resources of Africa are primarily used for the benefit of the people of Africa and not the opposite, which has been the case from colonial times to date.
Many African leaders--from Kwame Nkrumah to Muammar Gaddafi--have contributed greatly and so selflessly to African liberation and to the development of African unity which has now resulted in the formation of the AU. These leaders must be applauded by all people who want to see Africa unite, develop, prosper and gain its rightful and dignified place in the world.
The AU will be a very different entity from the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which it replaced. First, the main objectives of the two entities are different.
The primary objectives of the OAU were to support liberation movements, and to mobilise Africans and friends of Africa internationally to fight against colonialism, and for African colonies to gain their independence. This was achieved under OAU leadership. Therefore, in terms of its main objectives, the OAU was a great success.
The aim of the AU is to lead an intensified, well co-ordinated and sophisticated struggle against neo-colonialism and for the total unification, democratisation and the development of Africa and its peoples globally.
This will be done through the second liberation of Africa, which must be unequivocally based on Pan-Africanism. The first liberation was led and co-ordinated by the OAU; the second liberation will now be led and co-ordinated by the AU.
These two organisations with different objectives and belonging to two periods in history could not have the same organisational structure.
The second liberation is also equally about fighting for the re-structuring and the democratisation of the current and unjust system of international relations, including its institutions and the international trading regime which are all totally unfair to developing countries and are in...