Jump to navigation

Published 6th July 2007

Vol 48 No 14


Nkrumah's second coming

Fifty years after Ghana's leader mooted plans for a United States of Africa, the Accra summit replays the arguments without conclusion

Supporters of Ghana's founding President, Kwame Nkrumah, found the African Union summit in Accra on 1-3 July both a tribute and a huge frustration. Billed as the 'Grand Debate', it was meant to agree a vision of the future of the AU and of the basis for a political union. Stalwart pan-Africanists hoped the summit would discuss and develop Nkrumah's idea of Union Government and then decide definitively on the form and structure of that government, as well as the pace at which it should be built. However, the resulting 'Accra Declaration', released at midnight on 3 July, postponed all the big decisions and delegated further research to yet another study group, which is due to report at the next summit in January 2008.


Good week, bad year

While President Mugabe has been glad-handing his counterparts in Accra, political and security problems proliferate at home

It's been a good week for President Robert Mugabe in Ghana at the African Union summit. Away from the economic and political meltdown back home, he played elder statesman among the...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

AU summiteers in Accra referred only in passing to obstacles blocking efforts on peacekeeping and ending wars. AU Chairman Alpha Oumar Konaré questioned the Sudan government’s commitment to peace in Darfur. ‘It is important that Sudan ends the bombardments.’ President Omer el Beshir didn’t attend the summit, unconvincingly citing the death of an aide in Khartoum. Also absent was Somalia’s President Abdullahi Yusuf, to the frustration of the Somaliland government, whose Foreign Minister, Abdill...
AU summiteers in Accra referred only in passing to obstacles blocking efforts on peacekeeping and ending wars. AU Chairman Alpha Oumar Konaré questioned the Sudan government’s commitment to peace in Darfur. ‘It is important that Sudan ends the bombardments.’ President Omer el Beshir didn’t attend the summit, unconvincingly citing the death of an aide in Khartoum. Also absent was Somalia’s President Abdullahi Yusuf, to the frustration of the Somaliland government, whose Foreign Minister, Abdillahi Duale, had travelled to Accra for the summit. Abdillahi and his President Dahir Rayale Kahin are making good progress in winning support for the AU to recognise Somaliland. This year, Somaliland has strengthened ties with Ethiopia, which has traditionally been sceptical about Somaliland’s claims to independent statehood. From Mogadishu, President Abdullahi argues that the AU should take no decisions on the recognition of Somaliland before the outcome of Somalia’s national reconciliation conference. For the Hargeisa government, that is the pretext for more AU procrastination as international support grows sharply for the recognition of Somaliland – and another demonstration of the pressing short term agenda before the AU as it works out its longer term raison d’être.
Read more

Politics of the sieve

The government has been sitting on a multimillion dollar scandal at the Bank of Tanzania, waiting for it to erupt. It has.

The 'government will continue fighting against carelessness and make sure public servants deliver to the expectations of the wananchi [citizens] and the government'. While Presiden...


Economics of the sieve

Millions of dollars in revenue from natural resources slip past the government's coffers due to smuggling, a lack of administrative capacity and collusion with politicians. No less...


Books on the boom

Africa's oil boom has inspired three very different books, which investigate the links between the billions of petrodollars and the persistent poverty and oppression reigning in so many oil-rich states.

Africa produces far less than the Middle East: around 2.6 million barrels a day from Nigeria and close to 2 mn. b/d from Angola by the end of 2008, compared to Saudi Arabia's 9 mn....



Pointers

Brownie points

British engagement in Africa and aid levels will continue to rise under Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who took over from Tony Blair on 27 June, government sources told Africa Confid...


Bank robbery

Norwegian Development Minister Erik Solheim is determined to get the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to take more seriously the damage which corrupt pricing systems and ...


Long arms

On 22 June, a judge in Bordeaux, France, found Gabon's President Omar Bongo guilty of accepting a bribe to free French citizen René Cardona from gaol in 1996.