Many of those who will read this will find the title of this discourse to be an attempted derision of AU's influence in Africa and the world. However, I will like us to know that this is not the point I am trying to put across. I am not trying to mock the successes chopped by AU on such an august occasion in it's existence, neither am I trying to doubt the capability and competence of the people running the ORGANIZATION. This is just a simple reflection of AUs influence in Africa, then we can talk about the world.
During the first quarter of the year (2011), the Continent (Africa) has witnessed an eruption of happenings; from the South, the black people in SA being given the opportunity to create wealth for themselves, to the North, Sudan divided into two distinct nations, garnished by the Egyptian and Libyan Revolutions; while the West has seen Gbabo's government ousted, just like some great dictators who have had their empires taken away from them by the governed (of course these were all by kind courtesy of our special friends from 'outside'). I am proud to say that the AU watched all the proceedings of these events on CNN, Al Jazeera and BBC. While they waited for our 'friends' to say something (I can hear somebody say watching it on TV is safer).
There is a wind of change blowing over the continent, yet I see no change with heart of the continent as I choose to call them. Perhaps, the Assembly of Head of States deem it a time for sober reflection when they see the fellow colleagues losing their seat of government to alleged hooligans. As the Akan proverb puts it, "WHEN YOU SEE YOUR FRIEND'S BEARD ON FIRE, FETCH SOME WATER AND PUT IT BY YOUR SIDE." All I heard from the AU was what they were going to do, that they never did (this is why we have our friends from 'outside'). The denotative implications of the name African Union is a "United States of Africa". So that we can experience continental growth (using Regional blocks like EU and NATO examples. We all know why we cannot talk about ECOWAS in this regard)
Nine (9) years after its establishment, I am yet to see or hear the Union stamping its authority in the Continent (Please let us not even think about the world yet when we have not been able to deal with our own backyard issues). To me, I do not see anything worth celebrating when I cannot foresee Africa uniting under one voice any time soon. We have numerous disjointed interests in the various blocks in the Continent: Southern countries fighting for independence withing the country itself, we have 'rulers for life' meting out human rights abuses, we have those who are trying to establish an independent country, free from Western influence (here, we are talking about religious interests as well) and we also have those who are trying to spend a common currency. The AU was here on this Continent and it took France, Britain, North America and Nato (our beloved friends from outside) to fight our battles for us. Just look at how powerful we are. I am amazed at the AMOUNT of 'power' adorning us.
Some may argue, "but they have been contributing troops to all these warfare." Well, when was the last time you heard about the 'great rescue orchestrated by AU troops', or ' you heard someone scream, "OMG! I did not know that AU had such fine soldiers, look at how expediently they dealt with the Libyan, or better still, the Ivory Coast issue'. When was the last time you were dazzled by the contributions of AU in the world. Yet we cause financial loss to our State by declaring 'AU DAY' as a holiday in this country. It is appalling! (At least for now till there is something worth celebrating)
I am not belittling humble begins, but I believe the reason why OAU was dissolved was because we needed a formidable International Institution run by Africans for Africa. One that could exert force and make things happen to change the fate of Africa with respect to the world affairs. What I see, read, and continually hear, concerning the Continent and the Institution that represents it in the world is laughable. Nobody really cares about AU or what they say; if they did, we would also get a permanent seat in the UN, then I would have agreed that our voice mattered somewhat. The reason this is so is simple: African Leaders can hardly speak out against each other because they are all brothers and sisters lying in the same bed. Ghana cannot, and should not, be a part of this 'no show'. We should have better things to celebrate in this country. WE DON'T WANT CELEBRATIONS THAT CAUSE FINANCIAL LOSS TO THE STATE. So this is my little homily for the incumbent President.
To the next President of the Nation, (since there are talks of changing the Yutong bus driver), please, spare the country the cost and burden of celebrating an empty Institution. However, let us keep believing that tomorrow, the ant will tell the lions, lie on their back and they will have no choice than to do so. Let us not celebrate AFRICAN UNION when all I see around me is 50 something countries pursuing their own agenda. I rather we celebrate 'Africa Unbecoming' day; at least, that sounds meaningful.
P.S. : AU, PLEASE WAKE UP, LET US FEEL YOUR PRESENCE IN THE CONTINENT!