By David Nyekorach Matsanga
Today marks 22 years since the departure of one of the founding fathers of OAU or later renamed AU Julius Mwalimu Nyerere. It was a sad moment for the entire Africa. Most of us who benefited from his wisdom still mourn a HERO.
On this day I have decided to put down some notes and facts about the DEATH of AFRICAN UNION . I might not be able to see a better AU like others who have gone ahead of me but I feel I should put down some facts that will be used for history. Today many African countries are either under siege from external forces that are paying military officers to take over governments or there are conditions in Africa which have allowed the return of military coups .
I see an Africa captured by the George Soros and by outfits of external intelligence systems. Several of my favorite countries in Africa Kenya , Zimbabwe are grappling with many internal sponsored JUDICIAL ACTIVISM which could culminate into regime change . The Judiciary in these two countries have been infiltrated by dark forces using Civil society to CAPTURE POWER. The very fact that the Judges in Kenya have demonstrated that they can stop almost everything including SLEEP in this beautiful country is the most worrying phenomena for researchers to find out in Africa. In Kenya almost everything the President does in a good way has been stopped by a rogue judiciary.
My African Comrades in Zimbabwe the NGOs of George Soros based in neighbouring countries have infiltrated the Zimbabwe Judiciary through agents of CIA and others agencies to create a crisis in that nation that has suffered under sanctions USA for longtime.
The bad elements who want to dictate what the Judiciary should do and look like in a nation which they have demonized for several years . It is very surprising to hear a USA Ambassador in Zimbabwe ordering the Zimbabwean Government to conduct elections by hook or crook even when the there dead bodies on the Streets of the cities , villages and towns of this nation . Such undiplomatic ventures create coups in Africa.
WHERE IS THE AU AND WHY IS IT SILENT WHEN THESE TRIGGERS APPEAR?
My African Comrades , you may recall that in 2018 we published our investigative report and February 2019 we published another report. All these reports pointed at a CAPTURED AU and today in 2021 we have been vindicated as AU is DEAD or about to DIE. It is sad for Africa to watch an organization that our great founding fathers left die in our hands. I want to be among those who will expose the dangers of an ailing organization AFRICAN UNION. Africa today is full of rumors of troops wanting to take power from the democratically elected governments. This reminds us of the return of coups of the Post-colonial Africa in the 60s. What went wrong with AU?
Read more about my past reports on AU by visiting our website www.panafricanforumltd.org.
Fellow Africans, following the release of our second dossier on February 8, 2019, two days before the AU ordinary summit on 10-11 February 2019, a series of crisis management meetings were held at AU Headquarters, in Addis Ababa. One of the outcomes of those panicky confabulations was an initiative by the then Chief of Staff, El Ghassim Wane AU , to hurriedly arrange a meeting between the Chairperson of the Commission and the authorities of one or more foreign powers other than France. The strategic public relation objective was to divert and bamboozle public opinion and deceive Africans into believing that the current AU leadership is not working for France. AU is more visible in Paris than Ethiopia Addis Ababa.
My Comrades, on February 22, 2019, the Chairperson of AU Moussa Faki Mahamat received the former United Kingdom’s Minister for Africa, Mrs Harriett Baldwin. They discussed AU-UK ‘strategic partnership’ and after that the Chairperson got an invitation to visit United Kingdom London later that year to discuss many issues affecting Africa.
Then after that came the unusually long, tortuous press release on the meeting that fooled neither the British nor the Pan African Forum (UK)Ltd . But given the difference between the ones he meets when he visits Paris this was a good try,but just a little clumsy. That is what we have termed as cover up for the bad administration in the AUC which he leads. The rot in AU begins with the AUC chairperson himself.
My Comrades , since the release of our intelligence reports regarding the AU in 2018 and 2019, several significant and relevant political, diplomatic, security and socioeconomic developments on African continent have been noticed . These events include elections in many African countries, military coups, assassinations of Presidents , as well as constitutional amendments in many countries. However, considering their potential impact on the pace and trajectory of Africa’s agenda for Africa, the following events emerged as being among the most significant in the continent since the last AU summit: 1) The intensification of the conflict in Libya and the ongoing battle for the capital Tripoli; 2) The Peaceful Revolution in Algeria; and 3) Regime Change in Sudan the recent killing of Chad President Idris. We shall return to these events later.
Fellow Africans First, allow me as the Founder and CEO of the Pan African Forum, to make a quick comment on a crisis that breaks my heart, an unnecessary crisis that has been described by the Norwegian Refugee Council and other humanitarian organizations as the worst and most rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian catastrophe in Africa; one of three African crises that, by his own admission, keep US Under-Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, awake every night, namely, the conflict in Southern Cameroons (the other two being Somalia and South Sudan).
During the period under review, we have noted with profound concern and deep regret the continuing deterioration of the security, human rights and humanitarian situation in the former British Southern Cameroons (Ambazonia), and the continuing inaction of the AU on this conflict. The silence of the AU prompted a non-African state, the United States, to convene and chair an informal meeting of the UN Security Council, in New York, on Monday May 13, 2019, to discuss the worsening crisis in Southern Cameroons.
My Comrades, where are African solutions to Africa’s problems, if it takes the United States of America to initiate an international discussion on Africa’s worst humanitarian catastrophe, the crisis in Southern Cameroons? Where is the African Union of Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat? If we Africans do not solve our own problems, we will continue to be treated like infants and others will continue to legitimately interfere in African affairs. We only have ourselves to blame for that. Africa’s inaction on Southern Cameroons created a vacuum that the United States felt obliged to stepped in and fill. We live in a global, interconnected and interdependent world. What happens in Cameroon does not only affect Cameroon and Africa, it affects the whole world. As a global power, the United States has the responsibility to act if Africa choses to look the other way while Southern Cameroonians are being slaughtered by the genocidal forces of an evil senile octogenarian bloody dictator who is in his fourth decade in power.
My fellow Africans, the Pan African Forum strongly urges the United States and other countries to go beyond convening a UN Security Council meetings on Southern Cameroons. Under the doctrine of humanitarian intervention, the United States and other powers should intervene to stop the bloodshed in Southern Cameroons. The people of Southern Cameroons may never forgive the African Union for turning its back on them, just as the Tutsi of Rwanda will never forgive Africa and the international community for doing nothing to prevent or stop the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, the European Union, the Republic of South Africa and other major international actors have the gratitude and carry the hopes of the people of Southern Cameroons, since the AU and Africa have so far let Southern Cameroonians down.
THE TROUBLED NORTH AFRICA: LIBYA MALI, AND SUDAN
My Comrades ,Pan African Forum (UK) Ltd has extensively reported and commented on the ongoing Genocide in Southern Cameroons and other recent developments in the continent on our various media platforms, especially our online television channel Punchline Africa TV. So, we will not regurgitate in this dossier past analyses on these events. Suffice here to reiterate Africa’s warm congratulations, encouragement and support to the People of Algeria and Sudan, in particular the Youth, for taking their destinies into their own hands and peacefully initiating regime change, with the help of their gallant armed forces.
My Comrades, whether or not the demonstrations, military coups , assassinations of Presidents, notably in former French speaking countries , are orchestrated and funded by invisible hands from abroad, and whether or not events in either or all countries are part of a wider agenda by nebulous non-African forces, as some have suggested, only time will tell. However, one message seems very clear from Algeria and Sudan, Mali , Guinea, Chad the same message we all received across the continent , that Africans are sick and tired of moribund regimes that eternalize themselves in power with mediocre governance and human development results. Enough is enough!
We understand the challenges of Western-style democracy in Africa. But governments must deliver services, jobs and a better quality of life for their people, especially Youth and Women, or make way for alternative politics and policies more adapted to the 21st Century. Ethiopia, Algeria , Sudan, Guinea and Mali have demonstrated that Africa’s youth are fed-up; they have had enough of corrupt regimes that do not really care about their people. Africa’s much talked-about demographic dividend does not seem to have materialized in most of the continent. Africa’s demographic dividend is turning into a demographic time bomb, whose controlled explosion in the above few mentioned countries may be a sign of things to come elsewhere in Africa.
We as Pan Africanists were particularly disappointed by deposed President Omar el-Bashir of Sudan. I and others fought very hard against the International Criminal Court (ICC) when the court indicted President Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. We told the ICC in no uncertain terms to stay out of Africa’s business. We argued that international conventions grant legal and diplomatic immunity to all sitting heads of state, and the ICC should not be used by some Western powers to belittle, ridicule and make a mockery of Africans.
However, at the end, President Bashir turned out to be just another African thief in high office, who was quite happy to use us to protect himself and his ill-gotten wealth. The revelation that tons of cash, more than a hundred million US dollars (in US currency and Sudanese Pounds), the Sudanese people’s money, was found in President Bashir’s home, was shameful and devastating. What is wrong with us Africans? Why are we so greedy? Why is it so hard for us to put the public interest first? What is a childless man like President Bashir doing with so much cash in his home? What about the unemployed young Sudanese and starving peasants who cannot afford a loaf of bread? What is wrong with us Africans?
While our stance on the ICC remains unchanged, we hope that other corrupt Africans in high office will finally smell the coffee, wake up and realize that, in the words of US President Abraham Lincoln, “You can fool all the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all the time, but you can never fool all the people all the time.” You may get away with corruption for a while, but you and those close to you will never be able to peacefully and sustainably enjoy the fruits of your thievery. You will be hunted down and smoked out. That is just how God designed His universe. Ask former President Ben Ali of Tunisia and his wife Laila. Ask late President Mobutu of Zaire. Ask late President Sani Abacha of Nigeria. Ask Isabella Dos Santos of Angola… That is why some African leaders and their cronies want to die in power, because they fear that their crimes, greed and corruption would be exposed if they stepped down.
Many corrupt Africans have just found out, what goes up must ultimately come down; which is called divine retribution, natural justice or the law of political gravity. It is much better to live a simple and honest life like former President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania who always put his people, Africa and humanity first. When he voluntarily stepped down from power in 1985 after 20 years in office, his people celebrated (and continue to celebrate) him and built a retirement house for him and his family. Because of their father’s integrity, Nyerere’s children and grandchildren are today proud and free citizens of Tanzania, Africa and the world. Let us follow Julius Nyerere’s example.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REGION:
After the recent coups , expert observers are now focused on regime change in several countries in the Central African region, beginning with Cameroon. (My stance on the conflict in Southern Cameroons and my views on President Paul Biya are well known. I can hardly wait to see Biya go. Biya must go. His departure from power will be a great day for Africa. Paul Biya is an embarrassment to Africa and a stain on the conscience of this continent.) The clock is ticking, and the sooner the leaders of Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and other countries in the region initiate and accelerate managed transitions, the better off their families, their citizens and the whole continent would be.
Since a French-led coalition assassinated Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, Libya continues to be a mess. The country has become a Mecca for human trafficking and a favorite transit point for terrorists fleeing from the collapsed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. As AU Peace and Security Commissioner Smail Chergui pointed out a few days ago, foreign powers continue to play strategic geopolitical games with the lives and future of the Libyan people, with painful destabilizing spillover effects on the Grand Sahel and the rest of the continent. In pursuance of its national interests, especially its border security, Egypt has propped up Genera Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi, while Qatar has continued to fuel the conflict by pumping money and weapons into Libya.
The ongoing attempt by General Haftar to capture the Libyan capital Tripoli and bring the whole country under his control, has broken the fragile peace and plunged the country back into a bloody civil war which has already claimed almost a thousand lives. Despite emergency visits to Libya by the African Union leadership, the AU appears to be completely impotent, as it was when Gaddafi was ousted and murdered by French President Sarkozy. It is sad to note that in the 21st Century, Africa is watching helplessly as foreign powers, once more, use its territory to advance their international agendas.
Professor PLO Lumumba has repeatedly sounded the alarm bells and tried to raise awareness among Africans by reminding us that when Africa was partitioned at the Berlin Conference in 1884, Africans were not at the dinner table, except as the main dish. Over a century later, history seems to be repeating itself; Africa is again absent, except on the menu. More than 130 years since the Berlin Conference, nothing seems to have changed. What is wrong with us Africans? What is the use of the African Union? Where is the AU on Libya? Where is the AU on Southern Cameroons?
My Comrades, collective self-preservation is a defining characteristic of every group of human beings, except Africans. Even in the animal kingdom, each species is capable of identifying, defending and advancing its collective self-interests. In order to survive, lions hunt together. Back to humans, when US President Donald Trump talks about putting America first, he is not making a revolutionary statement of political philosophy, he is simply stating an obvious natural law. Others do it, put their country first; they just don’t say it as openly as former President Trump whose candor upsets hypocrites. The Pan African Forum respects and appreciates President Trump’s sincerity. As a Pan African Think Tank, the Pan African Forum expresses the hope that Africans will learn to put Africa first and stand together up for Africa.
In the 1980s we all read a book titled “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”. It was a popular book among leftist intellectuals on Western university campuses and African nationalists. But the premise of that book is false. It is not the responsibility of Europe or others to develop Africa. That would go against nature. There is no example in history of one people developing another people in the interest of those being developed. Europe, China, India, Russia are all doing what is in their best interests. They go where they need to go to get the resources they lack at home to develop themselves (labor = slavery; capital = the Marshal Plan; natural resources = colonialism and post-colonialism). Wake up, Africa! Europe will never develop Africa. China will never develop Africa. Africa must develop Africa.
FRANCE – AFRICA
In our second intelligence report about AUC and its operations, we highlighted the words of Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, who in January 2019 strongly criticized France for creating misery in Africa through its continuing economic and political colonial stranglehold on its African (ex)-colonies. In his widely reported comments, Mr Di Maio called on the European Union to impose sanctions on France for its policies in Africa:
The EU should impose sanctions on France and all countries like France that IMPOVERISHED Africa and make these people (migrants) leave, because Africans should be in Africa, not at the bottom of the Mediterranean. If people are leaving Africa today it’s because European countries, France above all, have never stopped colonizing dozens of African countries… France is one of those countries that by printing money for 14 African states prevents their economic development and contributes to the fact that the refugees leave and then die in the sea or arrive on our costs… If Europe wants to be brave, it must have the courage to confront the issue of decolonization in Africa.
This was a straight talk, with no diplomatic ice cream, from a European statesman to his peers and fellow Europeans, and to the whole world at large. Ali Mazuri, Franz Fannon, Ahmed Ben Bella, Modibo Keita, Thomas Sankara, Ruben Um Nyobe, Patrice Lumumba, Kenneth Kaunda or Sekou Toure could not have said it any better. We hope that the message was heard loud and clear, and that appropriate action will soon follow.
In this report and document, we shall continue to shine more light on France’s destructive Africa policy which is driving young Africans, the strongest and bravest of our children, to watery graves at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea or into modern day slavery abroad. Our straight talker for this dossier is a courageous African woman who agrees completely with the Italian Deputy Prime Minister, and also prefers to eat her meals without diplomatic ice cream.
My Comrades I want to thanks comrade Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao MD , a proud daughter of Africa from the Republic of Zimbabwe, whose appointment as the African Union Ambassador to the United States of America by Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, shortly before Dr Zuma left the AU in early 2017 was the best thing that happened to Africa. Prior to her appoint, Dr Chihombori Quao was a member of the African Diaspora, living and practicing medicine in the United States. Her biographical note is important to understand the candor and forthrightness of this great African lioness; she is not “hungry” and her service to Africa is just that “service”, with passion and compassion for her people.
In April 2019, in a short online video that quickly went viral, Dr Chihombori Quao, who is very active on social media, did not mince words. Like the Italian Deputy Prime Minister, she categorically reaffirmed that France is responsible for much of the poverty, insecurity and chaos in Francophone Africa today. Here are excerpts from that video and other statements and interviews by the African Union Ambassador to the United States, Dr Arikana Chihombori Quao:
As a condition for granting independence to its Black African colonies, France made them sign a ‘Pact of Decolonization’. In that Pact, the African countries were told “You have to pay Colonial Debt.” What is Colonial Debt? France said “We brought you education. We built a few roads. We taught you how to eat with spoon and fork (civilization)… You owe us for all that. That is ‘Colonial Debt’. You (unintelligent, disorganized, dirty, stinky Negroes) are going to pay Colonial Debt for perpetuity.” And the French were not joking. Till today, Francophone African countries are still paying ‘Colonial Debt’.
France also said “We will manage your money for you (stupid monkeys). All your money will be printed in France and much of your bank reserves will be kept in France. We will invest your bank reserves in international financial markets in our name and we will pocket the interests and dividends. Your countries may or may not know how much in bank reserves we are holding (for you?) or what the returns are.
The natural resources (oil, minerals, timber, etc.) of your countries, known and yet to be discovered, France will have the first right of refusal. French companies will do the mining, run the oil rigs and manage the seaports of your country. All major projects in your country, private or public, French companies will have the first right of refusal and African companies will only get contracts that French companies do not take… And there is nothing that you (semi-evolved Apes) can do about it. We brought you civilization and you need to show some gratitude to your benevolent Masters by paying your Colonial Debt without grumbling or complaining…”
The Pact for the continuation of colonization is still in the books today, remains the law of the land in Francophone Black Africa, sixty years after ‘independence’. It is called “Cooperation Agreements” (Les Accords de Coopération) between France and its African former colonies. If any Francophone African leader even thinks about complaining or changing the Colonial Pact, France will squeeze them financially by printing less money or simply organize a coup d’état in that country to overthrow the leader and replace him with a more obedient ‘Boy’. Most of these countries import their food from abroad and that can also be used as a weapon to create hunger riots.
That is the situation in most Francophone African countries today. African unity is the only hope for our Francophone brothers and sisters and for all Africans. Africa needs to wake up. (The people of French-speaking Africa – from Togo to Cameroon, from Mali to Burundi, from Burkina Faso to Djibouti, from Comoros to the Central African Republic – they are all crying out for help to liberate them from France). Francophone Africa needs to (and wants to) come together – with the support of the entire continent – to let France know that the colonial arrangement cannot continue.
The corruption money taken out of Africa by African elites – about fifty billion US dollars per annum – is peanuts compared to the wealth France is stealing from its African colonies. France’s post-colonial theft from Africa is estimated at five hundred to six hundred billion US dollars every year. This cannot be allowed to continue. Africa must renegotiate its relationship with its former colonizers, France in particular. But in order to do so, we Africans must first decolonize our minds. By dealing with France as individual countries, Africa can never win. We are failing our children and grandchildren.
The Pan African Forum agreed entirely with Ambassador Chihombori Quao. She has our full support. Africa is watching, just in case the French foreign intelligence agencies decide to try some of their usual dirty games against her.
My comrades, it is regrettable that nearly sixty years after independence, Africans are still being treated by their former colonizers as if they were infants. France and others should realize that such a win-lose relationship is not sustainable. Someday Africans will rise up and say: ‘Enough is enough! We are tired of being exploited. We are tired of living poor in the midst of such enormous God-given wealth. Things must change now, whatever the cost.’ That day is near and when it does come, there will be little, very little that France and her surrogates will be able to do to stop the course of history.
Therefore, it is in the best interest of France and other former colonizers to negotiate the terms of a new relationship with Africa, while negotiation is still the main option on the table. Let us learn from history. Change is inevitable. Two centuries ago, who would have thought that slavery in America would end? Half a century ago, who would have thought that apartheid in South Africa would end? But the slave trade and apartheid did end. And so will FRANCE – AFRICA HOW THE LOOTING HURTS MORE: . So let us all be reasonable and treat each other like grown-ups. Let France and Africa negotiate a mutually respectable and mutually beneficial relationship. Let us talk about these issues while it is still possible to talk.
I am concerned that the next generation of Africans will not be as patient as the first two post-independence generations. As we have seen in Southern Cameroons, Ethiopia, Algeria and Sudan, Africa’s youth are becoming fed-up with the status quo. They are becoming more radicalized and desperate for change. We all know that a desperate person is a dangerous person. A desperate person has already died on the inside. A desperate person is like the biblical Lazarus; s/he has already died to himself/herself, so nothing scares him/her. A desperate person has nothing to lose except life, and when ‘life sucks’ death loses its sting. It was this Lazarus syndrome that defeated the United States in Vietnam fifty years ago. It has defeated them in Afghanistan . France got what she got in Algeria half a century ago, because of this same Lazarus syndrome. Some analysts are suggesting that North Mali is France’s Afghanistan. If France does not change its Africa policy, Africa could become France’s Vietnam.
I am not a prophet, but what I see coming in future – if the type deception, corruption, looting and theft of Africa continue – what I see coming does not look good. The time for peaceful change is now. Tomorrow may be too late. We do not need more blood on Africa’s streets; Africans have shed enough blood. Let nobody say that they were not forewarned. A word to the wise is sufficient.
MY LETTER TO THE NEXT AUC CHAIRPERSON
I listened to a speech by one of the great ladies in Africa. On Sunday, 26 January 2014, during a ministerial retreat of the African Union (AU) Executive Council, held in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma ,the then Chairperson of the AU Commission, shared her vision of “The Africa we Want”, in a letter from the future, creatively written in 2063 and addressed to a virtual African named Kwame. In her aspirational assessment of one hundred years of Pan-African progress under the umbrella of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) / African Union (AU), Chairwoman Zuma wrote:
Who would have thought that the dream of Kwame Nkrumah and his generations, when in 1963 they called on Africans to unite or perish, would one day become reality? At the beginning of the 21st century, we used to get irritated with foreigners when they treated Africa as one country… But, the advancing global trend towards regional blocs, reminded us that integration and unity are the only way for Africa to leverage its competitive advantage.
In fact, if Africa was one country in 2006, we would have been the 10th largest economy in the world. However, instead of acting as one, with virtually every resource in the world (land, oceans, minerals, energy) and over one billion people, we acted as 55 small and fragmented individual countries. The bigger countries that should have been the locomotives of African integration failed to play their role at that time, and that is part of the reason it took us so long.
If Dr Dlamini Zuma’s dream, of a strong, integrated, peaceful and prosperous Africa that speaks with one voice is to become reality by 2063 or anytime soon, many things will need to change at the AU. In the third of our series of investigative reports on governance at the AU, we examine the workplace culture at the Commission. Borrowing from Chairwoman Dlamini Zuma’s format of a letter from the future, we thought it interesting to present Part Three of our investigative dossier in the form of a letter to the next (though not yet known) AUC Chairperson.
NEW AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION CHAIRPERSON MUST BE A WOMAN
Now I turn to anybody who will become AUC chairperson.
I address you Africans because I presume that the next Chairperson will be a woman. Considering the damage that all-male leadership has done to Africa and the AU; in light of the sexual harassment scandals that have rocked the AU Commission; in view of the gender parity and rotation provisions of the decisions of the 11th AU Extraordinary Summit on institutional reforms, held in Addis Ababa in November 2018; and aware of the necessity for a rapid and radical amelioration of the governance of the AU through profound change in the workplace culture; it is safe to presume that African leaders will see the wisdom in choosing a woman to take over from Moussa Faki Mahamat, as Chairperson of the AU Commission.
To be more precise, the OAU/AU has been headed exclusively by men since it was founded in 1963, with the brief exception of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma who served as AUC Chairperson from 2012 to 2017. Gender parity.
The workplace culture at the AU Commission can partly be explained by the fact that for way too long the organization was headed by men, who often saw themselves as all-powerful and untouchable, and acted as they pleased with complete impunity. El Ghassim Wane was the poster boy for this style of leadership. The men who put in place the current workplace culture at the AU saw the organization as a hunting ground for vulnerable women in search of high-paying jobs; and they took full advantage of these women.
In all fairness, in the course of our investigation, we have not come across any evidence to suggest that the current Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat is guilty of taking advantage of AUC female staff under his supervision. On this issue, the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson and all the male Commissioners are clean. But the Chairperson allowed his Chief of Staff to get away with bad behavior. The Pan African Forum commends Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat for reacting promptly to our revelations and sacking his Chief of Staff. We hope that the Chairperson has learned his lesson. He must now fully support and empower the Deputy Chairperson and the new Chief of Staff to work together to begin cleaning up the Commission.
But ultimately, we believe that women will have to take over the AU and change the organization’s administrative culture. Female leadership may not be the panacea for the many ills that plague the AU, but given what male leadership has done to the continental organization in the last half century, why don’t we try female leadership for the next 50 years and see what happens?
Yes, I am proposing something more radical than gender parity and rotation; I am proposing affirmative restorative gender balance, equity and justice, as one of the solutions to the many problems bedeviling the AU. If that makes me a feminist, then I am quite happy to wear the hat. I have arduously and relentlessly fought for gender balance, equity and justice in the public sectors of several African countries. In nearly sixty years of independence, Africa has elected only two women Heads of State: Joyce Banda of Malawi and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.
Perhaps Africa would be more peaceful and better governed if it had more women in leadership. I have no theoretical or empirical evidence to support this proposition. I do not need any. Men did not wait for theoretical or empirical evidence to prove their ability or lack thereof to govern. They just took charge, and see what a mess they have made of the continent – corruption, poverty and conflict are almost everywhere. It is time for women to take over leadership in Africa. Consistent with that line of thought, I believe that the AU should lead on this issue. Let women run the AU for the next fifty years, then we can begin gender rotation every five or ten years. Think about it before the next summit.
I will now proceed with my letter, safe in the assumption that the next AUC Chairperson will be a woman of demonstrated ability, focus, determination, integrity and unquestionable pan-African commitment. When that happens, the United Nations – which has never had a female Secretary-General since its creation in 1945 – and other international organizations would learn from the AU. Many developed and developing countries around the world are learning from Rwanda that empowering women is good for politics, good for economics and good for society in general.
I end my letter here for history to Judge me. Congratulations on your brilliant election as the second woman to ascend to the high and unique continental office of Chairperson of the AU Commission. I join millions of Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora to celebrate your election. You are the pride of Africa and you carry the hopes and dreams of more than one billion Africans who look to the AU for leadership in harnessing the enormous potential of the continent to create and enhance conditions for peace, fulfilled lives, prosperity and the pursuit of happiness.
As Africa celebrates this special moment in its history – your election – allow me to temper the enthusiasm and excitement by drawing your attention to the enormity of the task that awaits you. You are taking over the AU Commission at a time when the organization is engaged in a reform process that is expected to transform it into a leaner, cleaner, more efficient, more imaginative and self-financing modern bureaucracy. As you begin your tenure at the helm of the AU Commission, I pray that Almighty God will grant you the wisdom of the Queen of Sheba and the courage of Shaka Zulu. You will need to draw inspiration from these and other distinguished Africans to lead the AU at this critical phase in its history.
So far, the reform process has focused on restructuring the AU and improving its funding mechanisms. Your election is part of that reform process. Other structural changes in the process include: merging the Political Affairs and Peace and Security Departments into one; merging the Economic Affairs and Trade and Industry Departments; the creation of an African Development Agency; the creation of an African Centre for Disease Control; rotational gender and regional balance in the top leadership of the Commission; the scrapping of the mid-year AU summit and its replacement by an interregional coordination meeting (the first such meeting will take place in Niger in a few weeks); and a series of measures aimed at reducing the dependence of the AU on financial support from its non-African partners.
While these reforms are laudable, they will simply serve to ‘rearrange the furniture’ if there is no fundamental change in the organizational culture. The way AU staff think, work, and relate to the organization, to each other and to the outside world needs to change. The example should come from the top. With the appointment of Ambassador Diop as your Chief of Staff, we are hopeful. AU staff need to learn to respect themselves and be respected by the outside world. That will only be possible if recruitment, retention, promotion and retirement practices are objective, transparent and consistent. It is important for AU staff to feel confident that they work for an organization which values and respects honesty, integrity, hard work, and competence, a commitment to excellence, achievement and Panafricanism.
In that regard, one of your primary assignments will be to set the tone for a profound change in the organizational culture and work ethos at the AU Commission, agencies, field missions, representational offices (embassies) and liaison offices. That will not be easy, because the current organizational culture at AU was built on corruption, nepotism, favoritism, influence peddling, sex-for-jobs, external political pressure and espionage. Why do AU staff, in the electronic age, still need to give up precious work hours to ‘chase files’ to get their contracts renewed, get sick or retirement benefits, or education benefits for their children? These manufactured administrative bottlenecks and delays offer opportunities for corruption. That should not be happening in the 21st As you will soon find out, the organizational culture at the AU is rotten to the core. Let me explain.
The Pan African Forum has been investigating the workplace culture at the AU since early last year. Our research methodology was simple, classical investigative journalism techniques: desk research and field interviews. We talked to dozens of AU personnel, both regular staff and short term staff, professional staff and ‘support’ staff, national staff and international staff, male staff and female staff, new staff and ‘old’ staff, staff in active duty and retired staff, mid-level management and staff under their supervision, interns and youth volunteers. We have examined and analyzed hundreds of AU documents and instruments, including the Maputo Protocol and staff rules and regulations. We have reported some of our findings in previous dossiers.
Allow me, new Chairperson, to seize the opportunity offered by this correspondence, to share with you more of our findings, which are a cause for concern, and to which we wish to draw your kind attention, as part of the AU institutional reform discourse. Our investigation did not target any specific person. But where individuals, using their positions within the AU, have played key roles in building and shaping the organizational culture, we do not shy away from identifying them by name, and if what they did was wrong we name and shame them. We believe that naming and shaming, among other measures, is a necessary disinfectant against corruption in our continent.
People who have money and power and think that they are Gods to be worshipped by everyone around them, and that everyone around them is stupid, let them be careful. The same crowd that shouts ‘Hosanna’ on Palm Sunday will shout ‘Crucify him’ on Wednesday But the corrupt, those who boast that they are the all-powerful Kim Jong Uns, Saddam Hussein’s, Mobutus, Idi Amins and Sani Abachas of Africa; those who exploit weak and vulnerable Africans and take advantage of the public trust to enrich themselves, climb the professional ladder, gain and keep power, terrorize, persecute and kill the innocent, and betray their people and the continent, “There is a special place in hell for them,” to borrow the now famous phrase coined by European Council President Donald Tusk. They seem to forget that the Mobutus of this world, the Abachas, the Paul Biyas, the Idi Amins, the Joseph Stalins all end up in the dustbin of history where they belong.
The Creator of the universe, the God of Abraham the common ancestor of Muslims, Christians and Jews, the God who makes the sun to shine on both the corrupt and the suffering poor of Africa, is a merciful God. He will forgive all who earnestly repent and turn from their wicked ways, for God does not want any, not even the corrupt and wicked, to perish. Africa will also forgive them, especially if they repent. But Africa will never forget, because life has taught us that those who forget the lessons of history will most certainly repeat the mistakes of the past.
God Bless Africa.
Dr. David Nyekorach- Matsanga
Founder and CEO
Pan African Forum (U) Ltd
LONDON / NAIROBI KENYA