The irony of the recent Summit of the 54-member African Union, supposedly held to focus on agriculture and food security, appears to have escaped all of its participants.
Currently, there are at least 8 of those Member States, probably more, facing violent conflict and wars of varying duration. There are whispers of the dreaded ‘g’ word – genocide – again, in several countries, and literally thousands are starving in Mali, Sudan, Somalia, the DRC, the Central African Republic and Zimbabwe, to mention only a few. Those are only the countries which have made the news, many others are still in conflict after a so-called ‘revolution’, or yet another coup.
Yet, even faced with that actual reality, these leaders talk up a storm, look the part, beg for aid, and in the next breath verbally abuse those from whom they seek such aid. And still, apart from spouting hot air, nothing is done, more thousands die, and once again it is up to ‘somebody else’ to help, to stop the violence inevitably fuelled by the never-ending overwhelming greed of the fortunate few, and to feed the starving.
Naturally, all of this is spoken about at length, and after several days of obscene expenditure, massive wastage of funds and mutual back-slapping and congratulation, those same fortunate few who are the leaders, and who have no concept of the depths of the horror and despair which most of their people live with, on a daily basis, will go back to their protected enclaves with self-satisfied smirks and the assurance of their African Union colleagues that they are wonderful and that all is well in their world.
The final nail in the coffin with regard to this so-called union of African nations is the appointment of Robert Mugabe as Deputy Chair of the African Union Executive Committee. This is the dictator who has destroyed a once-prosperous country, and who continues to remove his detractors and critics without conscience, and seemingly with impunity. It is said that only the good die young. Tragically, Africa is the proof of that.