Sunday, April 01, 2007

Summit to focus on 'United States of Africa

January 31 2007 at 03:56PM
Addis Ababa - The next African Union summit to be held in Ghana's capital Accra in July will see a new push from some leaders to build what has been dubbed a 'United States of Africa', diplomats said on Wednesday.Several participants in a two-day AU summmit in Addis Ababa that wrapped up late on Tuesday said west African states were broadly supportive of a closer union, while countries from the south had been more sceptical.According to one delegate, South African President Thabo Mbeki told his peers at a closed-door meeting on Tuesday that "before you put a roof on a house, you need to build the foundations."
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By contrast, Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade wrote a letter to his fellow heads of state at the summit urging that moves to draw up a constitution for a "government of the union" should be accelerated.And, Senegalese Foreign Minister Sheikh Tidiane Gadio said the next AU summit would be exclusively devoted to the idea of forging a closer union."This is an historic victory," he said. "Following the demand of President Wade, the next summit in Accra will only be about the issue of bringing about a United States of Africa."Ghana's President John Kufuor, who was elected the new AU chairman after member states rebuffed Sudan and will host the Accra meeting, said in closing remarks Tuesday that African states had much to gain by forging closer ties."Divided we are weak," he said. "United, Africa can become one of the world powers for good." - Sapa-AFP

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