Union Gov't is the key - Says President Jammeh
Friday, July 04, 2008
President Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh has proposed for the creation of a Union Government at the AU to accelerate efforts for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), by 2015.
The Gambian leader, who was speaking in an interview with the GRTS on Africa's march towards the attainment of MDGs, said this 'Union Government' should have a secretariat, which could be transformed into commissions with executive powers to implement certain "things" in the interest of the continent. The president noted that this is different from the popular dream of the United States of Africa.
Although the president was unsure about whether other African countries would achieve the MDG targets (water and sanitation), he was upbeat that The Gambia will attain the targets by 2015.
The 11th AU Summit
The Gambian leader arrived at the Egyptian Resort of Sharmel-Skeih, last Sunday morning, to attend the 11th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State Summit. He was received upon arrival by the Egyptian prime minister, Dr Ahmed Nazif.
There has been no ordinary problem, so common to the world than the need to reduce, by half, the proportion of people without access to sustainable safe-drinking water and basic sanitation.
At the summit, President Mubarak of Egypt, called on his counterparts to be frank in discussing the issues and in finding strategies for security.
The Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, who is the current chairman of the AU, said that the union is committed to its march towards economic and political integration. President Kikwete said the agenda has, however, been the most divisive of the union, with some camps favouring an immediate establishment of a union government, while others favoured a gradual approach.
But President Jammeh believed that these divergent views could be cross-fertilised and a resolute step taken to create a distinctive entity for people of African origin. His views on creating a roadmap to instituting the integration process were shared by other African leaders.
In an interview with journalists, King Swazi III of the Kingdom of Swaziland, expressed optimistism that a common ground would be found and a final resolution designed to achieve the new African dream.
In his farewell statement, as his tenure in office comes to an end, President John Kuffour of Ghana said the underlining principle for a successful Africa lies in its efforts to form a unified body, a vision nurtured by Kwame Krumah, until his death.
At the end of the summit, a draft resolution was issued by the AU Commission, urging the political leaders of Zimbabwe to reconcile their differences, honour their commitment to initiate dialogue and form a government of national unity.
President Jammeh also supported the draft resolution bill for Zimbabwe, adding that it was in the best interest of the people of Zimbabwe.
"We are a new crop of African leaders who will stand up to defend African integrity and African interest. This message, especially that of Zimbabwe, showed to them [the West] that we are independent," said President Jammeh.
Mahmond Abbas, the president of Palestine, paid tribute to the AU leaders, for their efforts and role in the quest for a free Palestinian territory. The region, he told the commission, aspires to regain its independence and put an end to its refugee status.
Amre Mussa, the secretary general of the League of Arab States, said hypocrisy and political interference have been shaping the future of Middle East.
First ladies' meeting
As the African heads of state were deliberating in a close door session, the 6th General Assembly of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against Aids also gained progress. Fatou Lamin Faye, the secretary of state for Basic and Secondary Education, represented the First Lady Madam Zineb Yahya Jammeh at the meeting.
During his stay in Egypt, President Jammeh had several bilateral talks with his counterparts, including the Libyan leader, Muammar Ghaddafi and the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak.