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African Leaders Must Know When to Go

May 19, 2008, 4:53 AM

The 9th Ordinary session of the Pan- African Parliament was recently held in Johannesburg, South Africa and saw some very interesting discussion taking place. Parliamentarians attending the session raised major concerns relating to the issues affecting peace and prosperity in Africa.

 One of the Parliamentarians who talked tough on African crises was Hon. Eugene Kpakka from Liberia. He said one of the leading problems faced by Africa is power-struggles. He said African leader's failure to hand over power at the end of the term is a major problem. He called on the need for African leaders to come forward and work for the best interest of the Africa

All African leaders should heed these words. The scourge of leaders clinging to power has blighted the continent for a very long time and has never been anything but destructive. In the burgeoning spirit of pan-Africanism leaders must be urged to do what is best for their people and not just themselves.

Mandatory maximum terms are the obvious solution to this issue. They are in place all over the world and have proved to be very effective in ensuring that no one person holds on to power for too long. It ensures fresh ideas and young energetic leaders get to serve the people.

The Pan African Parliament is at its transformative stage from an advisory and consultative organ into a fully-fledged legislative organ of the AU.

It would be a very useful and intelligent thing if one of the body's first pieces of legislation was related to fixed terms of office. Any African leader who would not agree to sign up would be making clear to the whole continent that their own lust for power was uppermost in their thoughts as opposed to the good of their people. Change in this area must come soon if we are to continue building a unified and highly developed continent.

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