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African Union is only a dream if ... ActionAid Regional Director

Feb 26, 2010, 12:33 PM | Article By: Alieu Jabang

ActionAid's Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Madame Dede, has said that the aspiration for a united Africa would remain a dream if Africans themselves do not integrate in all spheres of life. 

Her comments come on the heels of a heated debate over the much-talked about Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Africa and the European Union.

"African Union is only a dream, if we remain disintegrated in our daily operations of business. After 50 years of independence in Africa, the call for unity has been going on but to no avail," Madam Dede said at the opening of a day-long capacity building workshop for parliamentarians. Organised by the National Youths Association For Food Security (NAYAFS) in collaboration with ActionAid, the workshop, among others, seeks to update parliamentarians on the current situation of the EPAs and their effects on Africans.

"We Africans do not need a visa to travel within our continent. What we failed to do is what the Europeans did, and this is what gave birth to the EU," she said.

This EU, she added, is defending all the interest of EU countries while Africans remain disintegrated among themselves.

According to Ms Dede, the calls for "No to EPAs in their current form" should be supported by all member states of ECOWAS and Africa as a whole.

"Apart from Nigeria in West Africa, who is naturally blessed with both human and natural resources? One country alone cannot say "no" to the EPAs," she said, adding that together we should say "no" to the EPAs in their current form.

"Uniting Africa is not a new project, but is still being retarded. We must all join to make it a reality," she added.

Speaking earlier, the Director of NAYAFS, Alhagie Kebbeh, who also doubles as the coordinator of the alliance, called on parliamentarians to be supportive and to lead the campaign of “No to the EPAs in their current form.

Mr. Kebbeh added that it should be the collective responsibility of all to ensure that Africa is saved from such calamities.

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