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Debate on United States of Africa Heats on

May 27, 2008, 4:47 AM | Article By: By Baboucarr Senghore

As Halifa Sallah backs agenda amidst recommendations

The debate on the formation of a United States of Africa has and continues to dominate discussions in and around the continent particularly African Union Summits, as calls for a common passport for all Africans continues to gather pace.

The issue, which has been a subject of intense discussion in recent African Union Summits and other regional and international forums, is seen by many as an unrealistic, if noble, dream that distracts from urgent crises around the continent.

Halifa Sallah, a renowned sociologist and Director of People's Centre for Social Sciences, Research, Civic Awareness and Community Initiatives expressed the belief that the continent can form a federal state as championed by the late Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. He warned though that tough decisions would have to be taken before such a dream could be fulfilled.

In an impassioned speech at the launch of his new book entitled "Treatise on Founding a Federation of African Republics," Mr. Sallah told cheering activists and students that misplaced priorities have been the main course of Africa's problems. " We must face the fact. Africa cannot survive in this world without unity," he observed.

According to Mr Sallah, one out of every ten Africans is on the move from their main lands with Europe seen mainly as a citadel as if Europeans will forever be prosperous and the rest of human kind will continue to be the wretched of the earth.

"The issue is not about anti-European sentiment. As long as Africans have leaders who are on the defensive, who think that Europe is overpowering them, dictating to them, then we have a problem. What we need in Africa are leaders running their countries on the basis of universal principles, principles that will help to educate and guide Europe," he said.

Renowned for his long campaign for a United States of Africa as the only solution to grinding African poverty and backwardness among other problems, Halifa Sallah still maintains that independence is about self-determination and for people to take charge of their destiny.

In Mr. Sallah's view, what Africa needs now is an Africa with integrity, an Africa capable of managing its affairs, an Africa that others can respect and an Africa that can rise like a star among the world's nations.

"That was the desire of the patriots of yesterday, that is our desire today and if we fail to create such an Africa, we are bound to perish," he avowed.

Mr. Sallah, a former member of the Pan-African parliament, went further to give recommendations for the possible formation of a United States of Africa which includes the establishment of a Central Bureau for policy analysis and documentation by the African Union.

Also among the recommendations are the devotion of the 2010 African Union Summit to the adoption of a revised constitutive act and supporting instruments; devotion of the 2011 summit to reviewing the progress of all institutions as well as human and material resources and the declaration of the federation in 2015, among others.

"Africa is at a crossroads. We as the people have the duty to decide whether we are human beings. We must be able to invest and respond to the necessity of its innovation. If we are faced with necessity, we are faced with necessity. Our children are dying because they are struggling for a better life," he lamented.

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