#Article (Archive)

Sarkozy's call is pertinent

Jun 2, 2010, 11:16 AM

It is great that the 25th France-Africa summit has opened with calls by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for an African state to be given a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council, and also for an African country or countries to join the Group of 20, the club of the world's most powerful economic nations.

Over the years, the African continent has been left behind by the world body on issues affecting the world.

It's therefore a welcome development that Africa should be given a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council, as Africa despite all the problems facing the continent, deserve a better deal.

In view of President Sarkozy, the African continent is asserting itself more and more as a major player in international life.

"We cannot govern a 21-century world with a 20-century institution. I am deeply convinced that it is no longer possible to discuss major world issues without the presence of Africa," Sarkozy said in an opening speech at the summit.

He likes everyone else, knows what Africans and the African continent is capable of doing, despite all the negative reports attributed to the continent.

Sarkozy is also reported to have brought a number of new proposals to boost business ties with Africa. However, African leaders at the summit must also be ready and willing to seek greater developmental partnership, based on mutual respect and understanding for the interest of their people and the continent. They should see the summit as a platform for a new and pragmatic relationship between France and Africa that seeks to deepen economic ties.

The African side should view it in terms of a genuine partnership, which should not be one-sided. Even investment in resource sector should be made wisely, most probably around joint ventures, transfer of technology, and above all, it should be done in a transparent way and observing all the corporate governance rules.

It is for this reason that the Sarkozy support must be taken seriously. Having an African country or countries join the Group of 20 will enable the continent put in place mechanisms to salvage its people.

Africans must be seen to be breaking away from the shackles of dependence syndrome and be self-reliant, though they have to make allowance for the fact that we live in a mutually interdependent world. Only Africans can make Africa what it should be. That is, the initiative for Africa's development has to be taken by Africans themselves.

The 21st century should offer Africans a unique opportunity to prove to the entire world that they have what it takes to look after themselves in the face of imminent danger.

Despite the support from President Sarkozy, the search for the African solution to the continent's woes must begin now in earnest rather than resigning to fate.

It is time for Africans to look more inwards for their own economic redemption.

"Africa is our home, our world and all we have. Lets help to make it a better place for all".