United States of Africa may take off in 2017, Senegal president says

(The Guardian) – AHEAD of a proposal for the proclamation of the United States of Africa by 2017, continental leaders will by January next year establish an Authority of the Africa Union to work out the details of the plan.

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who announced the two dates in Dakar yesterday, said that an extraordinary AU meeting would be held to adopt the recommendations of the organisation’s last summit early this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The summit reached a consensus on the establishment of the AU Authority to coordinate efforts geared towards establishing the United States of Africa.

Opening a two-day international symposium on the Great Green Wall (GGW), President Wade said after this meeting, the countries were expected to adopt the new texts, before promulgating them.

Pan-African News Agency reports quoted Wade as saying that “the United States of Africa will be proclaimed in 2017, to allow for the time needed to work out the different African institutions,” he said.

He said at the just-ended AU summit, a “Group of 20 African countries were ready to go their own way and set up a Federal Union. We primarily had the idea of establishing a Federal Union. Eventually, we agreed to the resolutions of the summit providing for the establishment of an Authority.”

Also, Libyan leader and AU Chairman, Col. Muammar Gaddafi, yesterday said he would like a United States of Africa to include “Caribbean islands with African populations”.

Speaking in Tripoli as AU new chief, Gaddafi hinted that this could include Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

He sympathised with Somali pirates, describing their actions as self-defence.

Last week, he said that multi-party democracy was not right for Africa.

Gaddafi’s critics believe he is too erratic to be chairman of the 53-nation AU.

Celebrating his new role at his compound in Tripoli on Tuesday, Gaddafi suggested Caribbean islands should join the AU and become a bridge between Africa and Latin America.

He told the gathering of about 400 guests that Somali pirates were only hitting back against other countries stealing marine wealth from the region’s waters.

Gaddafi said the United Nations (UN) should protect Somali waters from the piracy of other countries.

He also said he would use his 12 months at the helm of the AU to try to resolve Africa’s conflicts, including Darfur and Somalia.