Hosting A Governance Flag? - Africa Writing Another History
By: A. Bob Fallah
Like other continents, when discovery of nations unfolded, Africa got
her share of the cake.
Colonial powers came to Africa from all corners to impact their cultures and ways of life on the people of the continent.
Despite these activities, peoples and nations of Africa held together
under a common umbrella. Despite their little differences, they unified
under the name and style of Organization of African Unity (OAU).
Founded in 1963, the OAU now African Union (AU), membership includes all independent African states. Most of the 53 states were then not out of their master’s fences.
Among its many objectives was seeking the independence of sister states. Amidst these developments the continent continues to drive into bad governance which normally results in war, famine, suffering and mass displacement of citizens.
A daughter of the continent from a trouble prone Sudan the present Vice President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Zeinah Bakri remarked at the Kigali Africa Governance Forum touched me to write this piece of work “Writing another history” – she remarked that Africa’s major problem and its continued economic failure is the absence of Good governance.
Another key point was that programs intended for poverty alleviation are
usually undermined by corruption, lack of public accountability and participation
of the beneficiaries.
From this synopsis, there is no mistake that an African mechanism is slowly being put in place in order to graduate Africa and its people from those vices that have kept the continent in the ruins of destruction.
The mechanism known as the “Africa Governance Forum or AGF with two subsets was born in 1997 through the instrumentality of ECOWAS and UNDP. The forum’s embodiment - the new partnership for Africa’s Development in collaboration with what is called the Africa Peer Review Mechanism or NEPAD and APRM.
The AGF is quietly growing with over twenty five member countries out
of fifty-three states.
My understanding is that because African leaders have and continue to face problems of development, illiteracy rate is at the mountain top, poverty alleviation far from reality, the idea of the Governance Forum or AGF became necessary.
The concept of the forum according to literatures from the conference is aimed at graduating Africa from bad governance to good and democratic setting in order to conform to modern and civilized norms in what is now a global village.
Like the G-8 composed of industrialized countries with unity for their common economic interest, the birth of NEPAD and the APRM could focus its thought in similar direction. For NEPAD is a new vision of a common development arm for Africa.
Complemented by the APRM, “Africans taking charge of their own destiny through self-assessment with the involvement of all. Then here we go Africa raise your flag.
If hosting a governance forum flag where African leaders will be guided by the principles of public accountability and governance is anything to go by then peace, security and stability is expected to play a key role during this age of our history.
In the past, Africa’s under-development and poverty are the results of bad governance, dictatorships and corruption which have scared the continent. Created in 2001, NEPAD’s aims to promote good governance throughout Africa. This is good history.
APRM which is sister in concept is a self monitoring mechanism voluntarily acceded by member states of the African Union. It fosters adoption of policies, standards and practices leading to political stability, high economic growth and sustainable development.
In this drive for another history, this time for the upliftment of the continent, let African leaders open and shine their eyes and join the Africa Governance Forum as a new mechanism for the growth of Mama Africa.