Back to Index
Political Leadership: Precondition for continential union
with Arnold Tsunga, Extracted from Pambazuka News 300
April 20, 2007
is a lawyer based in Harare with Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights. In March, Saloman Kebede interviewed
him on the upcoming Grand Debate on Continental Government during
the next African Union Summit, June - July 2007. The full
proposal being considered by the Heads of States can be viewed at
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current proposal
for Continental Union?
AT: The recommendations
in the Study for Continental Government are not currently binding.
Our leaders will end up doing what favours their governments as
opposed to what would be of benefit to Africa as a whole. This weakens
proposal. The appalling state of leadership is a great misfortune
in Africa and has victimized citizens through the violation of human
rights in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Rwanda and elsewhere. The strength
of this proposal shall lie in its ability to uphold the status of
human rights in Africa and address situations in particular countries
where democracy has been abused.
Should it be adopted in Accra in July 2007, what would
you like to see the African Union Commission achieve within the
first phase (2007-2009)?
AT: Enable Africa meet
the Millennium Development Goals. As the African Union is still
a growing institution, civil society organizations can assist to
ensure good political leadership and the governance that will guarantee
that Africa meets the MDGs.
And why would this form of continental union be important to African
citizens & particular the poor and marginalized?
AT: It is important for
Africa to have a unified focus and accountability as a continent.
How could states and non-states ensure that continental
union efforts are transparent, participatory and driven by an appreciation
of political and economic rights?
AT: The effective involvement
of grass root communities is central to its success. We must consider
the power of civil society actors, the power of human right defenders
and the power of political activists on the ground. We must take
into account what they say and try to implement.
What obstacles must the AU overcome for the continental union to
AT: The AU should do
away with the culture of a leadership uniting against its own people.
They instead must empower the people to facilitate development.
In what policy area, would you like to see greater convergence
and unity across Africa and why?
is the first of several interviews with African citizens and CSO
leaders on the AU proposal for Continental Government. Emily Mghanga
of Pan Africa Programme Oxfam edited this interview. The views expressed
here are the perspectives of the interviewee. Arnold Tsunga can
be reached at Email: email@example.com.
Please send comments
or comment online at http://www.pambazuka.org
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.