EDITORIAL: The Un-ending Conferences
IF it is conferences, alone, that can make a continent great, Africa won't be still wallowing in poverty, at times depending on donations from "friendly" countries for its survival.
Since the 1960s, when African nations began breaking their colonial chains to steer their own affairs, there have been conferences, both on continental and sub-continental levels, whose decisions can compose volumes of books.
In the case of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS, for example, one has lost count of their meetings, basically, working out strategies and producing formulae, to bring member-countries, together.
ECOWAS soon celebrates its 30 years of existence.
Yet, the closest member-countries have come to is the DECISION to use a common currency.
In contrast, the European Union, almost a continental organisation, born out of an association of six countries (ECU), has moved beyond the common currency stage and liberalised, in the true sense of the word, the movement of people and goods.
Although conservative Britain has stood as the "odd man out" in the currency pact, that has had minimal effect on the bond of unity, bringing the countries closer and closer.
The European Parliament has now grown of age. And, short of other technicalities, yet to be refined, we now have a rotational. European Presidency, which in practice, is by far, more prestigeous and authoritative than what we have been passing round the ECOWAS countries.
Ours is not to belittle what Africa is capable of.
Rather, we are convinced that ECOWAS and for that matter the African Union, can move faster, than what we are witnessing now, if we should learn to be less dependent on foreign-made programmes.
For, if we are going to dance around organisations, like NEPAD and others, we shall soon find ourselves, on a merry-go-round, with our eyes glued to embers of neo-colonialist bon-fires.
It's about time African relied on its own brains and resources in its fight for economic emancipation.