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3 Ghaddafi and the African Union TheEndofanEra? Rotimi Ajayi and Segun Oshewolo INTRODUCTION In the area of integration, Muammar Ghaddafi will be remembered as a colossus. In Africa’s recent past, no one demonstrated greater commitment to regional integration efforts than him. From the legacy of Kwame Ukruma whose dogged commitment to African unity eventually led to the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU); Ghaddafi, in a similar fashion, played a leading role in the formation of the African Union (AU). To him, integration represented the pathway to the realisation of Africa’s destiny. The horrible experiences in Africa notwithstanding, Ghaddafi touted regional integration as a veritable mechanism for achieving political stability. Ghaddafi’s vision of a united Africa transcended the idea of internationalism which the AU largely represents as his dream was to achieve an upward shift in sovereignty away from African states to regional structures. He, however, did not discount the usefulness of international cooperation as a vital instrument for achieving greater unity and solidarity among the peoples and countries of Africa. In line with the spirit of pan-Africanism, other African leaders have also contributed in no small measure. African leaders have renewed their commitments to regional integration efforts to overcome the challenges that confront the continent and serve as the political architecture for peace, stability and a secured future. According to Olukoshi1 , this momentum has, in fact, become an integral part of the development agenda for the continent which the African Union, successor to the defunct OAU, has spearheaded and under whose overall auspices it is being fashioned out and implemented . This idea, however, is not novel. International integration has been a long standing continental idea in Africa. As a constant theme in Africa’s political history, it does not only create the historical awareness of Africa’s past efforts; from the concrete lessons garnered, specific policy deductions CHAPTER 1 4 CHAPTER 1 can also be made regarding the future of Africa. Therefore, because of its historical utility in the African context, regional integration connects Africa’s past experiences, present lessons and future policies. The paper painstakingly analyses the past experiences and present lessons to chart the course of a secured future for Africa. In the broader context of the 21st Century pan-Africanism, Ghaddafi towered above his contemporaries in his contributions to the realisation of a secured future for Africa. He was a tower of strength not just to the AU but also to other African countries. Although the contributions of his key contemporaries most notably Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo are also commendable, the mesmeric impulse of Ghaddafi’s ambition was unrivalled. To realise his ultimate ambition, Malone2 observes that Ghaddafi’s theatrics overshadowed the summits of African leaders for so long. As its most outspoken advocate, Ghaddafi channelled huge resources into the implementation of the objectives of the AU. Contrary to the reservations expressed by the realists and functionalists on the possibility of institutionalising a union government in Africa through a radical effort, Muammar Ghaddafi showed optimism in this direction. This optimism reflected in his financial contributions to the AU and some African neighbours. His apparent doggedness notwithstanding, Ghaddafi’s ambition has come under serious criticisms. The machinations employed by the Libyan leader to actualise his vision of a union government in Africa under a single president necessitate a deeper exploration of the idea.3 As conventional experiences suggest, a good union government is based on social and democratic accord. Participating states sign into the effort and pledge commitment to the realisation of the underlying ideological objectives of the accord. The evolution of the United States of America accurately falls within this frame. This accord usually does not make allowance for the emergence of an ambitious tyrant which the rhetoric of Ghaddafi represented . In the light of this, the paper analyses international integration theories to ascertain the desirability or otherwise of regional integration to achieving a secured future for Africa. Also, considering Ghaddafi’s support to the project of a union government in Africa, financial aid to the AU and other African neighbours, the paper analyses the inevitable changes on the horizon and how they impact on Africa’s future. To achieve these tasks, the paper is divided into four sections. While this introductory piece represents section one, the second section examines the historical and theoretical perspectives to international integration in Africa. The next section analyses the realities and illusions inherent in Ghaddafi’s disposition to integration...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780798304054
Related ISBN
9780798303873
MARC Record
OCLC
870684317
Pages
564
Launched on MUSE
2014-02-18
Language
English
Open Access
No
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