It is a great pleasure to participate in the events of the "10th Daily Trust dialogue" as well as the associated "African of the year Award and Dinner" for the year 2013. For this I sincerely thank the Board and Management of Media Trust Limited.
I also congratulate Media Trust for the significant, and wholesome, achievement represented in its ability to initiate, as well as sustain, these activities which constitute innovative attempts in bringing together African leaders: politicians, statesmen, professionals of various callings as well as businessmen, public and community activists, to discuss and find solutions to Africa's problems
Talking about Africa's problems the topic before us today nearly sums it all. There is widespread concern with the state of Africa today as a result of the failed expectations for peaceful, prosperous, sovereign and dignified development since the independence of African countries in the 1950's and 60's. These problems also constitute an important area of political and ideological conflicts in Africa.
Looking at the theme before us which I have adjusted to read "Nation Building in Africa: The Reality, Challenges and Prospects" we will find that the diverse ideological, as well as theoretical, perspectives evident in its evaluation, in themselves, reflect a diversity of interest that need to be identified and appreciated. Nation-building, from whichever perspective we look at it, is above all else a visionary, constructive creative, self-determined and patriotic activity. It is not a predator, self-serving and subservient spoil system characteristic of colonial societies - both old and new.
A survey of the literature on this topic indicate some widespread assumptions which have come to constitute what could, more or less, be referred to as the dominant explanation or explanatory framework. This is the idea that the problem of contemporary African states, leading to the widespread crisis or "failure", of nation-building is to be found in the corruption, incompetence and mismanagement associated with African rulers per se. This, no doubt, is a factor which is clearly relevant in explaining Africa's problems but it cannot be the sole reason, or indeed even the basis, for the explanation of the crisis of nation-building. This is because this, in itself, begets the questions: what constitutes African leadership?, and what also accounts for its inherent and extraordinary tendencies to corruption and incompetence?
It is important to observe that in many cases the very important factor of foreign interventionism in Africa, which has been identified by many scholars as a key element responsible for its present predicament hardly features in the viewpoints of those referring to "African leadership", as the major source of "Africa's problems". Critiques of the "failed state", on account of "Africa's leadership" perspectives, have drawn attention to the fact that this viewpoint fails to take into account the various successes recorded by PanAfricanists, and African nationalists, in the struggles for nation-building in Africa.
Similarly such critiques have also drawn attention to the failure of all policies and projects imposed by the imperial powers through the IMF and the World Bank on Africa. They further observe that no responsibility has ever been admitted, or accepted, by these bodies in a manner that would warrant any major reviews. Despite the problems noted it is also observed that these same agencies have also achieved successful returns on all their investments in Africa, whereas Africa has always failed to achieve its own professed objectives. This situation thus portrays a one--sided, and an unequal, relationship.
Three important factors are immediately apparent if we are to view the subject in a comprehensive manner. The first is the need to differentiate negative foreign interventionism in Africa from its positive international support, cooperation and relations with foreign nations. This, we believe is clearly discernible on the basis of the fact that the latter is in support of, rather than in opposition to, independent as well as sovereign African initiatives and interests. Secondly foreign interventionism, by its conduct, also fuels and exacerbates impunity in African politics. Finally it also redefines what has generally been referred to in the literature on "failed states" as "African leaders" into "agents of foreign powers in Africa".
In the discussion that follows we draw attention to the fact that the key problem for Africa has been foreign imperial interventionism, in various forms, utilizing a diverse range of agencies and organizations in order to control, or influence, both internal and external politics of African countries as well as their economies.
It is important, at this stage, to draw attention to the extent to which the crises of nation-building in Africa could indeed be attributed to a number of factors: poor leadership, foreign intervention, impunity, and disunity, for example. All of these could, in addition, further be associated to an inherent incapability of African countries to diversify and industrialize their economies, or promote democracy and good governance, in order to ensure peaceful and integrated development at all levels. However the question still remains that such observations need to coherently, and comprehensively, be explained on the basis of a common denominator or variable.
This contribution draws attention to the need to continually apply three essential principles in the conduct of such discourses. The first is the need to draw, as broadly as possible, on the essential evidence pertinent to the discussion in general. Associated with this is the need to bring into focus the evidence of Africas nation-building processes, in the form of PanAfricanism, as well as related practices of nation-building in the various countries. The second is the need evaluate all relevant theories, in the light of evidence, as well as on the basis of their own logical consistency. Finally there is also the need to discuss the issues in the context of both national constitutions as well as on the basis of international declarations and laws.
Significance, Typologies and Processes of Nation-Building.
Nations, and nation- building processes, constitute the most significant and defining political management principles of our modern world. They determine the essential features of all modern polities, as well as define their ensuing relationships as a global union of states in the theatre of international relations.
There are diverse perspectives on the concept of nation-states, nation-building and nationalism. This is to be expected, as well as accounted for, partly on the basis of the diverse range of problems, and issues, that different nation-states have to grapple with in the course of their development.
Another factor provoking controversy on the notion of nation-states is the subjective, supremacist, narcissistic and Eurocentric perspective usually brought into the discourse on the subject by ideologues with such persuasions. This, as we will highlight subsequently, has greatly promoted the predominant influence of ethnocentric ideologies in politics at the level of various colonies, as well as in their relations with the imperial powers.
The above issues notwithstanding it could be argued that all nation-states are, in the first place, products of modern development collectively differing in many remarkable ways from the polities, and societies, that preceded them in history, and thus sharing certain definitive, and common, features between them.
In the first place they all came into being through opposition to one form of imperial domination or another. Secondly their essential organisng principle expressed in their constitutional objectives is the achievement of freedom for themselves, as political entities, along with their citizens in a manner that promotes democracy anchored in national, and popular, sovereignty. Finally they all dedicate themselves to working for peace, freedom, equality and development at both the national and international levels.
While these might be some common features characteristic of all nation-states the circumstances of their creation also stamp them with differing characteristics, as is obvious in the differences to be observed between, as well as within, the following categories of nation-states:
• European nation-states: Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Spain etc.
• European settler states: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Israel.
• Third world nationalist states and territories: India, Brazil, Zambia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Libya etc.
• Revolutionary socialist nation-states: Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam etc.
The above typology brings into consideration a number of issues which are characteristic of modern states - including their cultural, ideological, 'racial' and territorial differentiation as well as their independent or, dependent, status.
Once again, on the basis of the above, we could say that such differences notwithstanding all modern nations make attempts to build themselves on the basis of the following essential considerations:
1. Sovereignty in internal matters, as well as in foreign relations, in addition to the conduct of participation in global institutions.
2. Regional and global alliances such as Pan-Africanism, Non-Alligned Movement (NAM) and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in respect of Africa. In todays supranational world national interests can hardly be achieved where they are not supported by broader and wider regional, as well as global, processes of political, economic and cultural alliances and cooperation.
3. Promotion, at the national levels, of such unifying policies as constitutionalism, multiculturalism and political, or ideological, pluralism.
4. The eternal struggle towards nation-building is designed to ensure its sovereignty through the development of democracy, on the basis of popular sovereignty, as the popular expression of nation-hood in the polity.
The processes of nation-building identified above have been successful in some nations of the world. Why have they tended to "fail" in Africa?
Explaining the Crisis of Nation-Building in Africa
If we state that nation-building 'failure' in Africa is simply and basically due to the incompetence, corruption and mismanagement of African leaders we commit a generalization which does not only leave many questions unanswered but also raises many others as well. This is, in the first place, because leadership cultivation, conduct and operations is an essential, and indeed leading, component of the nation-building process. Where the latter actually fails, the former will be deemed to be part and parcel of that general failure as well. In this case so-called leadership problem could not be expected to explain the general failure of nation-building processes because it is part and parcel of the process, and ought to fail where the process in general fails.
A number of studies indicate that the African leaders under reference were mostly serving as western agents in their various countries, and where they were not, and remained independent, they stood the risk of being assassinated, overthrown or in many other ways sabotaged. In many cases serving African leaders were said to be in the employment, and on the pay register of certain foreign secret services. In addition to this Africa's ruling ideas, policies and structures in most, if not all, of the countries under reference were imposed, and promoted by the western powers. It is in consideration of these facts that such leaders could not be described as simply African but rather as African surrogates, or agents, of western powers.
It is important to draw attention to the fact that the available evidence testify to the initial successes recorded by PanAfricanists as well as nationalist movements in all parts of Africa, as in the diasphora. Such developments profoundly influenced the subsequent nationalist achievements in all African countries. Let me use this occasion to call on the management of the Daily Trust to invest in the publication of the biography of one of the most important figures in the development of PanAfricanism, in the person of Mohammed Duse, who finally settled in Lagos and was instrumental to the founding of the NCNC as well as the establishment of the African Pilot Newspapers, which were subsequently inherited by the late chief Nnamdi Azikwe.
PanAfricanism and the African nationalist movements account for the following achievements:
• The earlier independence of Haiti; and the establishment of Liberia, and Sierra Leone in addition to massive support for the independence of Ethiopia.
• The achievement of independence in many African countries between the Mid 1950's to 1975. Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea, Kenya, Somalia etc.
• The establishment of relatively effective constitutional, federalist democratic and republican regimes in many independent African countries, following their formal independence, before the wave of interventionism undermined them.
• The establishment of the OAU in 1963 which, despite its problems, was quite able to coordinate a common African agenda, and diplomacy, which greatly helped the continent to liberate its remaining settler colonies, in addition to asserting a common diplomatic front at international levels against imperialism and racism.
• Initial successes in many Portuguese colonies constituting the liberated areas, under the various liberation movements, which had promising starts towards the transformation of their political, economic and cultural conditions in their respective countries before the wave of foreign interventionism greatly disrupted them.
It is important to stress that these successes were also possible due to the widespread, and diverse, levels of support African countries were able to marshal from well-meaning international organizations, associations, political parties, multilateral organizations and nations in the west as well as the rest of the world. Indeed it was such support that made possible the successes of the liberation, as well as independence, movements especially in southern Africa.
The most important reason for the crisis of nation-building in Africa is thus seen to be the interventionist policies, and activities, pursued by the west against the development of local nationalist forces and the achievement of PanAfricanist ideals. Indeed the efforts to undermine constructive and successful nationalist movements could be traced to the efforts made by the colonial rulers to substitute reformist, collaborationist and surrogate agitators for popular nationalist leaders, resulting in many of such leaders like Nkrumah, Lumumba, Kenyatta, Mandela, etc becoming "Prison Graduates", as they were then popularly nicknamed.
At other levels the colonial regimes tried to influence constitutional provisions in their favour as, for example in Nigeria, which later had to abandon the constitutional provision inserted by the British for the retention of the British monarchy as "ceremonial" president of an independent Nigeria, in favour of a Republican status for the country in 1963.
Both before, and after, independence the tendency for African regimes to move in the direction of increasing independence in terms of policy formulation, foreign relations, economic diversification etc. was countered though the promotion, and the prop-up, of local monarchical, military or civilian dictators by the imperial powers. This process, after independence, led to the policy of assassinations, political overthrows, military invasions, economic blockade, sabotage and consistent acts of subversion against all independent minded African rulers, and their governments, in favour of regime change. Where overthrown, such leaders, were generally replaced by conformist rulers, as well as regimes.
Prevailing Challenges, of Nation Building in Africa
From what we have said so far it is obvious that part of the conditions for successful nation-building is having a group of independent, patriotic, selfless, dedicated and capable leaders. In other words the evidence of world, as well as Africa's, contemporary history point to the fact that nation-building has only been successful where, among other things, it has been led by informed political leaders who are also independent of foreign control and committed, as well as accountable, only to the popular national support that is the basis for their coming to power. Nation-building has never been achieved, any where in the world, by "leaders" who are also surrogates, or agents, for the achievement of inimical foreign interests. This is also why all Nation States take great care to ensure that neither their political leaders, nor their political activities, are unduely, and indirectly, influenced by foreign nations or, indeed, by local self-serving cabals. The crises of Africa thus stems from the extent to which its independent political process have been subverted in favour of teleguided politics and controlled economies.
In order to appreciate this situation, further, we will draw attention to some of the major contributions that contemporary African statesmen, intelligentsia, politicians and activists are making towards the attainment of this goal of successful nation-building. The idea of a "good governance" agenda that is teleguided by foreigners as a standard prescription for what has been described as bad governance, or "Africa's leadership problems", is an act if foreign interventionism that is a ploy which presents only more problems.
In the first place it is not a solution to the problems of leadership but rather an attempt at the legitimization, as well as actualization, of the increasing number of schemes for the continuing recolonisation of Africa. It cannot lead Africa out of its present problems. It can only serve the interest of those powers that have crafted it in much the same way that all earlier prescriptions have only served those who crafted them to the detriment of Africa. In order to appreciate this we only need to look at how their key operational principles, and strategies, stand in opposition to both democratization and economic development in Africa.
The level of impunity underlining the relationship between the proponents of the policy of "good governance", illustrated in wanton interventionism, stand in direct opposition to constitutionalism as well as respect for international law. They preach "democracy" in weaker nations and deny it at international levels, as well as in the U.N. They preach democracy in weaker nations and yet arrogate to themselves the right to impose the ruling ideas, and development policies, on the same nations.
Furthermore there is, in the collective experience of various African nations, in terms of their relations with western powers, an increasing, realization of the successful subversion of their sovereignty through the various policies of interventionism pursued by the western powers. The experience of Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia, in nation-building, is important in this regard. At another level we can look at another pattern in Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa where the effort has been to forestall popular sovereignty, and contain local decision making processes, in particular. Furthermore another pattern is observable in the Francophone countries where the objective is to keep its excolonies under its immediate supervision and control. At a more general level there is also the systematic and relentless subversion of Africa's regional integration processes as well as its collective interests, in many ways, by the combined force of the USA, EU and NATO as is exemplified in the war they waged against Libya.
Another standing policy is that of keeping control over Africa's natural resources, in addition to maintaining imperial hold over Africa's economies. Added to this is the increasing disinvestment climate promoted in Africa due to the massive extraction and repatriation of wealth by western governments, and corporations, as well as the criminal laundering of looted funds abroad by corrupt African rulers. These expose the hollowness of the campaigns for job creation and poverty alleviation, on the one hand, as well as economic development and democratization on the other.
In particular nationalist and nation building principles in the form of local political movements and parties, indigenous interests, independent popular movements, constitutionalism and pan-Africanism have been systematically, and consistently, sidelined and repressed. In view of this tendency towards the constriction of the political space, in favour of foreign interests, there is a significant resurgence of the politics of sectionalism, signifying that the character of national leadership is only capable of promoting subversive national scramble, and despoliation, rather than nation-building. This, as many writers have said, is in many ways associated with the functions of the characteristically imperial, and divisive, ideas of ethnocentrism.
The on-going deconstruction, by Africa's academics, in all disciplines, of ethnocentric imperial ideologies is perhaps one of the greatest developments in the evolution of Africa's political philosophy, as well as a major theoretical support to nation-building, and Pan-Africanism, on the continent. Various scholars such as Diop , Mafeje, Mamdani, Gyeke, Dike, Usman, Ajayi, Nnoli, Ake, Ranger and Davidson, in addition to many others, have been able to make very important, and ground breaking, contributions on the basis of historical research, as well as theoretical evaluation, which greatly confirm that ethnocentrism, and with it the ideology of racism and tribalism, were indeed not only a substantial fabrication but also the prejudicial policy instrument used by the imperial powers to achieve their common political, administrative and doctrinal objectives. As a result these have come to constitute significant sources of division, and conflicts, in contemporary Africa. They have in many ways proved to be the Achilles Heel for nation-building, regional integration and peaceful development in Africa for a good number of reasons. They have affected, and redefined, African politics in many negative ways, a few of which we will highlight hereunder.
The extent to which ethnocentrism tends to become the dominant, and hegemonic, ideology in any African country, as well as at the level of the region in general, is a function of the extent to which foreign powers, and their local lackeys, gain domineering political control at the expense of independent, nationalist and PanAfricanist forces. It is important to note that ethnocentrism, by design, negates and defies multiculturalism, as well as pluralism and constitutionalism. Another important reason for this state of affairs is the fact that while nationalism is committed to sovereignty, as well as constructive and creative change of the colonial status quo, in favour of Africa's integrated development, local politicians that are submissive and subservient to the continuation of the colonial status-quo are generally beholden to ethnocentric ideologies. This is because the ideology also serves the interests of inter-elite, as well as intra-elite, scramble, rivalry and continuous division, at various local levels. It is due to the continuous manner in which tribalism is used to justify political opportunism, at the expense of community building, that it leads to increasing division in African politics at every level - right down to the family level! Over the last ten years we have witnessed how the development of corruption, and inter-elite rivalry, anchored on various ethnocentric claims for certain undeserved privelleges, rather than service to nation-building, on the bases of diverse appeals to "origins" such as "indigeneity", "customs", "traditions" and "tribal" groups rather than humanitarian, constitutional or legal claims, have led to lots of conflicts and loss of lives in Nigeria. These conflicts are thus not only criminal in nature, in the manner they are variously executed, but also constitute the greatest disservice to the promotion, and development, of genuine African cultures at the levels of community, locality, nation and region. While in some parts of Africa, and at the level of international relations, these are beginning to be legally addressed Nigeria is yet to take any definitive stand, or make any progress, on the issues.
The negative impact of ethnocentrism and the politics it breeds, briefly referred to above, is on account of the fact that racial and tribal concepts were crafted purposely to promote separation, exclusion and discrimination rather than integration and inclusion, or justice. They have as such promoted view points, ideologies and policies that are both fissiparous and disintegrative. They deny as well as oppose two important considerations, necessary for constructive community building, in their articulation. The first is that they deny of the multicultural nature of the evolution of human societies which is based on the diverse processes of migrations, fusion and integration in favour of an assumed process that is supposedly defined by separation and exclusion. The second is the fact that it's views are based on stereotypes, informed by prejudices, that are further utilized for the purposes of a priori judgements, of whole groups of people. They, moreover, were applied on Africa by the colonial powers on the basis of a double standard, in other words such is not applied in the analysis, description or evaluation of western societies themselves.
The return to so-called democratic rule in Nigeria under the 4th Republic is accompanied by widespread development of sectionalist conflicts, as well as corruption, and a related tendency to civilian dictatorship on account of the various factors we have highlighted. We will illustrate these negative trends with reference to some important issues influencing Nigeria's current political development
The first is what is generally discussed as Nigeria's federalism especially in terms of its current tendencies to dysfunctionalism. Attention has variously been drawn to the increasing centralization of its activities under the military, as well as the economically unviable nature of its federating units as currently constituted. However very few people have critically looked at the racialist, or tribalist, nature of the organizing principles at basic community levels. This has greatly contributed to the development of some policies of discrimination and exclusion in addition to the proliferation of more states, and local governments, or the agitation for "federating units", founded on the basis of "ethnic nationalities". These constitute nothing but the uncritical reproduction of colonial ethnocentric principles in the creation and organization of political and administrative structures.
Ethnocentric principles indeed, as of necessity, induce "inter-group" conflicts as well as policies of ethnic cleansing. In a recent paper one of Nigerias leading political scientists, Bolaji Akinyemi, draws attention to the fact that one of the major mistakes affecting Nigeria's federalism is the notion that it should be based on the "ethnic nationalities" rather than on the basis of functionalist, democratic and constitutional principles. Such divisions, he noted, have only been promoted to support destructive elite squabbles, leading to endless subdivisions of the polity, for the benefits of certain individuals and cliques, as well as to the increasing detriment of the polity and its peoples. Added to this dysfunctional character of federalism it is to be noted that even the earlier Republican status of the country has been compromised, as is evident in Nigerias decision to provide military base for the U.S.A, as well as supporting NATO campaign against Libya, both of which opposed the stance of AU on the issues.
A second level of observation relates to the discourse that has attended the publication of Achebes recent publication on the Nigerian Civil War in Nigeria. Much as this is not a review of that discourse it is important to draw attention to at least three important issues that have so far accompanied and defined it. The extent to which the work is able to generate this level of discourse, and the constructive manner in which the author stated his own views, attest to Achebes credibility as one of the leading, as well as patriotic, Nigeria's and Africas intellectuals. He has promoted on open discourse, as opposed to other members of the Nigeria elite that have only incited sectarian, divisive and violent conflicts. The future of Nigeria lies in our ability to promote the open, constructive, honest and independent discussion of our own problems. This is the essence of democracy.
An important observation is the fact that Achebe based some his own interpretation of the civil war on ethnocentric considerations rather than on the basis of the available evidence, and a rational theoretical frame work that is true to the historical circumstances. Many of his critics have also attempted to defend the figures he criticized on the basis, mainly, of similar ethnocentric afflictions. Our elites, if they are to lead effectively, must do everything to avoid the negative influences of sectionalism in their judgements and utterances in favour of principled, factual and considered judgements. We need to recognize that the objective cognition of our past in general, as well as the contributions of our past leaders in particular, are important to us in common. We can choose to learn and build on their positive contributions, or continue to wallow in negative and counter productive sectionalist acts. Awolowo, Azikwe,Sardauna of Sokoto, Balewa etc. were each Nigeria's nationalists and we do them, or ourselves, no favour by insisting only on a parochial appreciation of their personalities. Nigeria has to truly own them, appreciate them and learn from their contributions, as well as their mistakes, if we are to develop good leadership for the country. Indeed in this regard Achebe himself is more than just a symbol for any kind of "ethnic identity". He is a great African, and Nigerian, figure whether we agree with him or not.
Finally it is important to draw attention to the specific, and exemplary, response from General Yakubu Gowon which further demonstrates his standing as one of the greatest Nigerian, as well as African, leaders. His declaration to the effect that he is willing to account for his tenure in office at the International Criminal Court (ICC), is a positive indication of good leadership and character. How many of such Nigeria's former, or serving, leaders could be able to seriously offer any similar pledge? In fact on the basis of the various accusations on the ground, most of them would do well to account for their actions, at whatever levels. It is imperative, if the democratization process in Nigeria is to mean, and prove, anything that all the chief executives of the federation, beginning with chief Olusegun Obsansajo, are seen to account for their tenure, as well as address all accusations against them, in the nations judicial courts.
We also need to properly look at the manner in which positive cultural attributes, such as languages, religions and customs, or traditions, of our peoples are being politicized, and subverted, to serve very negative and destructive purposes which stand in opposition to the very essence of both culture and religion. It is gratifying to see that religious leaders, and followers, are working hard to put a stop to such negative trends in order to enhance the moral, philanthropic, peaceful and unifying principles of all religious beliefs.
The present efforts towards so-called 'good-governance in Africa is hardly working because it has neglected the essential issues in nation-building and the so-called development it promises, as Claude Ake rightly pointed out, was never intended in the first place. For nation-building to be successful it must achieve and be based on the critical objectives of national sovereignty, constitutionalism, unity, citizenship rights, national development plans and practical issues of regional integration which are outside the purview of the so-called good governance agenda.
Clearly the question of development in Africa must be able to transcend the limitations currently imposed on it by foreign interventionism, local impunity, dysfunctional economic structures and the tendency to disintegral divisiveness partially occasioned by the prevailing dominance of the imperial ideology of ethnocentrism. These need to be overcome by building on PanAfricanist, as well as nationalist, achievements in respect of Africas sovereignty, at both popular and regional levels, through a regional structure that could independently mediate local conflicts within, as well as between, African countries and also check foreign interventionism in favour of popular and national sovereignty. Constitutionalism: multiculturalism, political pluralism, economic diversification and industrialization on the basis of regional integration, as well as a common and united African stand at the international levels in terms of diplomacy, would appear to constitute the most essential building blocks for Africa's nations successful development.
At present in terms of its essential ruling relations, structures and ideas the question of both development and democracy is flawed because they are imperial and neo-colonial.
Nation-building in Africa, or anywhere else, has never essentially been an exercise in the preservation and administration of any, or a galaxy of, "primordial" and "ethnic" groups. It was always a struggle for independent, and sovereign, nation-states anchored in the universal principle of popular sovereignty.
Similarly nation-building was nowhere ever simply designed to recreate the precolonial past, from whichever point of view this is perceived, or to basically preserve the colonial status quo in whatever guise, but rather to change it in favour of the development of new constitutional opportunities that guarantee, and promote, peace, justice, equity and prosperity for all citizens.
The search for a solution to the problem is already underway and it is on account of that fact that we are all here today.
In line with the exemplary conduct of one of your awardees, AbdulRaheem T., we must not only all work on this together but also do so in the spirit, and towards the achievement, of the goals of PanAfricanism. Patriotic African elites need to organize locally, actualize nationally and integrate regionally.
It is also significant to note that Haiti has decided to be part of the AU. It is imperative that the AU promotes greater relations with the African public through the initiation of diverse policy principles designed to address the needs of the continent.
Meanwhile in the spirit of the moment, we need to promote relevant platforms of the type that has brought as here today, as well as network their activities in a manner that will make them a significant force in the conduct of affairs at the AU
Being a paper submitted to the 10th Daily Trust Dialogue as a Guest Speaker on the theme of "Nation-Building: at Transcorp Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria on January 23rd, 2013.