Former Ghanaian President, Jerry Rawlings, has said Africa must rise against unnecessary interference in her affairs by Western powers.
Addressing the 10th anniversary celebrations of the pan-African parliament in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday March 18, 2014, Mr Rawlings said: “As a Continent, we cannot continue to allow some members of the developed world to interfere and intervene in our affairs while we become passive observers.”
The former Military leader of the gold, cocoa and oil-rich West African country observed that the continuous interference in Africa’s internal affairs by Western powers has, in most cases, led to gross disrespect of her sovereignty.
“Today Libya is but a pale shadow of itself with militants ensuring on a daily basis that political authority does not take root,” Rawlings cited as an example.
According to Rawlings, Africa “cannot look on while elected Presidents are plucked out of their countries and humiliated in such a crude manner.
“Some of us chose to blame Laurent Gbagbo and Gaddafi for the fate that befell them. We are equally to blame for looking on as the global powers entered our continent and virtually staged coups in our countries.”
He believes continental integration could help stave off the influence of the West on the Continent.
In Mr Rawlings’ view, “If as a continent we are keen to let our voice be heard, then we cannot continue to procrastinate on the matter of integration. Integration may sound ambitious for a huge 54-member organisation, but continued delay further relegates our continent to the depths of irrelevance.”
He said Africa “needs to merge its power into one meaningfully strong voice. Africa has power in numbers and resources. It has power in size and cultural uniqueness. This can be forged into a powerful voice of reason,” Rawlings said.
The former Ghanaian leader said: “The time has come for Africa to shake itself out of the culture of censorship and restraint and to assert itself. We have the right to speak against the global power play in Syria and Iraq. We have the right to prevent the negative interference by the former colonial powers in the many conflicts in its former territories and we have the power to resolve our own problems if we choose to. Let us not allow this opportunity to slip by.”