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Interim Standing Committee of the
Economic, Social and Cultural Council
(ECOSOCC) of the African Union
Draft Contribution of ECOSSOC to the
Grand Debate on the African Union
Rev1, 02 March 2007
* This document was produced following a decision of the Interim
Standing Committee of ECOSOC at its Cairo meeting in February 2007.
But the Committee has not been able to meet as previewed to discuss
and adopt the document. However, given the imminent holding of the
Grand Debate on the African Union Government, it seems necessary to
make this document public in the hope that it could be useful in the
Summary and Recommendations ……………………………………………
Chapter 1:
Introduction and terminological and methodological
1.1 Clarification of key terms ………………………………………………06
1.2 Methodological approach ………………………………………………07
Chapter 2:
The need for a theoretical instrument to measure
integration: the concept of irreversible union threshold
2.1 How to measure integration ……………………………………………08
2.2 The irreversible union threshold ……………………………………… 08
Chapter 3: Modalities for consultations
3.1 Non-formal consultations ………………………………………………10
3.2 Formal consultations ……………………………………………………10
3.3 Content of consultations ……………………………………………… 11
Chapter 4: Popular features of the Union Government
4.1 Definition ……………………………………………………………………….
4.2 The main Popular features ………………………………………………12
Chapter 5: Financing the Union Government
5.1 President Abdoulaye Wade’s proposal to impose a Union tax on
insurance policies …………………………………………………15
5.2 ECOSSOC’s proposal to impose a tax on air tickets………………….
5.3 The start of panafricanisation of a percentage of proceeds derived
from Africa’s natural resources ……………………………………………..
Chapter 6: The 3rd Draft Constitution of United Africa (United States
of Africa) ………………………………………………………………17
Chapter 7: Conclusion and recommendations
7.1 Conclusion ……………………………………………………………….…18
7.2 Recommendations ……………………………………………………..… 18
Bibliography …………………………………………………………..……… 20
This ECOSOCC’s contribution to the Grand Debate on the African Union
Government proposes the measures presented below as means to significantly move
the Union towards the United States of Africa. These measures are hereby
summarized as recommendations in six points:
1) The first measure is a simple clarification of terms which helps in recognizing the
use of three appellations to refer to the same supranational geopolitical entity, namely:
a historic appellation, The United States of Africa; an authentic and practical
appellation, The United Africa (UA); and a descriptive appellation, The Panafrican
Union. This should pose no major problem.
2) The second measure consists in a simple theoretical measurement instrument,
namely the irreversible Union Threshold, which helps do away with the controversial
concepts of federalism and confederalism in dealing with African integration. The
crossing of the union threshold will be achieved through a Panafrican referendum to
be organized in member States. This concept also helps perceive the United States of
Africa not as an end point, but mostly as a new point of departure, with great
objectives to be pursued.
3) The national, regional and continental consultations requested by the AU Assembly
are hereby defined as a profound dialogue between African leaders and their peoples,
going from the day of their decision to the day of effective instauration of the United
Stats of Africa. It is therefore recommended that, wherever possible, these
consultations be organized alongside national elections and other democratic
consultations which are regularly programmed.
4) The fourth recommendation is a series of concrete measures through which the
Union Government (UG) can positively impact the daily lives of ordinary Africans on
a short term basis. These are continental taxes (President Wade’s and ECOSOCC’s
proposed taxes, respectively on insurance policies and international air tickets on
African air space), peace and security (African Standing Force), infrastructures
(regional and transafrican highways), free movement of people (African Passport),
African currency (Afri), etc.
5) The fifth recommendation is on the financing of the UG. On the basis of proposals
that have already been well studied in the AU, an exploration of the various domains
of the Innovative Funding of Development (IFD) is recommended. Moreover, is quite
possible to generate major resources for the self financing of the UG from a common
percentage of revenues derived by UG member States from their top- and subsoil.
6) Finally, it is recommended that the AU Assembly requests an assessment of the
document entitled Third Draft of the Constitution of the United Africa (The United
States of Africa) in view of an official recognition of the work for what it is.
Chapter 1: Introduction and Terminological and Methodological
During its ordinary meeting held from 24 to 26 February 2007 in
Cairo, Egypt, the Interim Standing Committee of the Economic, Social
and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union decided to
contribute to the Grand Debate on the “Union Government,” leading to
the United States of Africa. This broad debate had been decided by
the 8th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and
Government of the African Union, which held in January 29 and 30
2007 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A small committee was put in place to
come up with a working document which will be presented to the
Standing Committee during the next meeting slated for May 2007.
The present text is the first draft of the afore-mentioned working
document. We welcome all contributions aimed at making it better
In effect, the 8th Conference of Heads of State and Government of the
African Union (AU) that held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from January
29 to 30, had, in its Decision No DOC. Assembly/AU/10(VIII):
 Reiterated that the ultimate objective of the African Union is the
political and economic integration of the continent, leading to the
creation of the United States of Africa;
 Decided to devote the 9th Ordinary Session of the Assembly in Accra,
Ghana, in July 2007 to the theme “Grand Debate on the Union
 Requested members states to carry out the necessary national
consultations within their countries;
 Also requested the Commission and Regional Economic Communities
to undertake regional and continental consultations, respectively.
Given the relatively short time to take part in this broad debate, the
drafting committee has judged that it will be wise for ECOSOCC to
bring contributions coming from the reflections of different segments
of society; reflections that have already been sufficiently mellowed to
easily lead to consensus.
1.3 Some terminological clarifications
It is important, at the start of this document, to make some
clarifications on the main terms that will be used. The terms
concerned are essentially related to two main concepts which are
“United States of Africa” and “Union Government.”
United States of Africa: This term can be traced back to the two first
decades of the 20th century, precisely before 1919. It was introduced
by the first panafricanists, most prominent of whom was WEB DU
Bois. It translates their inspiration from the model of the United
States of America (and even later, of ex USSR). For loyalty to these
fathers of modern panafricanism, this appellation must be maintained
for historical reasons. But a more authentic term that one would find
in almost all panafricanist writings and which is easily usable, is
United Africa, also written as United-Africa (abbreviated UA). Both
terms must be used as synonyms depending on whether one is
referring to history or to practical and immediate preoccupations. Of
course, the United States of Africa cannot be a subservient imitation
of the United States of America.
Union Government: This term has evolved remarkably in the texts
reflecting the thoughts on the African Union since January 2005. At
the start it had an all-embracing meaning that can be summarised as
“reinforced, reformed African Union.” Today it essentially means two
things: the “African Union Executive” on the one hand, and the
“System of governance of the African Union” on the other. These two
meanings are valid. One only needs to be more precise each time one
uses the second one. Otherwise, the first one must be more current
because it translates the collective experiences of ordinary Africans in
Union: This term will continue to be used even after the putting in
place of the United States of Africa and when one would no longer
speak of the African Union. The word should be given an authentic,
legitimate and quasi indisputable qualifier. One such qualifier is
Panafrican. It faithfully reflects the out-of continent component of
the United-Africa which is in the process of being built. In a way, this
qualifier pays well-deserved homage to the first African Diaspora to
whom we owe the essentials of modern panafricanist ideals.
Therefore, after the African Union, if one still speaks of the Union, it
must be understood to mean the Panafrican Union.
The above leads to the eventuality of three different appellations for
the same geopolitical entity, namely: United States of Africa, United
Africa, and Panafrican Union. Is this too much? And if so, with
reference to what norm (do we make such a value judgement)?
1.4 Methodological approach
The methodological approach used in this document consists in
defining the nature of contributions that the ECOSOCC shall make to
the Grand Debate on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to precise
the manner by which the said contributions shall be made.
Concerning the nature of the contributions, it goes without saying
that it can be nothing but advice, given that ECOSOCC is an organ
with a mandate to give advice to the AU in general, and its other
organs and institutions, particularly each time there is felt need. In
this light the entire content of this document is a special advice given
by ECOSOCC to the AU at this particular moment of its history.
Regarding the way in which this advice is given, it consists of two
aspects: first of all, documentary and empirical research, followed by
reflection and recommendations. By gleaning through a certain
number of instantly accessible documents and by empirically
observing current facts related to the subject, ECOSOCC proceeded to
reflect collectively on the issues and to formulate recommendations for
the attention of Heads of State and Government of the African Union,
within the framework of this Grand Debate on the Union Government.
Chapter 2: The Need for a Theoretical Instrument to Measure
Integration: The Concept of Irreversible Union
2.1 How to measure Integration
Debates on African integration often come up against notions such as
federalism, confederalism, and more recently, the so-called
community approach. Whereas, it really seems that the concrete
realities of the African continent call for a judicious combination of
these notions by envisaging integration as a linear process on a
theoretical measuring scale.
By drawing inspiration from examples of federal States such as the
United States of America, Canada, Nigeria or Germany, it is easy to
come up with a simple theoretical scale of integration graded from 0 to
10, where point 10 represents perfect federalism. In this way, the
USA and Germany would be on point 10 whereas Canada and Nigeria
would be on point 9.5. Today, the European Union would be on point
6 while waiting for the adoption of its Constitution to take it to point 7
where it might stabilise.
2.2 The Irreversible Union Threshold
On such an integration scale, point 5 constitutes the union threshold
whose crossing by States marks their irreversible union. This means
for instance, that the European Union has already crossed that
threshold and only seeks to consolidate its unity according to the
needs of her people.
Concerning Africa, it can be said that the OAU took off from point 2
and stopped at point 3. With the coming of the African Union, the
integration of the continent went up to point 4. All the ideas proposed
so far on the Union Government indicate that this might carry African
Integration to point 4.5 and even farther. The irreversible union
threshold would still not be crossed, for, among the criteria to cross,
there is the Panafrican referendum which cannot be overlooked.
Following the Union Government, if the 3rd Draft Constitution of
United Africa (United States of Africa) was adopted by a Panafrican
referendum, such an act of popular adoption would constitute the
effective crossing of the irreversible union point which would place
African integration, for States that have crossed that point, at point
The tracking of the objectives of the Constitution would
progressively consolidate this union and would carry it, within ten or
fifteen years to points 7.5 and 8 where it would stabilise.
The use of this simple tool as we propose here enables us to illustrate
the fact that the coming into being of the United States of Africa does
not constitute an end point, but rather, a new point of departure after
going through the irreversible union threshold. This new point of
departure would guarantee sustainable peace on the continent and
make poverty a thing of the past.
Crossing the union
constitute for Africa,
than 50 years after
essentially collective,
each African State.
point by all African States will, in reality,
the accession to a second independence, more
the first. This second independence will be
contrary to the first one that was individual to
The other interest of the concept of union threshold is the clear
illustration of the degree of national sovereignty that each State will
continue to enjoy. It is situated between 2 and 2.5 points, which is
very important! Compared with the European Union, this brings to
focus the fact that, considering the actual weaknesses of our Sates
taken individually, Africa needs a much stronger union than Europe
does, in order to be able to address the constraints of globalisation,
and especially to benefit from it.
Chapter 3: Consultation Modalities
The national, regional and continental consultations demanded by the
8th Assembly of the AU on the Union Government appear to be a
process to be implemented over a long period of time. It is certainly
not meant to be a punctual act. In fact, this is the first of its kind in
history, for both the OAU and the AU. It is thus important to plan
and execute the process well. That is why they must be conceived as
a sustained dialogue between African leaders and their people all
along the transition from the existing AU to the effective putting in
place of the United States of Africa. The referendum to adopt the
Constitution of the United States of Africa shall constitute the last
phase of this extensive dialogue.
For the time being, national, regional and continental-level
consultations as prescribed by the afore-mentioned decision can
result in two types of consultation, namely non-formal and formal
consultations. It is imperative that particular attention be paid to the
content of these consultations.
3.1 Non-formal Consultations
Consultations that will have taken place between January and June
2007 shall essentially be non-formal. In effect, available material time
does not allow the organisation of well-structured consultations. No
Member State is really prepared for such consultations. Even civil
society is not well prepared. At all levels, it is an absolutely new
What seems appropriate in these circumstances is to utilise existing
channels of communication, structures of collaboration and
partnerships which already work between different stakeholders, to
collect necessary information to take a decision on the Union
Government, which take into account the real aspirations of the
African people. But these non-formal and rapid consultations must
give way to more formal consultations which go beyond the Union
Government to throw light on the ultimate goal, which is the United
States of Africa.
3.2 Formal Consultations
These have to do with the consultation process and notably the
different intervening parties as well as the ways by which the process
is carried out. Given that a good segment of African civil society was
already engaged in a Panafrican pre-referendum on the sole existing
Draft Constitution of the United States of Africa, it follows logically
then that when States enter the scene, an efficient partnership will be
established between these two actors.
In this way, States could provide most of the resources and the
appropriate conditions to enable different segments of civil society
engage in meaningful consultations. One would equally consider,
where it is possible in the short term, to carry out these consultations
along side other regularly-programmed national consultations. But in
the mid term, that is from now to 2010, a Panafrican dimension of
democratic consultations must be put in place within member states,
within Regional Economic Communities (REC) and at the continental
level (for instance to take into account the realities of those in the
Given the great number and complexity of problems to resolve at
regional and continental levels, it will be undeniably more economical
and more efficient to broaden the formal settings of different national
consultations to include, in the form of well-targeted referenda, issues
that solicit people’s opinions. For example, concerning all the popular
consultations leading to the effective putting in place of the United
States of Africa, they could be easily secured to the different
democratic consultations organised at national level.
It must be underlined that regional and continental consultations
essentially have a formal character in the sense that their content
cannot be different from that of national consultations. Furthermore,
they cannot target an African public without any national reference.
The task to fulfil at these two levels therefore simply consists in
coordinating and analysing the results of national consultations.
3.3 Content of Consultations
To consult the people on a given issue boils down to asking their
opinions or soliciting their engagement regarding these issues. Three
complimentary subjects account for the consultations treated here.
First of all, there is the opinion of Africans on the ultimate goal that
their leaders have assigned to the African Union. The issue at this
point is to know what proportion of Africans have subscribed to that
goal. Furthermore, there is the opinion of Africans on the Union
Government as a last transition stage toward the United States of
Africa. The issue here cannot be to say if there is need for a transition
or not, but rather to know for how long, approximately, the transition
will go. Since there is no consensus yet on the precise form that the
United States of Africa will take, it will be necessary to put in place a
transition that will also constitute a phase of intense preparations. It
is therefore necessary to get the people’s opinion on the approximate
duration of the Union Government. This time factor is a key element
on the road map of the transition.
Regarding this, two dates are significant: 2010 corresponding to the
fiftieth anniversary of African independences, and 2015 corresponding
to the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). But in order
to give a larger spectrum of choice to those consulted, it could also be
proposed that they choose any date between 2010 and 2015. In
effect, 2010 ought to be the optimal date if the goal is that at least a
few States (for instance six States in three regions) must have carried
out successful Panafrican referenda by that date to constitute the first
nucleus of the United States of Africa, to which other States will join
by 2015 at the latest, after having carried out successful referenda.
Lastly, there is the fundamental issue of making the African people
committed to putting in place the structures of the United States of
Africa. To state one’s opinion on an issue is not synonymous with
committing oneself regarding that issue.
The Panafrican prereferendum offers to Africans who so desire, the possibility of
becoming Founders of the United States of Africa by voting before the
date of the Panafrican referendum itself, and by obtaining a
(Founder’s) pre-referendum membership card costing 2 US dollars
and bearing an everlasting number.
To summarise, three important questions could be the focus of these
consultations, namely:
a) Do you accept the United States of Africa as the ultimate goal of
the African Union?
b) When do you wish to see the United States of Africa
established? 2010 ; 2015 ; between 2010 and 2015 .
c) Do you want to engage yourself, in anticipation, in the process
of building the United States of Africa, by becoming one of its
Evidently, the exact formulation of these questions will depend on
other factors and on other secondary issues deemed important in the
Chapter 4: Popular Features of the Union Government
The study on an “African Union Government toward the United States
of Africa”, carried out in May 2006, under the auspices of the
Committee of 7 Heads of State of the AU, presided over by President
Olusegun Obasanjo, constitutes one of the main reference documents
on the concept of the Union Government (UG). Amongst other things,
it defines the Union Government as “a temporary political
arrangement toward the formation of the United States of Africa” and
sketches a road map in three stages of three years each, leading to the
creation of the United States of Africa in 2015.
Two other documents of the AU throw more light on the concept. One
of them is the President’s Report on the strengthening of the African
Union Commission and Specialised Technical Committees toward the
United States of Africa. The other is the Report on the Modalities for
institutionalising the African Union Government. From these joint
reflections it comes out that in order to enable the progressive
transformation from the AU to the United States of Africa, the takeoff
of the Union Government will be conditioned on the appropriate
strengthening of African Union institutions, particularly its
Commission. The Union Government is therefore a last stage toward
the effective creation of the United States of Africa.
One fundamental characteristic of the process of putting the UG in
place is the holding of national, regional and continental consultations
requested by the 8th Assembly of the AU. The importance of these
consultations cannot be overestimated, given that it is through them
and for the very first time in the history of the OAU and the AU, that
African people will be able to make their contributions to a continental
process. But as it was underlined earlier, this popular participation
will be rather non formal, since the optimal conditions for formal
consultations would not have been met.
However, it is quite possible, after an effort that specifically focuses on
the most general needs of Africans today, to identify a limited number
of precise goals of the UG, targeting the satisfaction of these needs in
the short (and perhaps in the mid) term. These goals would constitute
the popular features or characteristics of the Union Government.
By so doing, the Heads of State and Government of the AU would
show clearly that the AU has the African population at heart. For,
during all these years of the OAU and the AU, Africans are still waiting
to improve their daily lives with the fallouts of political manoeuvring.
These characteristics are the goals to attain in an interval of about
three years, that is, from now to the end of 2010. These have to do
with concrete achievements that directly impact on the lives of poor
Africans. Here are a few examples listed by order of importance:
1) The immediate creation of vast resources for the self-financing
of continental and regional projects and programmes. To go about
this, the Assembly ought to resolve to adopt two or three alternative
sources of finance already identified by the Commission and other
organs of the AU, and formally recommended to the Executive
Council. Among these, mention can be made of the following which
already benefit from the appreciable recommendations of experts:
a) The proposal of the Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade, relative
to a Union tax imposed on insurance policies;
b) ECOSOCC’s proposal consisting in imposing a tax on air tickets for
travels between members States and between Africa and the rest of
the world.
c) To these one can add the start of Panafricanisation of a percentage
of member States proceeds from the natural resources in Africa’s topand sub-soils (to the tune of 5% at the regional level and 10% at the
continental level) because these resources have existed for millennia
even before these States acceded to their present status. At least a
small part of these proceeds should be ploughed back to ordinary
2) A decision by the Assembly transforming the African Standby
Force into an African Standing Force for the permanent peace
keeping on the entire continent. This force can be financed, on the
one hand, by part of the resources proposed above, and/or by a net
transfer to the Union of 10 to 15% of the military capacities
(resources) of member States, on the other. These capacities, which
should entail no extra cost to member States can be taken from the
national army with arms, materials, logistics, moveable and
immoveable assets as well as the corresponding national military
budget. It must be pointed out that a UG without a permanent
capacity to maintain peace on the continent, under the effective
control of the Union, would not be reassuring to the ordinary African.
3) The identification of trans-African and regional highways, and
supranational political entities. Being the “ Implementing Agency”
to effectively put in place these highway structures, NEPAD should be
given the opportunity to fully assume this responsibility. As everyone
knows only too well, where a road passes, development follows.
Modalities for compensating States by Regional Economic
Communities (REC) and the UG for those highways that are already
tarred ought to be studied and applied.
4) The issuing of the African Passport as from 2009. This measure
will reassure the African people of the sincerity of their leaders who
have for a long time expressed the desire to initiate the free movement
of people and goods throughout Africa.
5) The immediate adoption by the Assembly of the Union, of the
appellation Afri to designate the future African currency. This
appellation would be used in the framework of financial institutions of
the Union on the verge of creation. As a reminder, the proposition of
this appellation which is made up of the first four letters of the word
“Africa” in most African languages, appeared for the first time in 1989
in a book by an African writer, treating, amongst other things,
continental economic integration.
The list above is in no way exhaustive. But all the points in them can
lead to the application of one of the cardinal principles of the UG,
namely the strict adherence of member States. In other words, it is
not necessary that all the States of the Union subscribe to one or
other of the proposal. The principle of strict adherence by member
States is salutary both for the UG as well as for the future United
States of Africa. The African Union must remain the minimum setting
in which to build African integration. This minimum setting must be
able to accommodate States that want to advance today so as to
develop in tandem with the new setting of the Union Government. It
ought to be the same for States which would want to join the United
States of Africa after conducting a national referendum to that effect.
Chapter 5: Financing the Union Government
5.1 Vast sources from which to self-finance the UG
Ordinary Africans do not understand why their leaders run round the
world to beg for money to finance projects and programmes of the
African Union whereas rich countries rush to Africa to take away raw
materials of all kinds, amongst other things. It is still more difficult
for ordinary Africans to understand why they live in such abject
poverty, in a continent endowed with a vast natural resource base
that the rest of the world has been stashing away for centuries. Any
serious strategy to finance the UG must begin by finding answers to
Africa’s paradoxical equation, especially because the fact that some
African States keep to themselves immense natural resource wealth
which had been there for millennia before the creation of these States,
while other States, poorly endowed by nature, live in perpetual want,
appears like injustice in the eyes of a growing number of Africans.
As indicated above, it is quite possible to generate vast resources
to self-finance the UG from proceeds that States that join the UG will
draw from their natural resource base. A panafricanisation of 15% of
these resources (10% for the UG and 5% for each REC to which the
country concerned belongs) has been carefully studied by some
segments of African civil society. It is a powerful measure which can
lead to the generation of much money, and offers many other
advantages. Its implementation calls for the putting in place, for each
natural product in Africa’s top- and sub-soil, of Marketing Committees
drawing membership from the three political entities concerned,
namely, the Member State, the REC and the UG. These three entities
will benefit from an international balance of power in favour of Africa
that has never before been equalled.
The States involved will emerge victorious at all levels. For, since the
balance of power in negotiations is in Africa’s favour and applies to
the entire continent, it will lead to gains in negotiations that no State
might obtain negotiating alone. In some cases, those gains might be
more than the 15% that the State in question had accepted to transfer
to the UG and to its REC. The sudden emergence of China on Africa’s
economic scene constitutes one right setting for applying this
5.2 Resources of Innovative Funds for Development
The Union Government will gain by resolutely engaging in Innovative
Funds for Development (IFD) as alternative sources for its selffinancing initiatives. This is the conclusion of the report of the OSCA
Commission for economic affairs of October 2006.
This report
explores the potentials of Innovative Development Financing for Africa
and the measures that the continent must take to make the most out
of it. In effect, IFDs appear to be a new open chain of sources of
development finance that can be mobilised through a system of taxing
international wealth generated through globalisation. IFDs are
potential, predictable, substantial and sustainable resources to be
distributed in the form of gifts to beneficiary countries and regions.
Even though the international fiscal system is more virtual than real,
for some years now, specific international efforts have been mustered
to make it effective. The coming into force of the French law to impose
an international tax on air tickets as from July 2006 augurs well for a
bright future for IFDs.
As mentioned above, a proposal from
ECOSOCC, inspired by the efforts of the OSCA, on imposing a tax on
air tickets in African skies to finance, yesterday the OAU, today the
AU, had already been submitted to the AU Assembly through the
Commission. The similar initiative of President Chirac has come to
position this mode of taxation as the front runner of IFDs.
African States that are, all at once, big contributors and big losers of
globalisation, could draw many advantages from IDFs if they commit
themselves collectively right away and speak with one voice by
elaborating and adopting common positions within the institutional
setting of the African Union.
The OSCA report cited earlier
recommends, amongst others:
a) To the African Union:
 The adoption of a general framework for the case by case
elaboration and adoption of common African positions on IDFs;
 Broadening the setting for mobilising alternative resources for its
self-financing to that of regional IDFs;
 The harmonising of its project to impose a tax on air tickets with
the more recent and already operational French initiative.
b) To African Civil Society
 To double efforts in its support to African States regarding IDFs,
through research, collective reflection, pertinent proposals and
social lobbying
Judging from the above, it can be conveniently asserted that the UG
could provide the right setting to mobilise substantial resources to
self-finance the Union. But for this to happen, members States
should show stronger political will. Apparently money is not what is
the most lacking in Africa, it is the will to generate it and to direct it
toward the satisfaction of felt needs.
Chapter 6: The 3rd Draft Constitution of United-Africa (the United
States of Africa)
It is important to have from these early stages of collective reflection
on the Union Government, some ideas about what the United States
of Africa would look like. This will permit, amongst other things, that
it is not presented as an end in itself or as a point of arrival, but
rather as a new point of departure toward an Africa that is united,
peaceful and prosperous.
In this perspective, the 3rd Draft
Constitution of United-Africa (United States of Africa) comes in just in
time. It is a text that was finalised on May 25, 2005 following the end
of a collective endeavour that started since September 1999. It
integrates some pertinent provisions of the 1963 OAU Charter, the
Abuja Treaty of 1991 instituting the African Economic Community
and the Constitutive Act of the African Union of 2000, including its
2003 amendments. New provisions, that is, provisions not contained
in past texts of the OAU and the AU, constitute about one third of the
content of this Draft Constitution. It is therefore a text essentially
built on the gains of the OAU and AU.
It important to note that generally, collective reflection undertaken up till now on the
Government of the Union would have remarkably brought together the constitutive
texts of the African Union of this Draft Constitution of the United States of Africa;
thus validating the latter, theoretically and indirectly. As a result, its utility as a
reference document in this collective march towards a more peaceful and more
prosperous Africa finds is more affirmed
Within the framework of collective reflection put in place by the
African Union, this document can effectively:
a) Serve, after assessment, as Working Document that will be
amended to get to the final version of the Draft Constitution of
the United States of Africa to be submitted to the African people,
as a last resort, for approval through a Panafrican referendum;
b) Serve more and more as the basis for anticipated engagement
(as is currently the case with Panafrican pre-referendum
initiated by some African civil society organisations) in the
effective building of the United States of Africa.
By registering this document, alongside others from African civil
society, in its instruments of active participation to the collective
reflection on the Union Government and on the United States of
Africa, the African Union would show proof of its strong will to build a
true Union of African peoples, by integrating in it, ideas from these
Chapter 7: Conclusion and Recommendations
7.1 Conclusion
It is important to note with satisfaction that a remarkable convergence in
thinking and mobilization emerged between the organs of the African
Union and civil society on the issue of the United States of Africa since
the OAU Summit of Algiers, Algeria, in July 1999. On both sides, there
were profound believes on the necessity to move rapidly towards the
United States of Africa. Over the years these believes have been
reinforced and have had multiplier effects. Thus, the decision taken by
the 8th Assembly of the African Union to henceforth move towards the
United States of Africa is in line with deep rooted aspirations of Africans.
The Union Government must now come to being, either as a result of the
AU Summit in Accra in July 2007, or as a result of that of January 2008.
The intensive collective reflection undertaken within various institutions
of the AU since January 2005 constitutes, today, a sound ground to
institute the Union Government with a full assurance that it would more
easily reach its goals than the present day AU could possibly reach its
Finally, the Union Government appears as more appropriate framework
for the implementation of the AU strategic plan of action 2004-2007
which has not been implemented as expected. The very existence of this
plan seems to be a guarantee for the success of the African Union
.7.2 Recommendations
To end the present contribution, the following recommendations, which
are already presented in different sections of the paper, are hereby more
concisely reformulated and emphasized:
1. Decision of the Assembly of the Union creating vast financial
resources for the immediate self-financing of the Union, notably:
a) The proposal of Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade, to
impose a Union tax on insurance policies;
b) The proposal of ECOSOCC to impose a tax on air tickets for
travels between member States and between Africa and the rest
of the world;
c) The beginning of Panafricanisation of a percentage of proceeds
that member States get from their natural resource base (up to
5% at the regional level and 10% at the continental level).
2. A Decision of the Assembly of the Union calling on member States
to conduct regional and continental democratic consultations along
side regularly programmed national consultations.
3. An appropriate assessment of the document entitled Third Draft
Constitution of United-Africa (the United States of Africa) in view of an
official recognition by the Assembly of the Union.
Ayodele Aderinwale (ed.), 2006. Africa and the Challenges of a Union
Government. African Leadership Forum Publications
Comité de 7 de l’Union Africaine, 2006. Study on an African Union
Government Towards the United States of Africa (Restricted)
Organisation de la Société Civile Africaine (OSCA) 2005. Troisième
Mouture du Projet de Constitution de l’Afrique-Unie (Etats Unis
D’Afrique). Yaoundé, Cameroun.
Organisation de la Société Civile Africaine (OSCA) 2006. Rapport sur
les Financements Innovants du Développement (FID). Yaoundé,
Union Africaine, 2007. Rapport du Président sur le Renforcement de
la Commission et les Comités Techniques Spécialisés vers le
Governement de l’Union.
Union Africaine, 2007. Rapport sur les Modalités de Mise en oeuvre
d’un Gouvernement de l’Union Africaine.
Union Africaine, 2007. Décision sur le Rapport de la 9e Session
Extraordinaire du Conseil Exécutif pour le Gouvernement de l’Union.
Doc. Assembly/AU/10