by Akbar Muhammad
Al-Qaddafi immediately vowed to push on with his plans to strengthen the institutions of the AU and make the African states stronger, stable and peaceful in a rather unstable world.
In his acceptance speech, he said, “I think the coming time will be a time of serious work and a time for action, not just empty words.”
He told Africa’s heads of state that there is much to do and that some of the procedures need to be reviewed in order to speed up the establishment of Union’s institutions.
He also promised to do all he can to solve the problem of Darfur and other African conflicts. In his acceptance speech, Al-Qaddafi acknowledged that he at times provoked some of African heads of state in order to push the agenda of the African Union.
However, he said for the African leaders to have different views regarding the future of the continent is healthy. He said the credit goes to all heads of state and their sovereign countries for making the right decisions. It was reported that in a closed meeting much of the opposition to the election Al-Qaddafi was led by South Africa and Uganda, two countries that the Libyan leader and his country’s men and women had helped the most in achieving their goals of freedom and justice for their people.
Al-Qaddafi told the summit he did not wish to take up the post of the chairman of the AU earlier, even though he was invited to, because he believed that his position was to help push the car regardless who was the driver. Africa must realize its dreams of unity, regardless of any one person’s official position.
Al-Qaddafi is, in fact, the engineer and the founder of the AU. He called for an emergency summit of the Organization of African Unity on Sept. 9, 1999, in Libya and methodically laid out why the OAU should move forward to become the African Union. He said that if Dr. Kwame Nkrumah could rise from his grave, the masses, the young, the old, the students, the workers, the military, the civil servants and the politicians would have carried him on their shoulders. The African masses’ real objective is to see the birth of a United States of Africa that is rich, peaceful and secure.
In 1999 and up to the establishment of the Union in Durban, South Africa, in 2002, many dismissed the whole idea of an African Union as unrealistic. But Qaddafi’s insistence, persistence and audacity and his strong belief in the future of a united, prosperous African continent, as well as his commitment to devote his country’s resources to serve such a noble cause, made the dream a reality.
During the African summit, Qaddafi praised the outgoing president of the AU, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, for his good management during his tenure and insisted that the chairman of the AU Commission, Jean Ping of Gabon, should keep his post as he has proven to be capable in running the day to day affairs of the Union.
The president of the African Union is a rotating position held by heads of state for one year. It gives the holder influence over the continent’s politics.
Qaddafi believes, with so many other leaders of Africa as well as millions of Africans in the Diaspora, that only a United States of Africa can tackle the long-term issues of poverty, disease, illiteracy and conflicts and make the continent a global powerhouse. He recognized, however, that there was much work to be done and that many of the African leaders are not in agreement as to where and how to start.
The new AU president is seen by the masses as an accomplished statesman in Africa who is seriously committed to serve the interests of the continent.
In his closing speech, Qaddafi made it clear that Libya, alone among oil- producing nations, has not lost money during the world financial crisis. “Libya has not lost a single dollar in this crisis. Libya has invested billions in Africa. We have not invested in America,” he emphasized.
Qaddafi praised the new American president and described Barack Hussein Obama’s accession to the White House as a victory against racism and urged the first Black U.S. president to lead his country boldly and with integrity. “The Black people’s struggle has made tremendous advances against racism in America. It was God who created color. Today President Obama, son of a Kenyan father, a true son of Africa, has made it in the United States of America,” he said.
“We hope he will be well protected, strong and unshakable. America doesn’t belong to the whites alone. I hope he will be able to accomplish the change that he carries in his spirit,” he added. In his Green Book, which he wrote over 30 years ago, Qaddafi was able to foresee that Blacks will prevail in the world. The election of a young energetic Black president of the most powerful nation on earth is clear proof that Muammar Qaddafi, a revolutionary thinker, was right.