African Media Accused of Being Too Pro-Western

By Nasilimika Sanga, Tomric News Agency (Dar es Salaam), 9 April 2001

Dar Es Salaam—The African media have been accused for being too pro-western to an extend that Africa is home to all kinds of problems, notably poverty, diseases, famine, civil wars and non-educated.

The accusation was raised by a two-man team from a Libya-based political and cultural movement, which is touring East Africa to campaign for grass-root participation in the envisaged United States of Africa. They have accused African media for failing to play key role for their continent.

The movement coordinator, Dr. Ambalmagid Tawil and an academician, Dr. Mohamed Ambarek who are apparently in Dar Es Salaam after toured Uganda said here that African media have failed to play its key role to denounce the negative image that western media nurse on Africa. Without mentioning them he said, Your media seem to have succumbed to western influence, said Dr. Ambarek.

He dismissed as nonsense claims by western media that Africa is home to all kinds of problems. This is nonsense. Africans, by nature are peace lovers, hard working and very intelligent, the doctor who also heads a media faculty at Libya's Banghazi University said.

On the United States of Africa, Ambarek warned African states to be cautious in implementing the Charter which he said was against the big nations' will. He said developed countries wanted to see Africa divided and fighting forever, the union makes bad news for them. He said they wanted a people union and not the leaders' unity. A charter to establish the African union was signed in Sirte, Libya early last month by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) extraordinary summit.

Until two weeks ago 34 African countries had endorsed the consultative Act of the African Union, a move that will pave the way to them to join the African Union. For the treaty to come into force it should get approval from 36 member states which make the thirds of OAU member countries.

Thirty-one OAU members had ratified the charter hardly five days after the OAU extraordinary summit had laid the legal ground for the creation of the Union. The charter sets in motion the creation of a Pan African Parliament, a Central Bank, a Court of Justice and a single currency. These would be initial steps towards total social, political and economic union of the African continent.

The envisaged African Union modeled on the European Union (EU) would replace the 38-year-old OAU. A commission to be headed by a chairman would be formed to supersede the OAU Secretariat. However, after coming into force the union would have to go through a one-year transition period during which key issues such as democracy, human rights and economic cooperation would be addressed.

During the transition period the union operations would be government by three constitutions, it's own, the OAU's and that of the African Economic Community.

The African Union brings together the 1963 Treaty for the Establishment of OAU and the 1991 Agreement for the establishment of the Economic Community of Africa. The initiatives started several decades ago. It started more than four decades ago by a number of African leaders such as Julius Kambarage Nyerere of Tanzania, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Ahmed Seko Toure of Guinea and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya.