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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
What the African Union should do
As the African Union prepares to meet in Banjul in the Gambia for their seventh annual summit, we asked what you want them to decide and act on.

Read a selection of views below and then send us your ideas and contributions using the link at the end of this page.

Ngwasi Chibikom, 25, unemployed nurse in Cameroon

Ngwasi Chibikom (Cameroon)
Ngwasi Chibikom wants the African Union to start putting their words into action

The African Union have already declared everything on paper and so now is the time to put everything into action.

They must stop making speeches and having lavish parties. They must stop wasting money and instead start acting.

Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Make Poverty History campaign set things in motion, but now I hope that our African leaders can be visionary enough to continue and succeed in fulfilling the promises.

A lot of the debt has been alleviated but any new money given as aid packages must be accounted for, clearly and transparently.

The money will be used judiciously and transparently
Prime Minister Ephraim Inoni

For instance France recently announced a substantial aid package worth some 500m euros ($627m; 344m) over five years for my country, Cameroon.

I want to know what this money will be used for and how my country's leader will account for the money. Money has not been accounted for in the past and so that's why I ask how this new aid is going to be used?

The problem is the leadership - it lets us down. Aid, so far, has not tallied with development. The money has gone down the drain - it has filled the pockets of the politicians, paying for their plush cars and fancy lives.

Africa is not poor. Africa has much potential. Thus if good use is made of it, we can be really envied by the rest of the world.

I would also like our leader to look into ways to fight the diseases that riddle our land. The burden is so high and our leaders are doing very little.

Our health sectors are lacking too much. In my case there are no jobs. I cannot find work here as a nurse.

My skills are not being put to use and so I have no satisfaction.

Our leaders want us to stay here in Africa, and I would very much like to stay but there's nothing here for me. I just get exploited and so I'm applying to go and work in Sweden or maybe Britain.

Omari J Goda, 42, radio operator in Kadugli, Sudan

Why is that when it comes to conferences, the funds are there, but when it comes for action to be taken, there are no funds?

African Union officer talks to a rebel from the Sudan Liberation Army during an AU patrol in Darfur

Like in Sudan's war-torn western region of Darfur... on Wednesday the African Union announced that its peacekeeping mission in the region will end in three months' time because they don't have the money to carry on.

Why are the AU troops in Darfur under-funded and poorly equipped? And why haven't they been able to cease the violence?

What is the AU going to do about the Sudanese situation?

Alpha, 22, African student in the Netherlands

Girl carrying her sister and belongings
Alpha thinks that African children's responsibilities will decrease if a social welfare system is set up

I would like the African Union to discuss the possibility of providing the continent's people with social security.

Reason being is that I think one way of improving African economies and living conditions is by providing social security for our elderly citizens, for everyone over 55 years old although not everyone attains that age.

Africans are not secure about their future and this is one of the reasons why government workers are easily corrupted.

Providing for elderly citizens will help ensure their future and will ensure that unnecessary burdens are not placed on their children.

This is turn will affect family planning for the better, I think, as one's children are seen as one's pension.

Ibrahim Sesay, 37, Sierra Leonean in UK

There is no trust in the AU.

They don't work for the African people. Not even a single thing ever happens. Not a single problem is solved.

What exactly do they come out with and when they go to these meetings what actually happens?

I want to hear what has been done and accomplished since the last meeting?

As the African Union meets in Banjul, Gambia for the seventh annual summit, we want you to set their agenda and tell the decision-makers what you think their priorities should be for the continent.

One of the foreign ministers present in Banjul and a representative from the African Union will be ready to answer your questions and listen to your priorities and will appear on the Africa Have Your Say radio programme on Thursday 29 June at 1600 GMT. Send us your views and experiences or you can send us an SMS text message to +44 77 86 20 20 08. If you would like to take part in the programme please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

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