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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 09:02 GMT 10:02 UK
Gaddafi urges pan-African state
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi
Muammar Gaddafi came to power in a coup in 1969
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has described the African Union as a failure and vowed to press ahead with plans for a single African government.

Speaking in Guinea's capital, Conakry, Mr Gaddafi said there was no future for individual African nation states.

He urged leaders attending next month's African Union summit in Ghana to decide to create a United States of Africa.

Mr Gaddafi has long been a leading proponent of the idea, but some observers say it is not realistic.

"At the Accra summit we are going to get straight to the point. Let those who are hesitating, get out of our way," he told tens of thousands of people at a rally in Conakry.

"For 40 years all the summits have failed," he said. "Our micro-states have no future."


The Libyan leader went on to visit Sierra Leone where hundreds of people came out onto the streets of the capital, Freetown, to greet him, despite allegations that he supported the notorious Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels during the country's brutal civil war.

Opposition leader Charles Magai said he felt Mr Gaddafi should not have been invited.

"If I were president of Sierra Leone I would only say to him that the people of Sierra Leone do not welcome you at this point in time. He should first of all apologise to the people and then the question of reparation could be considered," Mr Magai told the BBC.

The BBC's Umaru Fofana in Freetown says Mr Gaddafi has pumped a lot of money into Sierra Leone, especially in the last year.

Our correspondent says it is a strategy that seems to have paid off as many people seemed to agree with the red-carpet treatment he is receiving.

"He's going around promoting peace in Africa so I think he deserves a welcome," one man said as Mr Gaddafi arrived.

"I agree he supported them (the RUF) initially because he was thinking they were on a just cause and later when he saw that they have diverted from what initially they wanted to do, I think he moved away from them."

After Sierra Leone, Mr Gaddafi goes to Ivory Coast before travelling to the summit in Accra.

The idea of a single pan-African government was first promoted by Kwame Nkrumah, who led Ghana to independence in 1957.

Do you think Africa's states are failing? Is unity the only way for Africa to survive?

A selection of your comments will be broadcast on the BBC's Focus on Africa programme on 30 June at 1700 GMT.

Thank you for your comments.

Africa's survival depends on one thing only. Good governance. How can we unite if we still haven't resolved the same issues that divide us. How can we unite if some people still think that taking arms and going into the bush is another form of gaining political power. We must first address these problems, then when we all begin to think along the same line, our unity will come naturally.
Nicholas Boampong, Accra

We have been hearing the tune of many African saying and shouting Africa Unite. In my own word, we are far from it. It is not possible for Africa to unite.

To make this dream come true, we should first interpret love among the neighbouring countries. For example, i am in Senegal presently. On my way coming to Senegal, i face a lot of embarrassment by the officers due because i speak English, can you imagine this. You are there talking about the unite of Africa!

It is better for everyone to look after his or her home.
FODAY SILLAH, Freetown- Sierra Leone

The idea of African unity is worth a try. Sure there are and there will always be problems but it is better to attempt to solve them even if a little at a time. So far, almost or oil-rich, and other natural-resource-rich countries have detrimental political and other issues which are no accidents. The corruption and fighting is encouraged by the powers that deposit money into private accounts of the leaders, the arms exporters, unaccountable corporations. Unfair trade and predatory contracts, the list goes on but we have to start somewhere. After all, the people who first conceived the idea of aeroplanes were considered criminals, but now even space travel has commercial passengers. "Throughout history it is the inaction of those who should have acted, and the silence of those who should have spoken, that has made evil to triumph" - Haille Selassie
Kwame, Ontario, Canada

I think that is the only way for Africa to pull all the blessed natural and human resources together for the benefit of all Africans as against greedy individuals. As I write this, my eyes are teary just thinking of the possibilities this has for Africa.
Adam Abu, Philadelphia USA

The African micro-states have actually failed its people. This is mainly due to the way they were formed, by the Western powers who colonised the continent. It's like Africa was programmed to fail. Gaddafi's vision of a United States of Africa seems OK on paper. But with our diverse focuses, interests and multi-ethnicity, I do not see Africa uniting yet. At least not in our generation.
Lamin Dumbuya, Freetown - Sierra Leone

Yes, united we stand divided we fall, Africa needs to form one government to help reduce the violence caused mainly by leaders.
Musa Bah, Novi, USA

What President Gaddafi said is right. For 40 years all the summits have failed, and our micro-states have no future. The only solution is to form United States of Africa.
Yusuf Suleiman Haruna Babajo, Kano Nigeria

Africa has many states that are failing - Ivory Coast, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe - but also many that improving - Ghana, Botswana, and even Liberia. The solution is not to unify into one country, that would be a disaster and ensure the whole continent failed. Minimized corruption and better security will encourage economic investment and growth. This is how Ghana and Botswana have done it. Good leadership.
Steve, Baltimore, MD

We indeed need to unite as Africans if we want to catch up with the rest of the world but first and foremost we need to settle some basic differences before making that move
Joseph Mahama, Tatale Ghana

There are certainly no sterling successes, to date. Unity would only encapsulate all the current problems of micro-states into one big state with hugely larger examples of the current problems. People need things in common to get along--just being an African is not even close to success.
James Moyer, Angeles City, Philippines

I do not think it is so much a question of 'are Africa's states failing'. The question should be, "How badly are the dominant Western economies failing Africa?"
James Fyvie, London. UK.

Dear BBC, allow me to voice out my congratulation to the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for the point raised to Unify Africans States. Bravo Bravo!! we Africans are tired of Civil Wars across the continent from Darfur Sudan, Somalia, Congo, Northern Uganda, Ivory Coast you name them . The whole world has failed to device strong strategic solutions to all these Civil Wars, Mr. Gaddafi you are on the right truck we Africans strongly support you to Champion at the next Accra Summit.
victor Nvewilla, Baltimore, MD. USA

With the current trend in Africa, the continent is definitely set for failure. Africa unity will never materialise as the countries within the union are not unified internally. How can we talk about uniting Africa when politicians are elected based on tribal sentiments even if they are not fit for the position. How can we dream of a uniting Africa when the only thing that politician and government officials are interested in is corruption? How can we have a united Africa when politician and government officials are not answerable to the people that elected them? Let forget about Africa uniting because thinking about it is like fantasying about a childhood dream that will never happen.
Jonathan Teckham, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

There is no future at all for individual African states, states are failing to resolve crisis like Darfur, Republic Democratic of Congo, Central African Republic, Zimbabwe... Unity with real power to intervene and African institutions to hold leaders to account in a very effective way is the only solution.
Etienne Bell, London/UK

I believe that African people and the heads of states should give president Gaddafi of Libya a chance in his move to unit Africa after all this is not a new thing, it has been proposed before by our leaders who took us out of colonialism. Let us not look at Gaddafi as a person but the ideas that he is talking about should be the one to be given the highest consideration. I believe some greedy African leaders will not like the idea because they still want to be seen as lords and kings over their people and also they want to keep on enriching themselves and their families at the expense of their countries and its people by stealing the resources of the African people. Africa truly needs to have a united Africa with one central government and this can be achieved through the participation of its people even though the head of states don't like it because we are the people who vote them in office.
Joseph Gaye, Nigeria and south Africa

As the article indicates the idea of a single pan-African government is as old as the independent wave of the 1950s. The issue is not the idea itself, which I couldn't image an African will oppose, but rather the attempted processes to bring the idea to fruition. Surely you cannot expect different result from the same inputs, no matter how many times you experiment. Perhaps Mr. Gaddafi should rethink the "inputs" to this noble and worthwhile endeavour.
Joseph Nsengimana, Boston, Mass, USA

I think that most African States are failing today because of bad governance. I am with the conviction that only unity can deliver us from this wicked era in the history of our aging continent and let our leaders and politicians embraced good governance.
Alvin Yelloway, Monrovia, Liberia

The question of African states failing was wrongly stated. The question would have read African states - A failure! Outside south Africa, is there any place in Africa that has performed averagely when economy or human development is considered? From Nigeria to Lesotho, from Zimbabwe to Angola, from Mali to cote d'Ivoire, the dark music of failure is pronounced! Lack of prudential leaders, egoism, corruption, greed and other silly habits hinder African growth and their break away from these numerous societal vices is uncertain!

Absolutely, Africa's states are failing most especially in policy implementation. They are good at the level policy formulation, but lack of political will, corruption and greed, greatly hampers policy implementation. Individual African nation States need rigorous internal transformations, if they have to move ahead and succeed as one through a single system of government.
Lemso Thaddeus Benje, Kumba/Cameroon

I strongly believe unity is the only way out for Africa. Can't you see, USA, UK, EU? Remember unity is strength.
Mwaluma Gegbe, Freetown, Sierra Leone

The only way for Africa to survive is to have the smarter of its leaders continue on the path of economic reform and market liberalization, drawing more foreign investment. Up till now most African leaders' rhetoric has offered more style than substance.
Alek Slowinski, Warsaw, Poland

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