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Tuesday, 18 July, 2000, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
A Union of African States - is it just a romantic notion?

Last week, in the Togolese capital Lome, African leaders attending the 36th summit of the Organisation of African Unity, began taking steps towards the creation of an African Union.

News and Information for Africa
Such a union calls for the setting up of an executive assembly, a parliament, a common currency, and a court. There are also provisions for a common defence policy, closer economic ties and a unified foreign policy. Libyan leader Muammur Gaddafi has emerged lately as the most enthusiastic advocate of an idea much propagated in early post-independent Africa by the first leader of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

But with more than 50 member nations, all having their own religious, ethnic, political, and economic problems, is the idea of an African union doomed to fail even before its implementation? How can African nations have a common defence policy when some have been at war with each other for months and years? Or is the African Union just what is needed to let these problems become submerged into a greater African identity?

How viable is the idea of an African Union?

A selection of your emails will be broadcast on Focus on Africa during the 1705 edition on Saturday

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See also:

11 Jul 00 | Africa
United States of Africa?
10 Jul 00 | Middle East
Gaddafi steals Lome limelight
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