In this week’s AU Monitor, the African Development Bank’s Vice-President, Dr. Mandla Gantsho, discusses the Union Government and the potential role of the Bank in providing knowledge and technical assistance, while Dr. Issa Shivji reflects on the roots of Pan Africanism in the struggle against imperialism and how the current resurgence of the unity debate must also be situated in the global anti-imperialist framework. Dr. Shivji highlights the potential lessons learnt from experiences in the East African and Great Lakes region for broader continental unity. As regional summits conclude in East and Southern Africa, the AU Monitor brings you the final communiqué’s from both meetings and an article by Evans Sinjela highlighting the prohibitive NGO bills which plague Southern Africa, paying particular attention to the currently tabled NGO Bill in Zambia, the location of the recent Southern African Development Community summit. Also in official African Union news, a summit of women in science and technology will be held in South Africa from 29 to 31 August aimed at enhancing women’s participation and access to the benefits of science and technology.
The AU Monitor also bring you news of Presidents Kadhafi of Libya and Sarkozy of France consultations in which preparations for December’s Africa-Europe summit were discussed and during which the French president expressed support for the United States of Africa. Further, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela will address the African Union on September 3rd to discuss continued South-South cooperation and the forthcoming Africa-South America summit to be held in Venezuela in November 2008. While in Afro-Asian news, an African-Chinese ministerial consultative meeting will take place in New York on September 26th presided by Egypt, with, top of the agenda, discussion of the progress towards implementation of the Beijing Plan of Action and preparation for the 2009 Afro-Chinese meeting. Lastly, Tim Murithi of the Institute for Security Studies writes of the Panel of the Wise, an organ of the African Union made up of eminent Africans to support and advise the Peace and Security Council. The author provides several recommendations to increase the potential effectiveness of the Panel, not least the immediate discussion of the operational modalities of the Panel by the AU Peace and Security Council.