AAPSO's Renewed Commitment To Africa



As the process of globalisation is moving in full fledge towards incertainties for the people in the developing world, especially Africa has found itself caught up in an unprecedent situation caused by the mostly adverse effects of this

process. Of course, Africa, in the past, endured successive periods of manifestations related to the phenomenon of globalisation being materialized by the practice of slave trade from the earlier centuries, imperialo-colonial destructive expeditions, neo-colonialist exploitation of human and natural resources. Today, for Africa, the present globalisation - nurtured and developed by a combination of the force of factors like global movement of capital, market in expansion and speedy renewed technology, happens to be the continuation of such process, severely threatening its very destiny, forcing it to be the object of selfish interests and major sources of profit. Within the context of changing conditions and circumstances, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) had played determinant role in the search of viable solutions to the African problems, more or less succeeding in it during its mandate.

Africa has opened a new page of its history, demonstrating strong willingness to determine its future. The newly-born African Union (AU) has devoted itself to bear this supreme responsibility. But while the AU has been formally launched, it will not actually be a completed structure, being in a state of a work-in-progress. Thus, the task to challenge all the issues related to a genuine development at any level needs the necessary mass participation, the enthusiasm of populations as well as their total devotion. New impetus, energic vigor and resolute will from the side of the AU as well as all members of the African civil society, popular and democratic forces, are crucial in promoting and enhancing cooperation in combined efforts. For the AU to succeed, endless conflicts and civil wars, confrontations of different sorts, infectious diseases, violations of human rights, corruption and impunity, should be addressed and treated as top priorities. Concerns are voiced about those conflicts where interethnic or interreligious factors are involved, causing xenophobic and tense hatred within societies, leading to killings and massacres. All these problems are damaging the values and culture of Africa, its image being sadly tarnished. The Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organisation (AAPSO) believes that the AU will, on the one hand, deploy much efforts in tackling these issues and, on the other hand, lend careful ear to the legitimate aspirations of the African people that globalisation tends to leave out in abysses of misery and poverty.

Facing the deepening state of poverty, growing backwardness and continued marginalisation engendered by the globalisation process, Africans are keen to get rid of such miserable situation. Despite its immense riches permanently coveted internally and externally, African people remain in the state of backwardness, growingly marginalised, being gravely hit by acute poverty, misery, famine and innumerable diseases. The New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) is viewed by AAPSO as a demonstration of efforts by Africans to primarily deal with their own problems in building Africa's political, economic and social capacity. NEPAD is deemed to face all issues surrounding the economic environment wordwide. The NEPAD's well-intentioned programme, the envisaged plan of its activities, should be the object of careful and effective implementation within the AU machinery. This programme, which is intended to promote peace, security and people-centred development seeks to assert African leadership of the continent's evaluative situation. It also ultimately envisages a more active African role in reshaping global economic relations. It is mostly important for Africa to cautiously undertake the development of partnership with respect to its relation with the outside world. Such stand should lie on the necessity of preventing Africa from any destructive intervention in its core values by means of politico-military action, often qualified humanitarian, at a time when some foreign powers, as well as transnational corporations are now competing in influencing African way of political, economic and social development, vividly eyeing on African natural resources. The pressure put on the promoters of the NEPAD coming from civil society, grassroots organisations, social movements, NGOs, etc, to take into consideration their real aspirations, is an evident demonstration that these national civil forces form an integral part of African society as a whole which should not be ignored.. That unavoidably makes this New African Initiative a process-in-the-making body subject to further necessary improvements reflecting these very people's aspirations over all realities involved in the process of development.

As one of the objectives of the African people is to promote cooperation in all fields of economic activities in order to achieve sustained transformation of the structure of production in all countries, various existing economic groupings set up in different regions of Africa are expected to ultimately lead to the future African Common Market. To attain such far-reaching goal, AAPSO is of the view that diligently managed regional economic integrations coupled with well-balanced production and distribution of wealth throughout the continent is vital for the development of Africa. This also would be a big step forward in reviving and strenghtening the pan-africanism movement all over the continent, which in turn, would reinforce the solidarity among African people. While Africa has opted for democracy and human rights, democracy is nonetheless suffering from " variable geometry" perpetrated according to individual and collective interests. The objective should be mass mobilisation under the banner of genuine participatory democracy, sustained stability, substantial progress and lasting peace.

African peoples will continue a part of the anti-global hegemony of one polar world system and capitalist pressure against poor peoples. As well we confirm our stand against the war prepared against Iraqi people and the current state terrorism of Israel against Palestinian people.

AAPSO believes that broadened, effective presence of Africa in the international arena as its contribution in elaborating and making decision on major and important world activities is crucial for its endeavors in paving the way to progress and prosperity. The importance of such presence needs to be stressed mainly with regard to the relations of Africa with the United Nations which is now increasingly put under pressure to serve the global politics of one superpower.

AAPSO feels that a South-South cooperation should be consolidated by activating the Southern groups of NAM, 77 Group....

As we enter the new year 2003, the Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organisation is most preoccupied with the growing deterioration of the overall situation in Africa. Before all these challenges, AAPSO renews its commitment to give impetus to its contribution in the search of solutions to the issues facing Africa today, to reinforce its solidarity with the African people. It calls on all good-intentioned African citizens, members of civil society, non-governmental organisations, responsible from every strata of African communities, to get together to build the future of this continent.