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Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; June 20-27 June, 2014
By All Africa Students Union (AASU)
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The 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union will be held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea from 20th to 27th June 2014 under the theme: '2014 Year of Agriculture and Food Security, Marking 10th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)'. The past decade has seen, indeed, huge financial investments in agriculture, yet hunger and malnutrition are still prevailing at unacceptable levels on the Continent.

Though considered as the rising continent, today, with seven of the fastest growing economies in the World, the challenges confronting Africa remain daunting. This is because the acclaimed growth has been unfortunately accompanied by compounded impoverishment and more unemployment among whole sections of the society. As we are marking the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), it is important to note that smallholder agriculture has not been part of the growth surge, leaving rural populations trapped in poverty and vulnerability.

African Leaders have been signing and adopting several documents for which there is a little to show in term of achievements. This is partly as a result of the importance accorded to personal gains and the lack of political will on the part of our leaders. Meanwhile recent developments in Africa are testimonies to the fact that African States, as they exist today, are but too weak to stand alone the taste of global challenges. They don't have many choices but to unite. Well meaning people have been, on their part, rising concerns on matters threatening the future of the continent. A former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr. Michel Camdessus, has expressed concerns about the plunder of the continent natural resources notably the illegal exploitation of the forests and fishing grounds by offshore companies that real owners are not known and the powerlessness of African countries to monitor and regulate their activities.

Also the conflicts, engulfing many countries at unprecedented fast and violent ways, pose once more the viabilities of African countries as they exist today. The cases of Mali, Somalia, Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan, Libya etc. are abundant evidences to that effect. Libya, in particular, has become a harbour for all types of terrorist groups.

Equally the existence of an enormous mafia system and the culture of impunity in African countries which is causing illicit financial flow from the continent to other destinations are not only blocking any development effort but also jeopardizing the future the coming generations. It is estimated that an amount of 850 billion us dollars have been sent illegally outside the continent the past fifty years. Big African and International Companies represent 60% of this illegal financial flow including the noxious role of narcotic trade, cigarettes, arms as well as human trade. The struggle against these scourges demand waging anti-corruption campaigns in the public sectors, reinforcing the capacities of the appropriate state institutions among others.

It is generally accepted that the unity of Africa is a must in order to overcome its current difficulties to a great extent; therefore the All Africa Students Union (AASU) calls, once more, on the Continent leaders to fast track the integration process in order to enable the African Union to speak on our behalf on world affairs, defend and protect our interests, organize a common defense force to prevent and resolve conflicts among others.

Long live African Unity!
(Secretary General)

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