Former Minsiter of Foreign Affairs, Bolaji Akinyemi, on Wednesday, lampooned the recent summit organized by the United States and held in Washington DC for all African leaders.
Akinyemi, who spoke in an Arise TV interview monitored by Ripples Nigeria, branded the Summit as a reinforcement of master-slave relationship between the West and Africa.
President Joe Biden had between 13-15th of this month invited a cross section of African leaders, including civil society, business, diaspora, women, and youth leaders to the summit.
The summit, according to him, continued efforts to strengthen ties with African partners based on principles of mutual respect and shared interests and values.
Biden also described the gathering as an opportunity to listen to and collaborate with African counterparts on key areas the United States and Africa define as critical for the future of the continent and the global community.
However, Nigerians including a former federal lawmaker, Shehu Sani, had characterized the gathering as an opportunity for the West to continue to perpetuate its enslavement of African countries.
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Akinyemi, who reviewed the summit in the interview, said African leaders must reject being summoned by a country for any summit to the detriment of the African continent.
The academic lamented the current country-Africa model of summit and charged African leaders to reject the model.
He also challenged the African Union on strategies capable of giving the continent its deserved dignity in the community of nations.
“We need to put a stop to this model of all African leaders being summoned to a country for a Summit, much as we want to leverage the relevance of other countries. You go there without definitive agenda to face a country with targets against you. That’s not advisable”, the ex-Minister said.
“There is need to rework the engagement in order to discontinue the master-slave relationship. The African leaders must as a matter of urgency reject the current format to allow rotation of chairmanship of the Summit and venue. This will change the atmosphere and reposition the African continent well.
“African Union must also sit up and define agenda for African countries. It must come up with programmes to proclaim the essence of the continent. This is necessary for collective progress”, he concluded.
By Ambali Abdulkabeer