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To African Democratic Council

Mundialist Studies Seminar in Accra, Nov.2008, 7, 8 and 9


When I declared myself some few years ago a Mundialist Activist, I knew very well that I had a huge task ahead of me. Since then, I have contributed quite a few articles in the direction of global democracy. What this means is that even though I live in Ghana, I contribute articles depicting my opinion in respect of those whose condition outside my country required my intervention in the area of democracy. One of these people is Dan Aung San Sun Kyi of Burma who is a first class democrat languishing in the jail of first class communist Burma. What then is global democracy? Looking at the title of the topic, we have some other delicate words as human rights and civil society. What do these words mean also? Let me quickly define these words before I continue. I believe civil society refers to those of you who are listening to me , those out there in the streets anywhere around the world, whether they know it or not and myself. It is not any other organization with the label NGO, Foundation or whatever. It is just you and I. I will quickly touch also on human rights as those declarations recorded in a very special document called "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights' enunciated about 60 years ago. Much of our discussion today will centre on these declarations.

Coming now to the words Global Democracy, alas! I would have wished that the theme centers solely on Ghana, then I could speak so long because I've been born and bred in this country and know its history very well. But to come to talk also on other African states, I must admit that I cannot be the best in this area .It is because Africa is so large that I should not exaggerate to know it all. I can only give my very humble contribution. I do not need to have a Doctorate degree from Harvard or Sorbonne to write on Africa. It is only an African - who can try his best and I am an African and by extension a World Citizen.

Over the years we've all come to appreciate the word democracy. It is now so commonly used that even a young child in the primary school must have heard it before. It is pompously pronounced to denote freedom or liberty.

Certain political parties have to include the word democracy as a business name for their organizations purposely for vote catching. They assume that the name democracy is acoustically attractive. Probably it is but certainly it goes beyond just attraction. This word has seen battle throughout the ages. Great philosophers discussed it. I believe Socrates may have discussed and debated on it.

Cicero also may have discussed it. Etymologically speaking, this word which originates from the Greek language means 'The Peoples' Power'. The breakdown is as follows: 'Demos 'stands for people whereas 'Kratos 'stands for power, rule or strength.

Without being too verbose, let me just give the commonest definition which I have memorized over the years, since primary school.

I remember the Gettysburg address by Abraham Lincoln of the U.S.A on November 19, 1863.'That government of the people, by the people and for the people'.

With this basic knowledge and understanding of democracy, I am armed to the teeth every time I mention it or hear it.

My other studies in government increased my knowledge concerning democracy as opposed to other forms of governmental systems, the commonest which we call communism and this is diametrically opposed to democracy. It would be noteworthy to speak a little bit on the condition of African states before the Second World War of 1945-1949. Which country in Africa could be said to be democratic before the war? None. They were being ruled by the 'Masters 'who signed the Treaty of Berlin. They became post- colonial after the war. The word democracy emerged during the independence struggles. The struggle was so intense. I do not intend to go into such struggles. But we know that some countries cut off relations from their masters preferring to go through more difficult times., e.g.Guinea of Sekou Toure. Now, we know that almost all the African countries have had their independence. In order words, they are all on their own to manage their own affairs. They all have their respective governments and are known to be free . As to whether they are free or not is not part of this discussion. We would do well to reserve this for another time like this.

As a writer based in Ghana I cannot theoretically ascribe the kind of democracy I experience in Ghana to any other country outside me. That will be a historical and sociological error I can only describe some events as I have read it from the media or from books. To conclude or assume that all African countries have attained the full measure of democracy which is a prerequisite for adoption into the global democratic circle will also be tantamount to disaster .I would not even think of making this attempt because even in my own country Ghana I find it very difficult to consider it as a fully and matured democratic country.

You cannot talk of proper democracy without mentioning good governance or respect for human rights. Ghana is not close to it since we attained our independence over 50 years ago. If you are a Ghanaian out there, do not worry. These are my personal views; I believe we still have many more years to run to get near the required level of democracy. It will surely be a long battle.

What now should I say about the other African States? Can I consider the North African countries as democratic? Do the constitutions of those countries reflect freedom of speech and freedom of the press? Let's forget about them if they do not. We all know that many of them do not. Libya do not as well as Egypt: if they do we cannot continue to see a Head of State at the helm of affairs for over twenty years.

I cannot see any African country whose constitution is truly in line with the Peoples' democratic aspirations. What do we say about Zimbabwe? In the African countries there is always the tendency to manipulate the constitution and the whole electoral system any time a new government is in power. It will be a sheer waste of time to delve into the democratic processes of these countries.

The least said about them, the better!

Most of the constitutions of these countries hardly go through a referendum when there ought to be the direct People's involvement and not their parliaments. Such has been the case in Ghana when the former military Junta led by Flight Lieutenant J. J. Rawlings enacted constitutional provisions without the People's direct participation.

So where lies the democracy?

For African countries to become fully democratic or get closer to it, there must be a constitutional network to infuse ideas and call for changes.

I therefore propose the African Democratic Council.

The African Democratic Council if properly formed will have the power to bring out and reject the undemocratic articles in many of the African countries' constitutions. The African Union and the ECOWAS have become lame ducks over the years. They make laws that they find hard to enforce.

What have these Organizations done over the years when we talk of serious human rights violations? To me, and most often, they come into the struggle rather too late. Here again, I do not intend to go into much details. Let us be warned that for so long as we refuse to take strong measures against people in authority with the view to bring about the necessary changes, we shall forever remain as pawns in the hands of these Dracula minded leaders.

What do we do to forestall human rights violations before they occur? Let's have a sober reflection on these. Human Rights violations occur every day against fellow Africans. It is not only Samora Machel of Mozambique whose plane could crash in the mountains and be considered an accident, the U.S.A………..also could use helicopter gunships against Africans since they can convince the world that the person is a rebel. What also do we say about Ken Sara Wiwa of Nigeria?

The formation of the African Democratic Council will be the right step in the right direction to unearth all human rights violations by fellow Africans against the same Africans or external forces against Africans. We must play these roles. Enough is enough. This is not for the future.

It is for now and eternal now!

If I have not mentioned your country, do not think your country is free. I would be writing a whole book if I should try to mention every country. Just let's get back to work and I'll prove myself beyond any measure of doubt.

By the way, what do you say concerning Paul Biya's Cameroon? What about our neighbours Togo and La Côte d'Ivoire. Some have what I call a political dynasty. It is a real shame! Let's therefore remind ourselves, that the future of Africa rests in our hands. Let's oppose those that deserve opposition and praise those that deserve it. Our good friends of ASCOP will surely give us a helping hand in dealing with issues. That's why we are always together.

We shall be affiliated to them in a certain measure. We shall also be an independent body. The African Democratic Council must succeed. That depends on us.

Thank you all.

Mundialist Activist
M.D. World Resource Consult Ltd
Deputy Secretary-General of Registry of World Citizens

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