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AU chairman hails continent's union government as "unique"
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14:05, July 04, 2007

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African Union (AU) Chairman and Ghanaian President John Kufuor said Tuesday that the Union Government would be something special to suit Africa's characteristics.

"We are not going to copy anything you may know of, be it the United States of America or the European Union. It will be custom-made. It will be something to suit the unique attribute of our continent," Kufuor told reporters at the end of a three-day AU summit, with the "Grand Debate on the Union Government" topping the agenda.

The idea of forming the United States of Africa by 2015 was first brought up by a committee of seven African leaders led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo in July 2006 to the 7th AU summit held in Banjul, Gambia.

A report submitted by the committee proposed a roadmap of forming the union in three phases.

The first phase is the establishment of the Union Government by2009, to be followed by the second phase of the consolidation of the union government from 2009 to 2012 and third phase of establishing the United States of Africa by 2015.

"There is need to accelerate the economic and political integration of the African continent, including the formation of a union government for Africa," said the Accra Declaration announced at the end of the summit held in Accra, capital of Ghana.

African leaders agreed to launch detailed studies on the identification of the contents of the Union Government concept and its relations with national governments, according to the declaration.

The studies will also involve the identification of the Union Government's domains of competence and the impact of its establishment on national sovereignty of member states, as well as the elaboration of a roadmap and time-frame for establishing the Union Government.

Source: Xinhua

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