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“In Africa, there have been many ruptures that have not yet been repaired”

AA / Ankara / Alex Sinhan Bogmis

The Vice-President of the National Assembly of Senegal, Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, special guest of the group of African ambassadors accredited to the Republic of Türkiye on the occasion of the celebration of World Africa Day, gave an interview to the ‘Anadolu Agency.

The event was celebrated last Friday in the capital, Ankara, under the theme “Building Nutrition Security Resilience on the African Continent: Strengthening Agrifood Systems and Health and Social Protection Systems to Accelerate Socio- economics and human capital”

Member of the National Assembly of Senegal since July 2017, and vice-president of the institution since October 15, 2019, Cheikh Tidiane Gadio indicated that he had been invited to Türkiye to contribute to the reflection on the agenda. Africa World Day, traditionally celebrated on May 25 each year.

“In Africa, there have been many ruptures that have not yet been repaired,” noted Gadio, also president of the Pan-African Institute for Strategies, Peace-Security-Governance (IPS), a position he holds. since 2012.

“It’s about the ruptures between the political and intellectual elites and the populations. It’s a face-to-face between the peoples and the rulers (…) There are those who are at the top and who lead, then the intellectual elites, and the great mass of African populations. And this great mass has exceeded one billion inhabitants. We are 1 billion, three hundred or even four hundred million inhabitants. Some predict that by 2100, we will be 4 billion If Africa Day is celebrated only by ambassadors and governments and African populations do not feel concerned, it is because there is something in the way of doing things for the elites. policies that do not suit the people of Africa,” said Cheikh Tidiane Gadio.

It is the manifestation, according to him, of an absolutely extraordinary crisis of leadership, and which is structural, that is to say which is located in all the institutions and decision-making bodies.

“The African continent, notes Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, deserves to be part of the powers of the world in the same way as China, India, or even Brazil. To achieve this, Africa’s partners must stop considering it under the prism of pity, compassion, sadness in relation to its history and its current situation.

Gadio’s commitment to pan-African and pan-Africanist causes, the beginnings of which date back to his student years, has made him one of the most listened to voices on the African continent and even beyond.

“In the 1990s, I stood out for my pan-African and pan-Africanist activism, in the United States, in Africa, in Europe, he explained. Already a student in Paris in the 1980s, we created the journals “Junction” and “African Tribune” with compatriots from several African countries. We were fervent supporters of “African Presences”, Cheikh Anta Diop, Kwame Nkrumah, Marcus Garvey and all the heroes of unity of Africa. In the 1990s, I was already a teacher at the University of Dakar. I continued my commitment [avec] a lot of conferences on crises, military coups, the genocide in Rwanda etc”.

Between 2000 and 2009, Cheikh Tidiane Gadio served as Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal, appointed by Abdoulaye Wade, Head of State of Senegal between April 2000 and April 2012, succeeded by Macky Sall, still in office.

“The year 2000 arrived when President Abdoulaye Wade offered me this post [ministre des Affaires étrangères] really prestigious and almost gives me carte blanche to develop my opinions, since he and I had a perfect convergence of views on the state of Africa, that the only way out for the continent was to go to the United States from Africa. (…) The locomotive of our partnership with the international community should be the African continent, a huge market with huge resources. And this is where we would better defend our interests. Imagine Senegal with 16 million inhabitants facing China with 1 billion 300 million inhabitants and say that we are dealing as equals. It’s very difficult,’ he said.

And to continue: “From the NEPAD plan of the African Union, I had a lot of hope, I got involved, I toured the continent, many young Africans heard me defend the education, infrastructure, the cancellation of Africa’s debt. These are fights inherited from Thomas Sankara and the great leaders of the African continent. After that, we started the battle with President Gaddafi and other leaders of the continent. to move towards a unity government. A unity government advocated on May 25, 1963 by a certain Kwame Nkrumah. It was Senegal that proposed in 2007, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Ghana’s independence , that we engage the debates on the government of the union again. We had an excellent congress prepared in a very special way in Senegal. We met trade unions, the movements of pupils, students, women, the actors of the rural world. We spoke to everyone, asking them if they were ready as Sénég Pan-African alais that we participate in a government of the union, that we renounce certain parcels of our sovereignty to gradually build the United States of Africa. We had a mandate to go and defend this in Accra and we did it”.

“Unfortunately, the anti-Pan-Africanists, who claim to be Pan-Africanists, have done a great job. They almost sabotaged the project by pretending that everyone was on board, so you have to take it slow and take it step by step. set up commissions that have yielded nothing. We are in 2022 and it has been 15 years. No significant progress, except only setbacks. And Africa today is suffering. We must move quickly, we must solve the problems that have been posed. The common African army has become a continental emergency. The jihadists have understood that we are vulnerable, disunited, that we compete among ourselves, and that it is possible for them to open the breaches a everywhere in each of our countries. They are moving forward in their agenda and we are moving backwards in ours. So this African army is an emergency, which has become like a question of survival for Africans. In the same way [que] joint diplomacy,” he said.

Cheikh Tidiane Gadio also wears the cap of President Pan-African Movement and Citoyen-Luy Jot Jotna (MPCL), political party member of the Great Presidential Majority in Senegal. The legislative elections scheduled in the country on July 31, could, according to him, reserve small surprises, as is customary in Senegalese democracy. He said he was confident about the positive outcome of the vote in favor of his camp.

“I am not worried about the fact that I am in alliance with the leader of the presidential majority, President Macky Sall. I think that we are still largely in the majority in the country, he confided. Now there is areas of urban concentration, where young people have access to the internet, have a certain vision of the world, are in the process of following certain political leaders whose maturity and wisdom I doubt. Senegal, like all the countries of the world, has its particularity. Senegal is not just any country on the international chessboard. Senegal is a heritage common to all Africans. Many Africans are proud of Senegal. It is unfortunate to sometimes see some tensions , certain speeches held in our country by a certain political class,” noted Gadio.

“Even if everyone has the right to express what they think, the main thing, said Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, is to maintain stability, not to make the country vulnerable to the point of letting it fall into the hands of terrorists. , not to slow down the momentum that the country is experiencing today with the new infrastructures, the alliances established in new terms, in particular that with Türkiye and other powers.

“Senegal tries to play as an equal partner with all these countries. And they bring a lot to them. I hope with all my heart that these countries also feel that Senegal brings them a lot. It’s this balanced exchange , respectful on both sides that we must promote”, he concluded.

Only part of the dispatches, which Anadolu Agency broadcasts to its subscribers via the Internal Broadcasting System (HAS), is broadcast on the AA website, in a summarized manner. Please contact us to subscribe.

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