by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – THE lack of African officials in the top five positions at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is concerning and mirrors the sidelining of the continent in global affairs.
There are suggestions race played a role in the election.
Despite possessing impressive qualifications and desired experience, the officials (Africans) fell short, with the positions eventually occupied by Americans, Asians and Europeans.
At the elective congress of the ITU, a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) that is responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies ICTs), China’s Mr Houlin Zhao (Asia) was re-elected secretary-general while Malcolm Johnson (United Kingdom and Europe) emerged deputy secretary-general.
Dr Chaesub Lee of Republic of Korea (Asia) was re-elected to the post of Director of Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB).
Mario Maniewicz of Uruguay (South America) was Director of Radio-communication Bureau (BR).
Doreen Bogdan-Martin, also of the United States, was elected to the post of Director of Telecommunication Development Bureau (TDB).
The Africans fell by the wayside as Burkina Faso’s Brahima Sanou contested for the deputy secretary-general position. Dr Cosmas Zavazava of Zimbabwe and Nigeria’s William Ijeh (all Africa) lost their bid for the director of BDT.
The African continent has over the past decades been crying foul over non-transformation of the UN Security Council, in which none of the African member state is permanent member.
The key UN Security Council permanent member states positions are divided among China, France (Europe), Russia (Asia), United Kingdom and the United States (America) while despite being the world’s second largest continent, Africa has played a peripheral role.
It (Africa) is always drafted to the Security Council on a rotational basis.
Former African presidents such as Muammar Gaddafi (Libya), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe) and Julius Nyerere (Tanzania) are among several others that spoke strongly about the need to have the Security Council transformed.
Although the continent has provided two general secretaries of the UN – Egypt’s Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Ghana’s Kofi Annan- when it comes to drafting an African nation into a permanent Security Council position, Africa has been elbowed out.
– CAJ News