For decades the dream of an African continent united under one leadership, one government with a prosperous people with shared values, shared interest, common citizenship and with a common destiny and taking their place in the world community of nations has alluded the leadership in Africa. On the 12th of February 2009 Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade is quoted as saying: “The United States of Africa will be proclaimed in 2017, to allow for the time needed to work out the different African institutions," Source:Pan-African News Agency, 12th of February 2009.
If the United States of Africa is realized it will be a milestone for many who want to see a united Africa with a common foreign policy, trade policy, common agricultural policy, common environment, immigration and economic policy. There are many skeptics who doubt Africa's ability to achieve unity but I strongly believe it is possible to achieve unity if we work together. Unity in Africa is achievable if we eschew the bickerings and the misunderstandings that characterized earlier effort to unite.
African leaders must first and foremost recognize that unity in Africa is in our best interest and the only option we have if we want to attain peace, stability and economic development. We all must recognize that we can only make progress if North, South, East, Central and
There can never be peace and development if we are not united. Africans must remember that it was our disunity in the past that enabled Europe to exploit our continent for centuries and even today it is being exploited by the so called super powers to our own disadvantage. We have had our people carried into slavery because of disunity, we have had our resources looted by foreigners because of disunity, we have had our countries invaded, and even today we are under siege from foreign powers and their corporations who are raping the continent of its valuable resources for their own selfish gains. We are helpless because we are fragmented. We are helpless because we cannot speak with one voice. We are helpless because we are disunited. We cannot act together to bring peace to
If Africa is going to make it then the leaders must act together as one, eschew their personal interests and put the needs of the continent first.
Julius Nyerere in an interview about
“Kwame Nkrumah and I were committed to the idea of unity. African leaders and heads of state did not take Kwame seriously. However, I did. I did not believe in these small little nations. Still today I do not believe in them. I tell our people to look at the European Union, at these people who ruled us who are now uniting. Kwame and I met in 1963 and discussed African Unity. We differed on how to achieve a
There are many African leaders who are dragging their feet and are drowning the Africa Union initiative. Such leaders are only interested in the power and titles that they have in their own countries. They are not asking the hard question as to why Europe is uniting and what will it be for Africa if we are not united. They are not asking why Mexico, US and Canada are uniting to form the North American Union and they are not asking why US is seeking to establish military bases in Africa through the Africa Command (AFRICOM) project. All these countries are strategising for the next phase of global politics which will centre on who controls what vital resources and in which area. This underscores the reason why US is seeking military bases in Africa to protect her interest and to ensure that its resource needs are met at all cost. How will a small country like Gabon respond if her oil becomes a target of US occupation? Does Equatorial Guinea has the military capability to withstand an all out invasion by Europe if they decide to take her resources by force as America has done in Iraq?
The shortage of resources in Europe and America and its abundance in Africa means in the near future Africa is going to be a battle ground by these countries for the control of the resources. US has projected that by the end the next decade 85% of its oil needs must come from Africa. China too wants Africa's oil. India wants it and the EU is not staying idle either. How is the US going to ensure that the 85% target is met don't you think her Africom project makes sense? How do we respond if we are not united? How do we ensure that Western countries will not exploit our weak and insignificant countries to their own advantage? Currently there are signs that Africa is going to be a battle ground between Europe, US, China and Russia. All of them are vying for control and influence in Africa. It may get very nasty: it may mean wars between these superpowers, it may mean coups in resource rich countries, it may mean civil wars, it may mean assassinations, blackmail, arm twisting all of them tools used by these super powers during the cold war. What are we going to do in the face of these threats and don't we also need these resources ourselves and what are we going to do to protect them if we are not united?
There is strength in unity and that is why Europe is uniting, that is why North American countries are uniting.
Fearful of what Africa could achieve if united, Europe led by France one of the beneficiaries of Africa disunity is proposing what they term ‘Mediterranean Union’ an association that encompasses all nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea including the five north African countries, a move largely seen as an attempt by Europeans to weaken Africa’s effort to unite. This is the divide and rule policies of Europe that has ensured that continental
“The Mediterranean Union project is also rife with hidden agendas, including the promotion of French national interests, while ignoring some of the biggest dangers in the former European colonies in West Asia and
“But of course there are other obvious goals behind the Union for the Mediterranean initiative like
We must fight this divide and rule policies if we are ever going to make it as a continent and as a people.
Today Europe is moving forward with political and economic integration while it is making effort to weaken Africa with the hope that a weakened, fragmented and disunited Africa will make it easier for the resources of these countries to be exploited and looted as is currently going on in Nigeria, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, DRC, Angola, Congo where American and European multinational corporations are paying close to nothing for the resources they take.
Leaders in Africa who are dragging their feet and only interested in the sovereignty of their insignificant countries must recognise that a united
I believe President Abdoulaye Wade was right when he said: “We cannot be kept into a limited space by African leaders who are holding on to petty little states”. By any margin each of the countries in Africa is weak politically, economically and militarily to stand on its own and it is only by uniting and integrating our economies that we can stand on our feet and be recognized as people. We must not hold on to our small, weak and powerless states in the name of sovereignty, we must unite for the good of
"Sovereignty also masks the weakness of Africans at a time when other people have pooled political power in vast territories like
We must achieve unity at all cost. There are many in East and South Africa that favour United States of Africa through the regional groupings whereas those in the North and West favour a more rapid integration. We can not allow this to delay and detract our effort to unite. Therefore I suggest we allow our diplomats, intellectuals to dialogue and negotiate as which approach suits us best but the 2017 deadline must be met.
We stand to gain if we are united. Unity has the added advantage of defeating the the divide and rule policies of Europe. It has the advantage of ending the wars that continue to ravage many parts of the continent. It has the advantage of helping us to pool resources together to tackle the many challenges facing the continent. Unity will end the disputes between Nigeria and Cameroon regarding the ownership of the Bakasi Peninsula. It will end the near escalated tension between Kenya and Uganda that we saw this year over the Migingo island in Lake Victoria. Unity will end the 9 km stretch of land in Yumbe that has brought dispute between Uganda and Sudan, it will end the Katuna and Mutukula border area dispute between Rwanda and Tanzania. If we are united as one people and as one country there will be no need for the many border disputes including the one between Morocco, Algeria and Western Sahara. Unity will make it unnecessary for Uganda and Rwanda to cross several times into DR. Congo to take resources for the development of their countries. Unity will enable us to speak with voice, deal with Europe, America, China, Russia and India through the government that will represent all of us. We can harness the resources in Africa for the good of all us so that Niger, Mali, Rwanda, Ethiopia and other resource poor countries will not have to go to war before having access to resources that they need.
Hutus, Tutsis and other tribes in the Great Lake region will not have to fight each other for control of land and resources since they will not be bound by space. They can come to Ghana live anywhere, farm and enjoy their live. That is what unity can bring us.
To make the unity of Africa possible we must stop thinking in terms of Anglophone, Francophone and Arabs or Mediterraneans. We must think as Africans not as French or English or German or Dutch, Spanish or Portuguese, or Arabic speakers. There can never be a United States of Africa so far as we are divided into Anglophone and Francophone. These divisions and categorisations only serve
There is no doubt that there are differences in languages, religion, and traditional or cultural practices among our peoples but that should not be a source of division, wars and hatred but rather they must be a source of inspiration that drive us together. We cannot refuse to acknowledge the various types of political systems currently evidence in Africa: monarchies, democracies and autocracies however if we put the interest of the continent and its people first I am confidence these challenges can be solved no matter how difficult it is.There are other challenges such as the huge size of the continent, the high level of illiteracy, wide infrastructural gaps, poverty, but all these can be solved if we commit our hearts to it. We need not agonise about these. All that we need is for our political leaders to commit themselves to the idea of United States of Africa, get the people sensitised, have a sense of purpose and direction as to where we want to go, when we want to go and how we want to get there.
It is important that we make the United States of Africa a reality by the 2017 deadline. It therefore important that some countries make economic and political sacrifices if we are to get there.
"Together we stand, together we fall" that should be our motto. We are all God's children. We are all Africans and
Individually we cannot deal with the
Currently at the United Nations there are more countries from Africa than from Europe and
China which is just one country makes a lot of impact at the United Nations than all the over 50+ countries from Africa. If we want to change this unfavourable balance of power, take the destiny of Africa into our own hands, protect its people and resources from external exploitation, develop the economy to benefit its people then we have no option than to unite.
Yes we can but only if we are united.
By Lord Aikins Adusei