Integration not Balkanization of African states is the only possible tool for the development of African states.
I’m optimistic that Africa is moving into the right direction with a renewed vision of integration of African states.
This is thanks to the wisdom of our beloved Pan African statesmen –the likes of Nkwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and all of his colleagues of the time, who initiated and bore the dream of consolidating the African states- all for a United States of Africa.
When I read a book by the late Nkwame Nkrumah of Ghana titled: “Africa must unite”, it really sounded good; but too good to believe.
However, looking at how the current wind of positive change in the African region, particularly with regard to the formation of regional economic blocks and anticipation for even political federations.
I think Nkrumah’s dream will undoubtedly come to pass-unfortunately without him witnessing the desires of his heart-a united Africa.
In the same breath, we should commend the current breed of African leaders who took up the initiative of their predecessors of changing the face of Africa from Balkanized African states to fully fledged regional economic and political integration.
If you look at the most developed nations, they are integrated states that were formally scattered but later came together to form unions-the likes of USA, the former USSR, and other states.
These states enjoy multi-dimensional superiority and reap from their common vision.
Integration gives us an assured market for our products, joint infrastructure development, joint conflict resolution and crisis management and a combined voice on the international arena.
I read an article in The New Times (of Thursday the 3rd of September 2009, which highlighted the East African Community’s national armies’ preparedness to form a rapid reaction force- which would be able to intervene in times of need.
This, I must say, is indeed a memorable time in the history of East Africa and Africa in general. We shall have to solve our own problems the “African way” without recourse to foreign intervention-which often comes belatedly and does little or nothing to arrest such situations.
What has the UNAMIR, MONUC changed in the areas they occupy apart from making political statements on how they are protecting civilians?
I must commend the idea of instituting an EAC standby force to keep alert and offer a rapid response in case of crises.
However I call upon the authorities to fully mandate this force to go beyond peace keeping to peace initiation and enforcement.
The author is an Economist with the Ministry of Finance