When the Egyptians began the herculean task of building their famed pyramids, a few doubting Thomases (or whatever name was in vogue in the kingdom then) must have looked at the blueprint neatly drawn on the papyrus sheets and shaken their heads in disbelief.
First of all, how would one carve out over two million slabs each weighing over two-and-a half tonnes, haul them and place them in a perfect position? The answer lay in planning, determination and the will to succeed, turning a pipedream into reality.
When the idea of an East African Federation (EAF) was first mooted, it was akin to an ancient Egyptian architect telling the Vikings (whose idea of innovation must have been building a fast sail ship and a sharper battle-axe) about this idea of building a pyramid somewhere on the shores of the Nile.
At first, the differences among the three original members of the EAC saw this noble idea fizzle out in the 70s, only to be revived three decades later.
This new burst of energy – albeit a few teething and fears-of-losing-sovereignty problems – should serve as a catalyst that will drive this idea beyond the drawing board, and it will be the ‘little things’ that will count.
President Paul Kagame once quizzed the logic of immigration and customs offices on our side of the border with Uganda opening an hour later than our neighbours simply because we have different time zones, and losing revenue in the process.
Now, suddenly, the eyes of the officials on both sides of the border ‘Hath seen the Glory” and decide to operate 24 hours. This is a start, however small, and next on the agenda, hopefully, is doing away with the borders altogether.
Even the Egyptians first laid a head cornerstone when they began building the pyramids. Let the open-border policy be regarded as that cornerstone to the building of the EAF.