In my weekly column, I would wish to develop a series of articles that will awaken Rwandans to the East African Community. I appreciate the leaders in these five African nations who decided to rebuild this community which had been destroyed by the ant-African unity forces in 1977.
In our country Rwanda, I’m thankful indeed to our Head of State His Excellency Paul Kagame for negotiating and getting admission into this worthy community. This initiative has shown us that He is a TRUE Son of Africa.
The dream is to form one federal state as from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean. For we who know about the East African countries which make up the East African community, have decided to write down what we know that justifies our position on EA unity.
I invite Rwandans to contribute towards this unity that our Head of State has partaken on our collective benefit; which will not only benefit us but the future generation of our country.
Our enlightenment articles will be about the following series:
1. The historic background of East African Community;
2. The formation of the first East African Community;
3. The breaking of the first East African Community;
4. The new initiatives to revive and rebuild the new East African Community;
5. The proposals to build strong supportive institutions to strengthen that new East African Community;
6. New ideas that will help the strong integration of those five States into one East African Federation “A NEW NATION STATE”.
The old East African Community was composed of three countries namely: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. One of the reasons that made possible the breaking of that community was that people of those three countries never owned and made that community theirs.
It was a club of the three Heads of State Jomo Kenyatta, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere and Dr Milton Obote. Though this community served these three countries equally, people of those three sovereign states had no forum to contribute intellectually, socially or otherwise to exchange views on how to improve the community.
We support the views and ideas of our Head of State, His Excellency Paul Kagame whose vision is to build strong institutions that will last rather than building individuals, who come and go. I want to explore and clarify what unites us such as our cultural, heritage and values on which we will build our common denominator that will strengthen our unity.
The East Africa Community shall showcase African unity in the 21st century; I hope that the other African States will follow.
Africans must stop thinking that we should be doing what western countries tell us to do, which are, in fact against our interests. In East Africa, we must show a good example of unifying Africa. That is the challenge. It can be done, let us play our part.