As we move steadily towards actualising the EAC Political Federation set for 2012, it is worth an effort to attempt painting a picture of how this integration will deliver the African renaissance. Our leaders have been talking about this dream for years.
African leaders like Nelson Mandela, Muamar Gadaffi, Thabo Mbeki, and even the pre-independence leaders like Jomo Kenyatta, Haile Selassie, Kwame Nkurmah and more, all dreamt of an African continent that will one day unite.
Rwanda too talks with so much passion about the year 2020. Meaning that its citizens are able to envision how they would wish to live as a people. So I ask myself a question.
How will the continent be in 2020? Perhaps by looking at how Africa will relate to the emerging giants of China and India.
Will it be possible for Africa to completely shake off the shackles of western colonialism? Predicting with some level of positive anticipation is that both emerging giants, judging by the pace of their economic development will have attained some form of global leadership.
By this time, inflows of huge investments from China and India will have fueled the economic expansion of several sub-Saharan states.
If the current promising level of Sino-African and Indo-African cooperation is any yardstick to go by, then in ten year’s time Africa’s trade position within the global system of production will have improved.
When we talk of integration, several issues of common interest that go beyond should be discussed as well. Since African economies will have achieved some level of efficiency then the process of integrating the whole continent has a logical conclusion.
If so then it means that Africans will be driving towards having fewer but bigger political entities with promises of real clout at the global level. East Africa will be a single entity.
The same applies to West Africa and South Africa.
Within the new arrangement, China and India will both have provided a new paradigm shift within the global arena for the purposes of planning an equally new global leadership. In this architecture, Africa’s position will have been enhanced.
However, one area will have to be remodeled--the UN system. By 2020 the United Nations will have been outdated and will be crying for the infusion of new blood within its service delivery systems.
At this point, the African Union (AU) will have matured into a giant very much similar to the European Union and the United States of America.
Along with China and India the AU will have provided a new balance of power within the global political system, if at all Africans stop bickering and move steadily towards integrating regionally on the continent.
This is a very welcome prospect, but before we jump to talk about such lofty dreams, our leaders still have a long way to go as far as sorting issues is concerned.
Integrating the regional blocs will be a very tall order. Before I forget, what happened to NEPAD?
When leaders get to a point of actually, ‘walking the talk’ of regional integration, then the dreams of our African leaders will be listened to by the African masses.
Fred Oluoch-Ojiwah is a journalist with The New Times