[EDITORIAL] Africa has a lot to learn from Brexit

As Rwanda gears to host the 27th summit of the African Union mid next month, isolationists on other continents are having a field day.

As Rwanda gears to host the 27th summit of the African Union mid next month, isolationists on other continents are having a field day.

The Brexit referendum in the UK has not made things any easier in the kingdom but has caused a huge political rift – right at the seams.

Shockwaves were not only felt in London, but world markets took massive blows at the news that the UK, one of the European Union’s (EU) most important members, had voted to cut itself off the union.

So the right wing factions all over Europe – from the Netherlands to France – are urging their countries to go the British way and dump the EU.

But Britain’s referendum should not be seen in negative light all the way. If the UK vote could have repercussions on all continents, then it is an indication that there is strength in unity, that staying together is healthier than being a lone wolf.

In this world that is becoming more insecure by the day, sticking together is the only insulation. This is a lesson that Africa should mull when it meets in Kigali.

African leaders should seek ways to strengthen their union and, most importantly, regional economic communities such as the East African Community (EAC), create unbreakable bonds and be their brother’s keeper.

It is still very early to gauge the effect of Brexit, but the losses made today will take some time to recoup, but it will surely give isolationists the ammunition they need, and analysts are even suggesting that we could be seeing the beginning of the end of the United Kingdom as we know it.

Brexit should give EAC and other regional blocs on the continent sleepless nights, watching and analyzing as there are many lessons to glean.

Notably, it is very important that integration efforts on the continent are genuinely built around people’s aspirations.