We can cope with regional integration challenges

I suspect some partners in the Northern Corridor Integration process have come to the conclusion -- rightly so in my view, given the strength of available evidence -- that other partners consider commitments they solemnly enter as being nothing more than tactical moves that can be used to bolster their negotiating position with third parties.

Editor,

RE: “Entropy is ruining EAC integration dream” (The New Times, November 5).

I suspect some partners in the Northern Corridor Integration process have come to the conclusion—rightly so in my view, given the strength of available evidence—that other partners consider commitments they solemnly enter as being nothing more than tactical moves that can be used to bolster their negotiating position with third parties.

The reality, of course, is that there is a limit to the usefulness of such slippery behavior as very soon everybody else sees you as totally unreliable as a partner whose word means nothing.

It isn’t so much entropy (I love the lessons one can learn from the laws of thermal-dynamics), but some people’s tendency to put their own parochial short-term, unsustainable gains ahead of long-term strategic benefits for everyone.

What everybody else does in such a situation is to take appropriate note of the nature of the people you are dealing with and take steps to reduce—if you cannot entirely eliminate—any dependence you might have on them.

This requires clear thinking, lack of emotionalism (including supposed shared histories), and a very sharp focus on preserving your own interest.

If nature endowed you mainly with lemons, you have to learn to make and love lemonade, that is all.

Mwene Kalinda

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