Not long ago in history, groups of Europeans and Arabs came to Africa, captured land as well as human beings there, shipped them overseas and sold them in markets.
I always imagine walking into a market and finding the vendors selling one of my relatives! They called it “slave trade” how absurd!
Later on, they changed plan and reached out to grab pieces of Africa. They called it ‘scramble’ for Africa. What a word scramble means in the dictionary!
Later still, they baptized the process “colonization” And remained here to do the production, rule on dictate orders, change almost everything African and teach education and religion.
But neither scramble, partition nor colonization talks about Africans… its a little wonder that the people came second to or at the same level with resources which was their biggest concern.
Later on, they decided, on the basis of the colonies, not only the names (in fact often poorly pronounced, written and meaningless in the end), but also the boundary of every colonized plot of land that they called countries.
None cared whether the boundaries would cut across families, farmlands, grazing lands or hunting lands of a particular group of people. None even cared whether the plot of land they called a country could even survive on its own!
Nevertheless, we found ourselves citizens of very many countries in Africa; some big, some small, with many languages, many colonial masters and a host of many other dividing rather than uniting factors.
Well, the East African Community is a group of people, including their plots of land. They desire to talk, trade, educate, visit and share together!
They want to find uniting factors and build on them to the best of their ability, and locate the dividing factors and suppress them. I think they are looking to correct the scramble, partition and colonization’s mistakes and strive for development in all fields in unison.
For instance, the ease of trade between within East Africa has remarkably improved the economy over the past few years and more to that, movement within the region has been made simpler especially regarding the acquisition of a VISA in order to travel.
The integration has also opened wide doors for tourism in Rwanda due to the popularity and influence of the former east African tourism sector, its a little wonder ours is thriving too. We could also choose to acknowledge he support in terms of funding, free trade; etc that Rwanda as a member is getting from the more developed east African countries because with it, I see the country’s full growth development being achieved earlier than expected!
Aren’t we lucky to be a part of the East African Community?
The author is a student at Riviera High School