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The Feasibility of the United States of Africa

The Feasibility of the United States of Africa

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Published by Shittu Jubril

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Published by: Shittu Jubril on Jul 12, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Africa also nicknamed the Dark Continent by European colonial masters isthe second largest of Earth¶s seven continents, covering 23 percent of the world¶s total landarea and containing 13 percent of the world¶s population. Africa straddles the equator andmost of its area lies within the tropics. It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, theIndian Ocean and Red Sea on the east, and the Mediterranean Sea on the north. In the north-eastern corner of the continent, Africa is connected with Asia by the Sinai Peninsula. Thereare 53 different African countries including 47 countries on the mainland and the 6surrounding island nations.Thus, The United States of Africa is the name proposed for the concept of a federationof the 53 sovereign states on the African continent. The United States of Africa, if created,would share the acronym "U.S.A." with the United States of America.The United states of Africa if created would become the federation with the thirdlargest population, the first and second being china and India respectively, and the populationspeaking over 2,000 languages will also have the largest territory, with a single currency,single passport for freedom of movement within the continent and also a federal system of government in which the individual states are subordinate to the central government, having political and sovereign authority. The United States of Africa would also have a singlemilitary force.The United States of Africa would not be the first regional union to be created in theInternational arena. In fact, currently existing is the European Union which was formallyestablished in 1993 with membership of over 27 countries and a common currency.Over the years agitations coupled with the failures of the various continental groups(such as the Organisation of African Unity) and regional groups(such as the old East African
community which collapsed in the mid-1970s and south African¶s development communitywhich has diminished in its effectiveness in recent years because of its political differences between South Africa and Zimbabwe.) have questioned the issue of whether the proposedUnited States of Africa is actually feasible in achieving the goal of uniting Africans and promoting the economic and political power of Africans and also achieving an influentialcapacity in global affairs. Nevertheless this is not to say that there are no positivedevelopments towards achieving unity such as sub-regional integration of African states andsupport of few African states such as Ghana, Senegal and Zimbabwe.Before moving further, the origin and background of the idea of and agitation for aUnited Africa must be put into necessary consideration before studying the feasibility of theUnited States of Africa
The origin of United States of Africa could be traced back to the year 1924 whenJamaican thinker, Marcus Garvey, mentioned it in his poem ³Hail, United States of Africa´.Even before then, Garvey, urged American blacks to be proud of their race and preached their return to Africa, their ancestral homeland. Garvey's ideas deeply influenced the birth of the pan-African movement which culminated in 1945 with the Fifth pan-African congress inManchester, United Kingdom, attended by W. E. B. Du Bois, Patrice Lumumba, GeorgePadmore, Jomo Kenyatta and Kwame Nkrumah. Later, Nkrumah and Haile Selassie (amongmany others) took the idea forward to form the 37 nation Organisation of African Unity, theforerunner of today's African Union.The move for a united Africa is not the first attempt at organization of African nationsto promote continental peace, unity, and cooperation. From the inception of organised PanAfricanism by Africans in the Diaspora in the latter years of the 19th century, but gaining
more prominence and political legitimacy in the first half of the 20th century through the firstfive Pan African Congresses (1900-1945, all held outside Africa), and subsequently broughthome to Africa through the All-African People¶s Conferences of 1958, and much later the 6thand 7th Pan African Congresses held in Africa in Darfur in 1974 and 1994 in Kampala, thedestination has always been total unification of Africa under a common government,common citizenship and a common market, from Cape Town to Cairo and full participationfor Africans in the Diaspora.
 The Organisation of African Unity which was created in May 25, 1963 had a similar goal of uniting African states. However, at the time of the OAU¶s founding, African leadersdisagreed about what kind of organization it should be. Some leaders pushed for the creationof a central government that would unite all of Africa under one authority. However, many of the nations had just recently gained independence from colonial rule and their leadersopposed the idea. The leaders eventually reached a compromise but in so doing created anorganization that is controlled by its member nations, leaving it with little power to act on itsown. Nonetheless, the organization helped strengthen ties among African nations and settledisputes. But it also faced many problems that undermined its ability to achieve its goals.In July, 2002, the Organisation of African Unity formally changed its name and became known as the African Union, believing that the new name better captured theorganization¶s goal of establishing a common economic market and political union across theentire continent.The agitation for a pan-African union came up afresh at the summit of theOrganisation of the African unity summit in 2000 in Lome where African leaders feared that

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