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Old Guard Won’t Lose Teeth in the United States of Africa


Friday, February 1, 2008
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The seventy-something-year-olds dominating Africa’s politics can become members of the Cabinet of one country without borders drawn by 19th Century colonialists.

The envisaged United States of Africa is one huge country that stretches from Cape Town to Cairo and from Mogadishu to Cape Verde encompassing 53 sovereign states. This is the land of the mighty Nile River, the land that is washed by two huge oceans – the Atlantic and Indian oceans, and lies south of the Mediterranean Sea and borders the Middle East across the Red Sea.

Great events in history that have affected humanity have touched Africa in one way or another. The world’s greatest religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have had places like Egypt, Ethiopia and Mali (Timbuktu) play leading roles in their propagation. Egypt enslaved Jews for over 400 years, and Africans were exported as slaves to build great powers in Europe, America and elsewhere on the globe.

<<Unity is a way to restore the greatness of this amazing piece of earth that has always been – throughout history – the centerpiece of human advancement.>>

Africa has its great past and it has its great potential for the future. Senior African statesmen like Nelson Mandela, Kenneth Kaunda, Robert Mugabe, Hosni Mubarak, Paul Biya and Joaquim Chissano are our venerated leaders who can bring their age-tested wisdom to argue a case for African unity. Unity is a way to restore the greatness of this amazing piece of earth that has always been – throughout history – the centerpiece of human advancement.

Africa respects old age as a common traditional value. Thus our leaders like Abdoulaye Wade (82) of Senegal, Anerood Jugnauth (78) of Mauritius, Mwai Kibaki (77) of Kenya, Bingu wa Mutharika (74) of Malawi, Lansana Conte (74) of Guinea, and Abdillahi Yusuf Ahmed (74) of Somalia are our resource-bases for leadership and inspiration.

Other elderly notable statesmen in Africa include Hifikepunye Pohamba (73) of Namibia, Omar Bongo (73) of Gabon, Zine El Abdine ben Ali (72) of Tunisia and Abdelaziz Bouteflika (71) of Algeria. These respectable African leaders owe the young generation of Africans a bright tomorrow. In the globalized world, this future can only be attained by unity.

A strong united continental federal government that will enable our one billion people speak with one voice is the mechanism of jump-starting our economic empowerment. A United States of Africa will be justified to demand and obtain a permanent seat in the United Nation’s Security Council. A United States of Africa will be able to marshal its resources to improve infrastructure and communication by way of railway lines, tarmac roads, viable airlines and modern telecommunication super highways that will make even the remotest part of our continent reachable.

In a global economy, Africa’s ability to compete can only come through unity to enable the attainment of economies of scale. Polarized small African states cannot fill the long chain of supermarkets like Wal Mart, Walgreen or Target in America with our exports. Consider products like coffee, tea, cotton, pyrethrum, exotic flowers, cashew-nuts, cocoa, palm oil and many others that Africa can collectively supply to a hungry global market. But if we remain divided, we lose at the bargaining table!

Africa has to use its vast resources to invest in education, research and development, health education, and Information Technology to fight poverty, HIV/AIDS, and create a rapid deployment

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About Swallehe Msuya

Swallehe Msuya was a senior staff writer at Mshale with extensive media experience in his native Tanzania. He was a general assignments writer. Investigative stories that Mshale undertook were normally his responsibility. Swallehe passed away in Sept. 2009 at the age of 61. Mshale will forever miss his tenacity and wisdom.

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