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Monday, 2 February 2009

Towards an African government?

African leaders meeting in Addis Abba have agreed to disband the African Union Commission and create a more powerful African Union Authority to act as a temporary Union Government, as efforts are made to create a sovereign United States of Africa. I sense many people find the USA idea too foolish to debate. Leaders who can bearly govern their states now want to govern the whole continent.

13 comments:

  1. What will happen if nation states with insufficient understanding of redistribution at all succeed in formulating a united government?
    Will the united government be able to address even better the issue of fairer redistribution of resources than what each of the participating governments has been doing in its own territory?

    In order to answer the questions raised above, I would like to be informed of the very initial motivation of leaders towards forming the United States of Africa. If it is motivated by some economic reasons arisen from even more serious intention to alleviate poverty in respective countries, there may be some hope. Otherwise, the current debate on the USA seems just hopeless, and even seems to be just waste of time (and money in terms of the costs for holding those meetings).

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  2. If there's any motivation its their desire to offer a political counter balance to the west. But even that does not explain it fully. What has basically happened is that Libya, which has previously struggled with its dual identity, now back in the international fold, is using oil money to bribe the other leaders. The all venture is instigated by Tripoli.

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  3. Are the despots going to choose one amongst them as the continental despot? If the likes of Omar Bongo, Paul Biya, Gaddaffi etc havent been able to open up the political space to their own citizens why should we believe that a continental wide government would be any different? As Honourable Nalubambe would ask: Wont this promote the scourge of 'Withcraft' with 53 despots competing for one position?

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  4. Thank you, Cho, for taking time to comment back. If the current Project for the USA is just Gaddaffi's bribing other leaders, I should seriously be concerned about quality of those leaders.

    I've been interested in what a nation state can do to encourage its nationals' economic activities.
    The concept of nation states is just one of the governing systems currently available to us, and, in my view, it does not seem to have sufficiently been taking roots in the African Continent.
    I have to admit that leaders of African countries have been faced with more difficult situations in terms of economic development such as smaller scale of their economies or sparsely distributed population. Even so,leaders who are supposed to run their nations should better understand their power can be of legitimacy only when they exert it for the benefits of the public.

    I'm not feeling like blaming for bribing if it is true. Rather, hoping that other leaders are competent enough to derive whatever resources for the sake of benefit of their respective compatriots.

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  5. My fellow country men and women and my fellow Africans, to begin with this is a good move but it has a lot of an answered questions. and i stand to take one point at this moment, which is of the conflicts which we are facing as Africans. yes am not saying other states or continents have no conflicts no. but look at what is going on around Africa. examples are: Zimbabwe, DRC, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia Madagascar to mention but a few. we have failed before to solve these problems in these nations. The African Union has in my view, been toothless. it can bite. so how are we going to solve these problems when we became one state? The idea is good, but we are not ready for this. Our leaders at the moment are to selfish, hence each one of them would wants to advance their views and not unto the people who put them in offices. not until we are ready to include every one(Africans and my self), we will not achieve this good move. But via to all you! we African.

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  6. Lawrence

    The creation of United States of Africa has been Gaddaffi's brain child. With him now leading the AU he thinks it is time to advance hos agenda. There is gonna be fundamental backlash of ideology between Africa and the global North and I just do feel like we need to go back 20 years in history.

    Cho, you are absolutely about the Oil factor. He is using it to lubricate all the gullible African Presidents to win their support. Unfrotunately our president is one of them. These presidents have never thought through this seriously. Do you really want a dictator in charge of young democracies? Heck No!!!!! If gaddaffi is either doing it to change world perception or he is doing it for Libya's economic gains. If he can convince them to choose him then he will convince them to curtail oil deals with other countries and buy African oil only. Is this the age of protectionism? I don't think so. I think his grumpy old face needs to retire and pave way for new leadership.

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  7. I suppose the other motivation for the proponents is the appeal of the acronym, "USA". Lol!

    Seriously, Gaddafi suffers from an identity crisis and being snubbed by his fellow Arabs, he's turned to Sub-Saharan Africans whom he's realised he can bail out here and there in exchange for attention.

    Faced with the real prospect of departing earth not having achieved much on the world stage, Gaddafi is determined to press ahead with the USA idea however single-minded it is, if it's the last thing he'll do.

    Look, this guy runs his country literally like his own household, and now he's the one championing pan-African democracy! How ironic is that?

    You're right Cho, the idea is just too foolish to allocate intellectual attention.

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  8. "I suppose the other motivation for the proponents is the appeal of the acronym, "USA"" - Zedian

    lol!!

    I would not be surprised!

    "I have to admit that leaders of African countries have been faced with more difficult situations in terms of economic development such as smaller scale of their economies or sparsely distributed population." - HakushiDM

    The painful truth is that some of these nations should never have been countries. They have no resources and too tiny. Look at Rwanda, Central African Republic, Burundi, Malawi, etc. Its the legacy of colonialism of course. But they face an uphill struggle. Even a country like Zambia with significant resources struggles because of poor access to the sea. Imagine a resource poor nation like Rwanda or Malawi.

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  9. Potpher C. C. Mbulo17 February 2009 at 11:52

    I’m a Zambian and I can’t imagine uniting with Arabs and West Africans. Unless we are appealing for chaos, such ideas shouldn’t be tolerated. In fact the guy who is pushing for USAf leaves out a lot to be desired. Gaddafi has been ruling Libya with an iron fist without legitimate elections. Recently he was pushing an idea that Africans should adopt Islam as a national religion claiming the Bible is very erroneous and a fabrication and thus not authentic. What kind of a leader is he who imposes his belief system on the masses? After all there is no smoke without fire? How clean is he in the alleged love affair with Toro Queen Mother Best Kemigisa.

    The best way to amalgamate Africa into one nation is first by integrating countries with common understanding into functional discrete regions. For example countries in the sub region such as Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho and Tanzania can unite under one government and constitution. West Africans should also unite on their own first. The same is to be said about Arabs. When these separate regions are operative, then we can draw a new code of ethics and standards for political, social and economic complete integration. For a start. People like Gaddafi, Museveni and Mugabe should allow free and fair election in their quarters before we can tolerate their ideas.

    I also foresee a scenario where poor nations will remain cheap sources of raw materials for rich nations and these too will be overpopulated due to urbanization. Remember how Zimbabwe developed at the expense of Malawi which was an agric aquifer while Zambia was a source for minerals in the then confederation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. An understanding to insure equity and equality should be in place before integration.

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  10. Cho,

    The painful truth is that some of these nations should never have been countries.

    Agreed.

    They have no resources and too tiny. Look at Rwanda, Central African Republic, Burundi, Malawi, etc. Its the legacy of colonialism of course.

    Agreed on that too.

    But they face an uphill struggle. Even a country like Zambia with significant resources struggles because of poor access to the sea.

    Switzerland has no access to the sea, and yet it is not struggling. :)

    Imagine a resource poor nation like Rwanda or Malawi.

    And yet, Malawi has enough resources to grow tea and coffee instead of food. And no country in Africa is smaller than Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra or the Holy C.

    They are not suffering because they are too small, or landlocked, or lacking in natural resources.

    They are suffering because their economies do not work for their people.

    I touched upon the imbalance created by supply side economics, an imbalance between supply and demand or productive capital and wages.

    But this is true for these neocolonial economies too. On the one hand you have the country's GDP concentrated in the hands of a few corporations with very little linkage to the real economy. Along side them, the people do not own their own land, or even home, a car, etc. and make less than $1,- per day.

    The problem is internal, not geographic or anything else. If people had even 7 hectares of land, they would not be making $1,- per day. I think a single life calf in the US sells for $500, so in theory raising even a single calf would put them beyond the $1,-/day line.

    People need the means to be productive. And until that problem is solved, no amount of foreign direct investment is going to make a difference.

    People need to personally own stuff within their own economies.

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  11. Mrk,

    I agree poverty is not caused by geography, resource constraints or colonisation but these make it more challenging to overcome poverty. It's not impossible but the solutions are much tougher or require more serious thinking.

    When all three are present, it's even more challenging.

    Your Malawi point is interesting but the reason why Malawi does well in food is because they have no copper. When you have nothing you are more appreciative of agriculture. Zimbabwe was a food basket and did well without resources. It's a paradox. You would have thought Zambia would have a strong agricultural base because it had copper money to invest but no! Copper only led to corruption and resource dependency!

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  12. Which goes to show that systems are more important than commodities. Case in point - Hong Kong - free enterprise, no natural resources except its people, yet very rich.

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  13. I am increasingly of the opinion that Malawi's agricultural miracle has a lot more to do with upcoming elections than actual food security. People in NGOs operating in the country all seem to be preparing for shortages, but no one who values their government job or handouts will dare admit it publicly. This latest report from IRIN is typical of what I have been encountering.

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