United States of Africa: Problem, or Solution?

Shingi Nyahwa

Kwame Nkrumah is the most notable individual amongst a generation of leaders that led the charge of independence from colonial rule throughout Africa , the ultimate  aim of the liberation free-for-alls throughout Africa was to finally establish the United States of Africa which figuratively means making Africa a single nation under one administration.

Born in 1909 in the village of Nkroful in Nzima region of the south west Gold Coast. Nkrumah became involved in nationalistic politics when he was studying theology in United States in 1935, he returned to Ghana in 1947 and joined United Gold Coast Convention as their secretary general. Nkrumah’s intellectual skills were an asset in his rise to power and his ambitions led him to organize his own party in 1949.He became prime minister in 1952 and led Ghana to independence in 1957 , he was elected president in 1960 and  was the man who led the first successful liberation struggle in Africa. He ruled until 1966 when his regime was overthrown by a military coup. Nkrumah was more than a political leader, he was a prophet of independence, of anti-imperialism and Pan Africanism. Nkrumah was one of the founding fathers of the OAU which is now the AU.

The establishment of regional blocks like the African Union, SADC and ECOWAS was an effort put in place by our founding fathers to slowly and gradually conjoin and integrate African countries in to one continental block through regionalism.

Regionalism, entails efforts by a cluster of states to develop their economic, political, social, or cultural collaborations. These efforts can take on diverse procedures, comprising regional cooperation, market integration, development integration, and regional integration. African leaders have for a long time envisioned regionalism as a feasible strategy to pursue with a view to uniting the continent both politically and economically.

Despite the fact that African countries continue to be actively involved in pursuing market integration, I myself consider that as an alternative of trying to enhance intra-regional trade, African countries should be involved in attempting to assimilate their economies into the world economy.

Regionalism might not protect Africa from the global economy more so Africa will only begin to grow again if it opens itself to the financial and trade flows from the world economy which is the main source of the much needed foreign direct investment. Visibly it will be best for sub-Saharan Africa to integrate with the current trend of globalisation of the world economy and reap all the possible benefits which are come by it.

Bearing in mind my aforementioned assessments, the big question for grilling is whether African countries should pursue policies intended to amalgamate economies at regional level in expectation of shielding them against the onslaught of the world economy?

I myself as a realist can contend that, in the event that regional integration may perhaps in the end be successful as a proper exercise, viable economic growth will require competitiveness in the global economy which undoubtedly will not be there in a unified African Economy due to absence of direct investment which is not there in Africa but in the global economy.”

The genuine test before African leaders in the 21st century is to craft policies that heighten the political, economic, social, and cultural assimilation of the continent, at the same time ensuring that the continent is not further relegated within the global village.

A strategy of this nature is more contemporary to African actualities, and might feasibly improve Africa’s ability to adapt within the nexus of regionalism and globalization .If placed within the context of African realities, regionalism in Africa can certainly be part of the solution instead of part of the problem thus fulfilling the legacy of a United States of Africa passed on to us by the independence generation.

Shingi Nyahwa is a Freelance writer and Political Analyst follow him on Twitter @SNyahwa .