Africa: Is Continental Unity Still a Relevant Dream?

source: allAfrica
The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)
23 May 2008
Posted to the web 23 May 2008

The two-day summit of the committee of 12 Heads of State and Government of the African Union, got underway in Arusha yesterday with the formation of a union government for Africa as its main agenda.

The unity idea can be traced back to the formation of the Organisation of African Unity – now the African Union – in 1963, four years after Ghana’s founding President,Kwame Nkrumah, wrote his famous book -I Speak of Freedom – in 1961, which outlined his vision of the continent. He wrote: “Divided we are weak; united Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world a great power founded on hope, trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind.”

Almost five decades later, African unity remains a distant dream, but worth pursuing, although problems such as corruption, the greed for power and ethnic conflict are likely to delay or scuttle the realisation of this dream.Ironically, the Arusha meeting is taking place at a time when shantytowns and black townships in South Africa are burning under xenophobia-driven violence.

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