Let us rally behind this vision as brothers and sisters bound by a shared destiny and work towards a continent where unity is the foundation upon which a glorious future is built
A few days ago, xenophobia reared its ugly ahead again in South Africa, with foreigners again targeted as being responsible for the country’s economic woes and African again attacking African.
Africa, a continent often referred to as the cradle of humanity, holds a rich tapestry of cultures, traditions and histories. Yet, despite the shared heritage and the rhetoric of brotherhood, artificial borders continue to divide this vast and diverse landmass, a legacy of colonialism that has persistently hindered the region’s unity and progress. From protectionism, nationalism and xenophobia to non-tariff barriers and trade and from higher costs to conflicts, there is not much to commend borders.
The current patchwork of these remnants of colonial rule often make little geographical or cultural sense, serving only to fragment what should naturally be a unified entity. These borders, drawn without consideration for the African peoples’ aspirations and well-being, stand as barriers, obstructing the potential for collaborative development and shared prosperity. In contrast to the European Union, where nations have voluntarily come together to create a harmonious and integrated entity, Africa remains ensnared by the legacy of the whims imperial powers. The European model has demonstrated that tearing down borders can lead to a stronger, more economically robust and peaceful continent. It is time for Africa to take heed of this successful blueprint.
Uniting Africa: A Catalyst for Progress
Removing the borders within Africa and adopting a model similar to the European Union would be a transformative step towards unity, stability and economic development. A united Africa could harness its collective potential, resources, and talents, creating a powerful force on the global stage.
By eradicating borders, trade between African nations could flourish. The EU model demonstrates how a single market encourages free trade, boosts economies and attracts investments. An African Economic Community could leverage the diverse economies, resources, and expertise within the continent for mutual growth.
A united Africa would facilitate cohesive planning and implementation of crucial infrastructure projects. Roads, railways, and other vital links could be developed seamlessly across the continent, enhancing connectivity and integration.
Borders often perpetuate division and prejudice. A united Africa would encourage cultural exchange, understanding and unity among its diverse peoples, promoting a sense of shared identity and mutual respect. Common goals and shared interests often deter conflict. A united Africa would foster a sense of camaraderie, reducing the likelihood of disputes and enhancing mechanisms for peaceful resolution.
Overcoming Challenges and Building a United Future
Certainly, challenges lie ahead in the path to a borderless Africa. Historical disputes, differing political systems, and economic disparities may pose obstacles. However, the European Union exemplifies that these challenges can be overcome through dialogue, collaboration and a shared vision.
It is vital for African leaders to rise above historical differences and to instead prioritise the collective welfare of the continent’s people. Envisioning a united Africa means envisioning a future where borders are no longer shackles but bridges to a prosperous and harmonious coexistence. Africa can learn from the EU’s successes and failures, crafting a unique model that suits its diverse realities and aspirations. It is a bold endeavour, but one that holds the promise of emancipation from the shadows of colonialism and a leap towards an Africa united in purpose and progress.
Heads of state call each other brothers and sisters, as do ordinary people. It is time for such semantics to become meaningful. The time for a united Africa, devoid of divisive borders, is now. Let us rally behind this vision, as brothers and sisters bound by a shared destiny, and work towards a continent where unity is the foundation upon which a glorious future is built.