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A United States of Africa. Is it viable? Is the West scared of it? Watch

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    I've recently been reading about African revolutionaries (Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, etc) and their ideas regarding Pan-Africanism. It seems increasingly more obvious with the current state of African countries that they just aren't able to stabilise themselves enough to make headway. It also seems that European nations continue to have an overbearing influence on the natural resources in major African countries (typically francophone countries). Imported socialism doesn't seemed to have worked and corruption is absolutely rife in Africa. Imo, if African nations were able to see the commonality between all their cultures, whilst celebrating the differences together as Africans, the idea of a United States of Africa could certainly work. As a continent, they would have they would be the largest source of natural resources, where now, one nation has an overabundance of only one or two natural resources. The one-dimensional nature of these nations means they are kept essentially on crutches, trading their valuable minerals at sub-market prices to keep them afloat. With a United Africa, you'd have a combination of oil, an abundance of agriculture that could properly be utilised and dispersed to nations that struggle with agriculture, and trade their vast and plentiful array of minerals and metals on their own terms. I'm not an economist by any stretch of the imagination, but this seems like a perfect recipe for growth (as we're seeing in China).

    It seemed like this idea was widely criticised by all but the most successful and influential African leaders. Which brings me to my first question, would you want to see a successful African continent in your lifetime (regardless of how it becomes successful- doesn't need to be Pan-Africanism)? My second question is, obviously I'm not an economist and my rationale was based upon common sense, so is this idea economically viable? I understand the social criticism that faces a United Africa, but I don't believe that should warrant dismissal of a potentially economically viable idea.
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    super corrupt, even poorer, 2/10
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    why though
    • Political Ambassador
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    It won't work for the same reasons most multinational blocs that exceed trade relationships fail. Nation states do not want to lose sovereignty, and voters do not want national decisions made by those who are not local. I don't see why anyone who look at the failures and issue of the EU and feel that something similar could work on a much larger, much more diverse continent. African nations like Nigeria can barely hold themselves together, what is that going to look like cross continent? China is a terrible comparison because it is one homogeneous society that has been a national unit for the better part of last 5 centuries.
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    The idea of an actual pan-African union is not a credible one, at least i'm not aware of any nation supporting it.

    More interesting though is that there are two or three proposed unions that actually have political support (one in west Africa around Nigeria) and the other is the east african federation albeit there are heavily divergent opinions within the proposed block.

    That being said, i don't expect Africa to be any more of a success than it has been. If there's one nation that will make it to western living standards i'd probably punt for Angola right now but that's fairly low confidence.
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    I think such a large state would just collapse under its own weight and diversity. For large states to work (like the US) you need a common language, a common culture and common identity and a sense of belonging. You also need economic compatibility so that a monetary union can work and not fail like the Eurozone. While there's a popular perception all of Africa is really poor, the economies of Africa are incredibly different and different countries are at different stages of economic development. Then there's the issue of division of power, the country with the most economic output will inevitably end up with the most political power and this can cause resentment amongst countries (like against Germany in the EU). And finally there's the dividing line of religion, Africa is a continent where conflict between Muslims and Christians isn't unknown. I think a United States of Africa is a noble idea but the differences between African countries are too large and makes it difficult to achieve.


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    There was the Mali Federation in 1960, but it almost immediately fragmented. Same with the Senegambia Confederation in the 1980s.
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    From what I gather, big problem in Africa (aside from corruption etc) is that there's a lot of hatred between different tribes, communities, ethnicities, etc., that have been geographically lumped together under the title of e.g. "Ethiopian" when in actuality they hate each other (kinda like the whole Welsh/Scottish often don't like to be called British thing).

    Pan Africanism seems like an interesting (albeit far fetched) solution. I doubt America would be afraid though
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    I had a good laugh at this thread
 
 
 
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