The annual summit of the African Union has just ended in Ghana. A major topic of debate was the possible formation of a United States Of Africa embracing all 53 member states in a type of USA style bond of states governed by a higher body. Gwynne Dyer, a leading journalist who writes for 45 or so publications, postulates that it may make sense as Africa has so many diverse cultures and across-border languages. He is right but I doubt whether he has thought it through entirely. The Colonial powers cut up Africa beginning in the nineteenth century and ethnic and language differences were not a priority. Rich pickings were.
A few of the wiser leaders at the AU summit felt that the concept of a USAFR was an unworkable dream. Thabo Mbeki, President of the richest African country, South Africa, stated that you "cannot put a roof on a house with no foundations." Mr Mbeki is no fool.
I can give you 53 reasons why an USAFR would not work but I'll give 5 at the risk of boring you:
* African States can not solve a small problem like Mugabe's Zimbabwe.
* How would Africa govern Somalia when the AU peace-keeping force is under-supplied and under-manned?
* How would Africa deal with Darfur when the tyrranical Sudanese Government refuses to co-operate with anyone who does not abide by its own rules?
* Would the USAFR stamp out the corruption in at least 22 countries, if not more?
* Would Arab North Africa go along with a deal that would mean sharing the fruits of their oil with some lesser developed countries?
The dream is wonderful. The reality is just a dream.