By Daniel Gwarbarah & Leocadia Bongben 

Though most analysts and adherents on the idea of a United States of Africa agree that there is need for unity, there is disagreement on the form it should take. Resource persons at the monthly Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Press Club, meeting on February 20, highlighted the cracks in the lofty project, with the absence of strong regional integration bodies.

They wondered how African States can unite when there is disunity amongst States of the same sub-region. They quoted the Central African Sub Region where Cameroonians have been driven away from Equatorial Guinea on several occasions as an example. According to Hughes François Onana, CRTV journalist, for African States to unite, there is the necessity to ameliorate credibility and ensure continuity in economic reforms, reinforce the bargaining power in the international scene and harmonise legislation to promote good governance, democracy and human rights. 

Maurice Tadadjeu, lecturer at the Yaounde I University, for his part, perceives the project of a United States of Africa as a reality and already functional.  Having followed the project from inception up to this moment, he argues that the project of uniting Africa is not Kaddafi’s idea, but an idea that has existed for at least a century.

The principal reason that blurs efforts is the lack of personal engagement, he argued. He regretted that African leaders are divided on the issue as perceived during the 9th African Union summit. Tadadjeu underscored the necessity of sensitising journalists as well as the population on the project. Tracing the history of the Pan African Hubert Kamgang, Chairman of the Union of the Peoples of Africa party, maintained that the idea was basically to abolish the colonial pact and to liberate African States from colonialism.