AU Watch

A United States of Africa

“There is one sense in which African unity already exists. There is a sentiment of ‘African-ness,’, a feeling of mutual involvement, which pervades all political and cultural life of the continent. Nationalist leaders all over Africa feel themselves to be part of a greater movement; they recognise a special responsibility to the political unit in which they happen to belong, but feel personally involved in the triumphs and set-backs of all other African countries. For the sake of all African states, large or small, African unity must come and it must be real unity. Our goal must be a United States of Africa. Only this can really give Africa the future her people deserve after centuries of economic uncertainty and social oppression. This goal must be achieved. … The only thing that matters to us now is how to get African unity as quickly as possible.”.

President Julius Kambarage Nyerere, March 1963.

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Is a united Africa, free from the legacy of colonialism, possible? The Pan-African movement has been advocated by many different voices, underpinned by a belief in the common destiny in the peoples of Africa.

It is more than 60 years since the All-African Peoples Conference convened in Accra, Ghana in 1958. It was a notable event in the history of Pan-Africanism. Organised by two leading Pan-Africanists, Kwame Nkrumah, who had led Ghana to political independence in March the previous year, and George Padmore, a Trinidadian writer and activist, who Nkrumah had appointed his Advisor on African Affairs, the conference brought together representatives from across the continent and the diaspora. Crucially, it was the first time that such an event had been held in Africa. It was, therefore, an opportune moment for Nkrumah to outline his bold vision: the formation of a United States of Africa.

In 2013, the AU designed Agenda 2063, a framework with set objectives to aid the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years.The vision is to maintain integration of Africans on the continent. The goal is to realize the union of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens. One of the ways the Union is doing this is through the proposed launch of a continental passport known as the AU passport.The passport will grant visa-free access to every member state so Africans can move freely across the continent.Presently, only Seychelles and the Republic of Benin have no visa restrictions for Africa travellers.

Ok, do you believe that ‘Africa’ has the ability to see through a United States of Africa? We want to hear from you. This is your forum to comment, contribute, object or just simply to make an observation.

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