Dlamini-Zuma sees ‘confederation of African states’ in continent’s future

2014-01-28 16:34

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African Union (AU) Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in an “email to the future” has predicted that a “confederation of African states” would be formed in 2051.

She also predicted that African countries would have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council by 2030, up to now reserved for five major powers, namely China, France, Russia, the UK and the US.

The email was part of a presentation to AU ministers during a weekend retreat ahead of this week’s summit, and it was published on the organisation’s website today.

In an email to kwame@iamafrican.com, presumably named after Kwame Nkrumah, who called for African unity in 1963, she wrote: “At the beginning of the 21st century, we used to get irritated with foreigners when they treated Africa as one country: as if we were not a continent of over a billion people and 55 sovereign states!”

But she said the global trend towards blocks reminded Africa that integration and unity was the only way to go.

“If Africa was one country in 2006, we would have been the 10th largest economy in the world! However, instead of acting as one, with virtually every resource in the world [land, oceans, minerals, energy] and over a billion people, we acted as 55 small and fragmented individual countries.

“The bigger countries that should have been the locomotives of African integration, failed to play their role at that time, and that is part of the reasons it took us so long. We did not realise our power, but instead relied on donors, that we euphemistically called partners.”

Analysts and AU delegates alike agree that integration is the best way to develop African economies. But currently petty squabbles between member countries over things like funding the AU and military deployment are hampering the work of the organisation.

Dlamini-Zuma also envisages that Africa will have a lingua franca, KiSwahili, that can be understood by everyone and that would be a global language taught at universities across the world. She also said multilingualism will be the order of the day in 2063. “Our grandchildren still find it very funny how we used to struggle at AU meetings with English, French and Portuguese interpretations, how we used to fight the English version not in line with the French or Arabic,” she wrote.

During its 50th anniversary celebrations the AU last year set itself an Agenda 2063 of things it wants the continent to achieve by then. Meetings and discussions during this week’s summit in Addis Ababa are held with this agenda in mind.

The email address, incidentally, also corresponds with the guest password for Wi-Fi access at the AU headquarters, which is IamAfrican.

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