- Professor Arthur Mutambara, former deputy prime minister of Zimbabwe, has suggested that a 'United States of Africa' would benefit Africans
- Speaking at the University of Oxford recently, Mutambara felt that one collective nation sharing resources would be more beneficial than the proposed "closer" African Union
- The professor rejected the proposed "closer" African Union, saying it would only perpetuate the continent's challenges
Former deputy prime minister of Zimbabwe, Professor Arthur Mutambara, spoke at the Oxford Union Debate Society recently and surprised his audience with his suggestion.
Mutambara, whose country is currently in an economic meltdown, told attendance he opposes the proposed "closer" African union:
For a start, we need the United States of Africa – a country – and not a union of sovereign states. We need to abolish national sovereignty and embrace continental sovereignty.
According to IOL, Mutambara maintained that one 'indivisible and all-inclusive Pan-African sovereignty' is the best way forward:
In order to leverage Africa’s 1.2 billion people, massive natural resource base and potential $2.3 trillion GDP we need to operate as one country and not a union of sovereign states.
The former deputy prime minister told his audience that China, India, and the US were all doing well under one national leader:
We surely do not need 55 Heads of State in Africa. As a minimum, we should have a federation of all the African states with devolved authority but driven by one strong and overarching central government where all sovereignty is reposed, as is the case with the United States of America."
On the current presidents in Africa, who would have to give up power in order to accommodate this move, the professor said many would not be prepared to give up their control:
You cannot expect the 55 African leaders to commit political suicide and legislate themselves out of existence. Each one of them wants to be a President or Prime Minister even it means presiding over starving and disempowered people.
Although the task suggested seems insurmountable, Mutambara seemed determined:
Yes, the United States of Africa looks overly ambitious, if not impossible. It is precisely for this reason that we should aspire towards it. As South African President Nelson Mandela taught us: 'It always looks impossible until it is done'. To paraphrase US President John F. Kennedy: 'We must pursue this agenda because it is hard and not because it is easy.'
Briefly.co.za reported recently that David Coltart, leader of the MDC party in Zimbabwe, had spoken out against the inaction from South Africa.
The prominent opposition leader said that SA's silence on the matter was 'deafening.'
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!