Tuesday, 28 November 2017

EAC decolonise your borders or perish

            What sadly transpired on the Kenya-Tanzania Namanga border recently is a stark reminder: Africa’s still colonised. The media reported the unfortunate acts whereby Tanzanian authorities burned 6,400 chicks from Kenya because they were “a health risk.”  Such an act irked Kenya so as to summon Tanzania’s High Commissioner in the country Dr. Pindi Chana to register its discomfort. Foreign Affairs Political and Diplomatic Secretary Tom Amolo was quoted as saying “Kenya-Tanzania relations are longstanding, rich and complex and should not be jeopardised by a hardening of positions over minor issues that can be easily resolved through candid and open dialogue.” Before then, Tanzania had confiscated and auctioned 1,300 the property of Kenyan Masai. Again, where did it start beating us?
            Organically, before the criminal Berlin Conference 1884, Kenya and Tanzania were united entities. People along what’s today Namanga border, inter alia, used to operate freely and amicably without any disturbances, mistrust and infringement on their natural freedom of movement and cooperation. This is why Masai on both sides of the border still regard themselves as one country of Masailand not to mention, the Swahili on Lunga lunga-Horohoro border.
            None the less, soon after Africa’s divided and partitioned, there’s born the modern weak and ever-dependent states as colonial tools intended to divide, exploit and weaken Africans perpetually.  Fortunately, in the 60s, African countries became independent however divided. Ever since, these states have done nothing but furthering, internalising and reinforcing colonialism by maintaining colonial divisions under the Peace of Westphalia 1648 which ushered in modern-time colonial sovereignty.  However, some efforts were made to reunite Africa as championed by the likes of Julius Nyerere (Tanzania) Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya) Kwame Nkrumah and many more whose dream was felled by their successors due to myopia and negative individuality.
            The East Africa’s not left out of the efforts to reunite Africa as a whole or regionally. It embarked on the unification of the region giving birth to the East African Community (EAC I 1967-1977). Thanks to colonial carryovers, the intended unity of Africa remained ceremonial under the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and later the African Unity (AU). Therefore, the move that EAC took was an antithesis and a challenge to the rest of Africa that refused to be reunited.  However, there were other unions of federations such as Senegal-Gambia or Senegambia (1982-1989) and the Economic Commission of West African States (1975 to present) among notable ones.  To cut a long story short, I’ll address a few reasons why the EAC and Africa must shake off colonial hangover; and thereby embark on true reunification of the region as follows:
            First, reunifying the region means returning back to its natural formula which gave it and Africa the edge and clout of living without necessarily depending on handouts from rich country as it currently is after being colonised in the 18th Century; thereby ushering in dependency, exploitation and imperialism that saw Africa becoming the backyard of the world to exploit as pleased.
            Secondly, practical reunification of region will create many economic, political and social opportunities such as interdependence, interconnectedness and above all, unity as a tool for strength. We inevitably and out of necessity need each other even if we don't like each other.
            Thirdly, the reunification of the region will enable it and Africa in general to assert its power globally not to mention increasing security and good use of resources.  Reunited EAC and Africa won’t have the many do-nothing and despotic presidents that are responsible for exploiting Africa as black colonisers or the agents of colonialism.
            Fourth, Namanga’s shame testifies to the fact that African countries don’t conducively and swiftly do business among themselves compared to how they do it with non-African countries (Mhango 2015). Thanks to neocoloniality, many African countries are at home with doing business with foreigner as they shy away from their neighbours.  Again, Swahili sage has it that you can choose a friend[s] but not a neighbour[s]. This means that our interconnectedness is organic and inevitable; whether we like it or not.
            Fifth, the reunification of the region, and later, Africa will increase production as a motivation by which Africa will grow economically due to the fact that, instead of importing goods from afar, Africa will have an internal supply of some goods it imports from abroad. So, too, it’ll cut the cost of running business and production not to mention environmental degradation from the machinery used to transport goods so as to enhance good prices for the products produced and traded within Africa. I wonder, for example, to find that some countries are importing onions from the EU. According to the Agritrade (2011), in January and February 2011, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Mauritania ‘purchased more Dutch onions than 2010 while in 2009, 42% of Dutch onion exports to West Africa went to Senegal, 22% to Côte d’Ivoire and 13% to Mauritania this is shameful and surreal for Africa in general. Why importing food stuffs on top of industrial product as if Africa is a barren continent?
            In a nutshell, the major question Africa needs to ask and rightly answer is: Why has African become a food importer while it used to feed itself before colonialism was introduced to Africa? There are those who dubiously say that the population of Africa has grown exponentially due to improved health services colonialism started. This is totally erroneous and disingenuous.  One may query why Africa’s able to produce healthy persons who were taken to the Americas as slaves if at all it didn’t have a very sound health system before colonial. Africa needs to reunite and stop crying like a baby while it’s what it takes as it used to be.
Source: African Executive Tues., today

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Salaam mwalimu Mhango,
Kwanza nikubaliane nawe kwa hii visheni ya Pan-Africanisim kwa watu wetu wa bara la Afrika na hata walokuwepo nje ya Bara letu(dispora) ambapo visheni ya Pan-Africanism ilipoanzia na mwisho wa siku kurudi Bara mama la Afrika kwa kuendeleza safari ya umoja wa Bara letu.Ni kweli kabisa tunahitaji umoja wa nchi za kiafrika sio kwa hutuba nyingi katika majukwaa ya kisasa na katika makomangano bali kwa vitendo.Pamoja na kukusoma fikra zako hususa baada ya kutokea matatizo ya kijamii kati ya Tanzania na Kenya kama ulivyopambanua katika makala hii.

Katika mada hii niruhusu nami nielezee mashaka yangu kwa changamoto ambazo za ndani na za nje zinazotukabili na zitakazo tukabili daima katika kufikia lengo.Ukweli wa mafanikio ya umoja wa bara letu niazie na fikra namba 2 katika makala yako hii pale ulipoandika....."
We inevitably and out of necessity need each other even if we don't like each other"
Ni kweli kabisa tunahitajiana kama nchi kukamilisha umoja wetu lakini isiishie kwa viongozi tu ni lazima wananchi wa nchi zetu washirikishwe kikamilifu katika hatua mbali mbali za umoja na naposema kushirikishwa ni kwamba mkenya anapokuwa Tanzania aonekane na achukuliwe kama ni mwafrika kwanza kabla ya ukenya wake na mtanzania hali kadhalika popote pale aendapo katika nchi hizo na bila kuwashirikisha wananchi katika muono huu umoja wetu utakuwa ni umoja tu wa kisiasa na utakuwa kati ya viongozi tu kwani tunaiona hali hii kati ya wananchi wa Tanganyika na Zanzibar kwamba hakuna mapenzi yoyote kati yao zaidi ya kutopendana.

Na tangu kuumbika kwa nation states katika bara letu kwa mipaka tuliyochorewa na wakoloni biblia au msahafu wa nchi hizo ni uzalendo,uzalendo na uzalendo.Je udhani mwalimu Mhango uzalendo nao ni moja ya kikwazo wa wananchi kuweza kuingiliana kuelewana na kupendana?Na je kwa mabadiliko ya kisiasa na kiuchumi tangu wakoloni waondoke katika bara letu,wakoloni hao kwa ukoloni mambo leo na kwa baadhi ya viongozi wa kiafrika kuwa ni maajenti wa wakoloni watakuwa tayari kuliona bara letu linaungana kwa mwamko wa wananchi?

Inaendelea.........

Anonymous said...


Kuna New World Oder,kuna wauza vifo na wapiga ngoma za vita ukiongezea mashirka ya kikoloni ya kiuchumi mkusanyiko wote huo ni wakikoloni tu ambao hawaitakii afrika heri.Je itafika kwa waafrika kujitegemea wenyewe katika kutengeneza silaha zao au hata kuwe na makubaliano kati ya nchi zetu kutonunua silaha za kutishia usalama wa jizani zao au hata nafasi kutoke vita kati ya nchi zetu iwe ni 1% japo vita ni necessary evil?Ikiwa mataifa ya ulaya vita ni sehemu ya historia yao iliyopita je sisi waafrika kwa nini vita isiwe nayo ni marufuku katika bara letu?

Je wakoloni wetu wataturuhusu kuona kwamba tuna jeshi moja la nchi za kiafrika,pesa moja ya kiafrika,pasi moja ya afrika kama alivyofafanua Kwame Nkuruma katika hotuba yake ya O.A.U ya mwaka 1963?Nimalizie tu kusisitiza kwamba umoja wetu wa nchi za kiafrika viongozi wetu wa kisiasa ni lazima wawape nafasi ya kutosha watu wao kushiriki kisawasawa katika hatua ya umoja huo.Bara la ulaya limefanikiwa umoja wao kwa kuwashirikisha wananchi wao kikamilifu katika process ya umoja wao pamoja na tofauti zao na wamefikia kuhitajiana na hata kupendana japo hata kwa unafiki wa kijamii na kisiasa.Mwalimu Mhango sio kukata tamaa kwa wasiwasi wangu nilioutaja hapo bali nami kama ni mwananchi wa umoja wa afrika mashariki najaribu kushirki kikamilifu na tuache historia na wakati uwe refaree.Mwisho nikupongeze tena kwa majuhudi yako mazito ya kuelimisha na kutupa sisi wasomi wako nafasi ya kuchangia.

NN Mhango said...

Ndugu Anon,
Kama ada kwanza nishukuru kwa michango yako pamoja na kuchukua muda wako kunisoma. Nitajibu maswali yako kama ifuatavyo:
Mosi, ni kweli kuwa muungano wa Afrika unapaswa kuwa watu na si watawala. Nadhani watu wa Afrika wako tayari tangu enzi na enzi kuwa waafrika na si Wakenya wala Watanzania ambao ni matokeo ya mkutano wa Berlin 1884.
Pili, je wakoloni wataturuhusu? Hawawezi. Je tunahitaji ruhusa au kujiamini na kuamua liwalo na liwe hasa kuwashughulikia wenzetu wanaotukwamisha kufikia ukweli huu. Najua kuna wakoloni niwaita black colonialists watajitahidi kutuhujumu. Kama tumedhamiria tutafika tu. Hata wakati wa kupigania uhuru hali ilikuwa hivyo. Tutaendelea kuogopa vipande vya nchi za magharibi hadi lini? Mengi kuhusiana na umoja wa Africa nimeyaeleza kwenye kitabu changu cha AFRICA REUNITE OR PERISH. Na kwa sasa niko naandika kingine cha AFRICA NEEDS TO DECOLONISE ITSELF FOR IT TO MOVE FORWARD.