Opinions & Features May 24, 2019 at 09:00 am

These four factors hinder the long-cherished dream of a united Africa

Fatiatu Inusah | Contributor

Fatiatu Inusah May 24, 2019 at 09:00 am

May 24, 2019 at 09:00 am | Opinions & Features

French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with children after visiting the Lagm Taaba school on November 28, 2017, in Ouagadougou, as part of his first African tour since taking office. / AFP PHOTO / ludovic MARIN

Neocolonialism

Independence granted to African countries is at best a belief. In reality, many countries in the continent still have ties with their colonial masters. Former colonies still depend heavily on their former masters for help. Economies are hardly controlled by governments as most of the aid received from these powers are inevitably accompanied by laws that somehow affect their economies and sovereignty.

Apart from the colonial masters, foreign powers such as China and the United States of America continuously exploit African countries to their advantage when they give loans. A comparison of the aid Africa receives from China and America by the Borgen Project indicates that the US has sent about $120 billion in aid to Sub-Saharan countries Kenya, Congo and Ethiopia between 1980 and 2012. China, on the other hand, had spent over $350 billion between 2000 and 2014 with 45.7% of the amount coming to Africa.

China has also loaned countries on the continent huge sums of money and their inability to pay back these debts means losing some part of their sovereignty. Zambia is a case in point as the country was reportedly “losing its international airport and national electricity grid to Beijing because of defaults on Chinese loans.” Losing these national facilities means relinquishing control in that regard.

Countries on the continent are not as independent as they seem. If Africa has to unite, then her countries must reclaim their independence from foreign powers. Until then, a federation is a dream that may never come true. It may remain only a fancy idea.

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