Secession: Africa Must be Cautious

Published on 8th October 2013

The current agitation by African states to pull out of international institutions and partnerships on grounds that they are colonial should be done soberly and cautiously.

African countries have every democratic right of pulling out of partnerships and pacts that are exploitative, negatively domineering and do not add value to their socioeconomic wellbeing. However, this exit should not be based on emotional outbursts but sound judgment.

It is no secret that the legitimacy of many African countries as currently constituted (Ethiopia excepted) is anchored on what the colonialists created and safeguarded under the international order of sovereign statehood. Africans are divided by the nation state boundaries, ethnic identities, religions, class distinctions, urban and rural experiences, geographic barriers, and vast distances. Delinking nations from internationally established orders will in future precipitate a domino effect where ethnic groups or special interest groups will agitate for secession, leading to chaos.  Instead of  sacrificing Africa’s future on the altar of short term interests, African states should instead focus on nation building and uplifting the living standards of their people.


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