A friend got in touch recently, slightly concerned that I hadn't commented on the current squabble between Tanzania and Rwanda and whatnot. This kind of trouble crops up from time to time in terms of topic selection: to be relevant or to leave well enough alone, that is the question. In this particular case, there is so much DRAMA going on I opted to sit back and watch. Somebody's going to get an Oscar at the end of it and who says it won't be Tanzania?
Besides, I recently read this talk by Noam Chomsky and it only served to confirm my suspicions about integration. There is nothing so satisfying as finding a well-respected public intellectual whom you can quote when espousing your prejudices :) The bit about what the EU is doing to democracy in Europe was fascinating.
Oh, right. Back to the EAC. We'll muddle through these current challenges and come out the better for it. Or we won't. We've already failed once, but did that stop us? Oh no, it didn't. Here we are, bigger and better and ready to fail again! If at first you don't succeed, et cetera. If nothing else, I find our perpetual (often inexplicable) enthusiasm and commitment to this project quite inspiring.
That's why I don't spend much time worrying about the EAC- it's a big old dream that's going to take it's sweet time coming together. I figure our odds are fair, and they have improved with every post independence generation.
I see a silver lining. Should we fall apart this time- and I am not saying that we will- but if we do then it might clear the way for upcoming generations of East Africans to negotiate a partnership that fits them like a bespoke suit rather than grandpa's hand-me-down tweed jacket. This ka-project of ours is more of an evolutionary process than a finite destination. Why not let the kids do it*:
"Far more interesting to me is the bright-eyed enthusiasm of younger people learning from each other, collaborating across borders, enjoying the social glue that modern ICT technology has gifted us with.*This is becoming my default position. Heh.
Our only job is to try not to cripple the integration project or kill it dead before the young’uns have a chance at it. But if we do, no worries. The African Boomer generation that’s coming? Will be online, aware and better equipped to take on the challenge."