Monday, June 14, 2010

The Pan-African Thing.

It is not politic to be anti-Pan Africanist. I know this. And for my sins, I was soundly rebuked recently when I was informed that "You might not need Pan Africanism, just as Pan Africanism doesn't need you." And here I am soundly rebuked again.

Bring it.

If it makes folks happy to come together under the African shade tree of their own free will, I got no beef with that. Part of the fun of World Cup 2010 is watching the pervasive marketing scheme, ati "Africa's World Cup" complete with celebrities* flown in from across the continent and the world (mostly black, of course) to help celebrate things with a nice cultural mash-up. But didja know that Africans have, like, the worst record for intra-continental travel? Those of us who can afford a certain lifestyle would rather go to London or New York for recreation than, say, Cairo or Antananarivo...

Anywho, my problem is with imposed collectives, which is why for example the East African Federation doesn't work for me. Especially not with Museveni's extremely naked ambitions to crown hisself King of East Africa if he's given half a chance. Likewise, the African Union idea is being peddled hardest by... Muammar Ghaddafi? Um, no thanks?

These things don't need to be forced, especially not when the major agenda behind political collectives is to stroke the egos of some imperially-minded Presidents For Life. We've been doing modern nation-states for all of half a century, and the relative frequency of explosive political situations all around indicate to me that we're still finding our feet. This One Africa business will best be engineered by private sector initiatives (like Zain's really useful multi-country thingy) and regular folks travelling around for school, for jobs, for business. I figure we'll get there in a healthy manner, especially if the political collectivists stop trying to push us around.

*You know what wasn't right? Having superb musicians like Bra Hugh and Femi Kuti on the stage for 30 seconds only during the opening ceremony and then letting that R Kelly guy do a whole song. Puke.

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