Letter to Africa: One Africa. One Voice

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha

Harare, Zimbabwe – Hitchhiking from Malawi through Mozambique and then into Zimbabwe, I was highly amazed at the commonalities that exist among the three countries.

Part of it was something as simple as the round shaped, grass thatched little huts that dotted the rural landscape in the three countries. As I see it, there are many common values that unite us a people. After my hitchhiking experience, I was more than convinced of Bob Marley’s Africa Unite.

We are not as far apart as has been long projected. In addition, many countries have a common history, and are currently facing similar pressures. And there’s so much to be gained if we work as a collective.

Our differences are only exaggerated by man-made borders. As Africans, it is important that we begin to look beyond these borders and concentrate on the things that unite us.

As Burkina Faso’s Marie-Blandine Ouedraogo Sawadogo succinctly put it, there’s greater need to summon our inner energy to give full expression to the efforts of consolidating the unity of our continent.

From the fight against colonialism to the recent establishment of South Sudan, we’ve proved that as a continent we can come together to achieve success if we set our hearts to it.

Governance based on transparency and accountability needs to be a common hallmark across the continent. If we to unlock our collective prowess, it is time that African leaders begin to realize that self-aggrandizement in the corridors of power is antithetical to an Africa that is progressive.

We also have an abundance of natural resources and young people which all present an opportunity to overcome some of the old-age problems that have haunted the continent.

“Africa is a continent that has the highest density of natural resources and of young people. This makes our continent ideal for the development of a real economy far from the upheavals of a virtual economy. The crisis can be an opportunity for us and we need to see it in that light,” said Africa Union’s Chairperson, Jean Ping recently.

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