DISCUSSION: Was Late President Gadaffi’s ‘United States Of Africa’ A Pipedream Or Simply A Matter Of Time?

Muammar al-Gaddafi
The leader de facto of Libya, Muammar al-Gaddafi. Image by Agência Brasil, via WikiCommons.

For decades, Libyan Leader, Muammar Gaddafi pushed for a , something all of the African Union’s 53 states have said they agree in principle to although they can’t seem to agree on a timeline. Estimates for how long this will take vary from nine to 35 years.

When he won the top seat at the over a decade ago, he promised to accelerate his drive for the United States of Africa, saying that if there was not a majority opposed, that would mean the idea was approved – somewhat discordant with the AU’s traditional way of making decisions by consensus. “I hope my term will be a time of serious work and not just words,” he said at his inaugural. However, over a decade later, that dream is still far from realized although major steps have been taken to bring African countries closer together like the African Free Trade Agreement.

Gaddafi was not the first African leader pushing for this agenda. African leaders like Kwame Nkrumah believed Africa’s future relied on it and pushed Pan Africanism as the path toward a better future for all Africa and Africans.

This idea is still touted by leaders like Julius Malema.

So why isn’t there the United States of Africa? Some have made arguments on this very question.

Is the United States of Africa an idea that if pursued will finally earn Africa her rightful place on the global stage or is it a pipe dream? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Should there be a United States of Africa?


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  1. Wow! Now that would be a dream. A United States of Africa, although, I must admit, I would hope they could come up with a more original name for the union. There are monumentous advantages to our union. But ofcourse, when have the benefits of the populous ever been a requirement to endorse for the leaders of Africa. As rewarding as the dream might be, it has a lot of hurdles to cross first. The first and foremost being the greed of our leaders who seem to view the countries as their own personal businesses from which to milk money. Before a child can run, it must learn to walk. I do not believe Africa is ready for a continental union when on average we do not have community union. ie. A bamenda man would die first than see his child marry a southwestener. It is important for us to actually see ourselves as nations first before we can think of unifying those nations into a prosperous states union.
    That being said, there are countries in Africa which are already on their way towards success and vibrancy. For a union of african states to be viable, I believe it must start small and present itself as a wealthy and rich option which other african nations can benefit from, an option so enticing that the people of the individual countries will force the leaders to make the decision. This can happen if the successful nations of our continent unite and develop a constitution which attends to the AFRICAN culture and not that of individual nations. A constitution and economy that promises success and inovation, while at the same time preserving the attitudes and cultures of AFRICA versus embracing those of the west. A union like that would attract a lot of the other nations to it, I believe. I think an African union can work, but to be anything worthwhile and longstanding, I would think it would take a generous amount of time to create. I’m leaning more towards the 35 years guess but praying and dreaming for the 9 year or less timespan.

  2. Over the years i was in favor of the AU’s USA. But with the Field Marshall as head, i am very pessimistic of his intentions.

  3. when I say it depends therefore greedyness, power mongering,dictatorship, corruption , tribalism, hatred,should be eliminated because withiot that it would not work . this vices cannot promote unity.

  4. african mentality is not yet ripe for that for if a president in africa can rule for 25 years then,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  5. I believe in United Africa. “Yes we can” lets have “The audacity to Hope”.
    1 year or 300 years. The first step is the hardest. When it happens, it happens. Time is of no consequence.

  6. Wow I’m surprised to see more people agreeing with an african union. United in what sense? Only in currency such as the european union? or more than that.Have you guys thought about the corrupt minds of most african leaders? We should not be creating more powerful positions to feed that nasty behaviour. How much power will the Union as an entity have over each individual country? Because if they don’t have any power then the organization will become like the UN which sometimes can do nothing but sit and watch violence occur.
    Now let’s talk about diversity. Africa is not like the United states of America…which are all just states under one country…you are talking about over 50 different COUNTRIES…with different cultures, languages and believes that affect how laws are created in each one. How will those differences be reconciled? I can imagine sitting in such a meeting. There is more similarities in the countries in the european union than there are between african nations. And how many countries are in the EU? surely not 50?
    Then there is the economic and social difference. Some countries are doing really well for themselves while some have been in constant tribal wars since their independence from the colonizers. How do you guage what each country should bring to the table.
    Before anyone starts even “thinking” about this union, each country has to clean up some of their obvious baggage. Like those in war or dictators who are killing their own people. It’s not even funny. If the union is to look out for the good of all africans…how can you go into a union with countries that have that going on? I don’t see a dictator willingly agreeing to join a union if he will be loosing is dictatorship rights.
    Currency..some african countries currencies are just BAD….like 1000 to 1euro or USD and some are really good like ghana and SA. So are we going to have one currency? and if its weaker than say what an individual country’ currency, then why should they join?

  7. Sorry guys I know my post was long but to conclude.
    It can be done but not without there being some substantial changes in the politcal system and mental state of our leaders.
    Do I want it? No.
    What does having a United states of Africa hope to achieve that cannot be executed under the current organization AU?

  8. I agree with Balimba and Msakereth. But I’m in favor with a united Africa. Greed is our main barrier not culture. Most countries in Africa are about the sizes of california or Texas. We are always going to be behind if we stay divided. Africa is a contentinent rich in culture and raw materials. I am tired of seeing our doctors and lawyers leave. Who is will take care of us and uphold the law. I am tired of seeing the young and educated leave. Who will secure the future when they do. I am tired of living under the pretense of democracy while we are truly governened by dictatorship. I am tired of seeing my fellow Africans, young and old walking the streets barefooted with no food to eat or place to stay. It’s so bad that we’re at a point where we can’t even afford asprin to get rid of a headache. I am tired of struggles in Darfur, Liberia, Malabo, Ethiopia just to name a few. If one cannot have peace at his or her’s own home, where else in the world can it be found. I think It’s time for us to start makning Africa the home we all dream of. A United Africa is what we need.

  9. The idea of a united Africa is not a pipe dream; look at Europe. Everything has a starting point. Late Nkwame Nkruma had that idea in mind and was assasinated,the Libyan guy had thesame idea but his homeland was bombed, because they said that he was a terrorist. The idea is as possible as the sun rising from the east. But how badly do we want it? Believe it or not, our continent is the richest amongst the rest; from food,to all kinds of raw materials.Africa is not a poor continent,if it was not for greed, and corruption, we would have been the most powerful in the world…..a suivre!

  10. Africa remaians the most marginalise continent on earth not becuase we dont have but because we are so much exploited and we are doctrine to believe that is only what comes fom the wwest that is good.

    President Gadaffi is absolutely right but a road map as to be implimented and acted upon,first not by considering success but by working to avoid failure which will eventually direct success.
    This abvious because most African presidents are no dought instructed by thier western allies promising to support them to remain in power bye every possible means and if care is not taken this western allies will always fight to destroy the unity of africa through this greedy African head of states.

    Such a road map like.
    -Common a currency in africa.
    -Free movement in Africa.
    -Scholarships for students to study within Africa and get to know other parts of Africa.
    -Free tarde within African.
    -Most importantly Africans transforming most of her primary prodcuts.

    Though on the other hand we are in aglobal village and need the west but in acooperative and mutualistic manner such that both and Africa and the west will benefit equally.
    Hence the unification of Africa should not be aradical means of eliminating african relationship with the rest of the World but should take into consideration globalisation then in no tile africa will emerge as a leading power.