As many others have said in the pro side: there are many nations working against one another, even if only by the fact that they compete as separate entities. Together they can provide mutual support nationally like the EU does for Europe, and better defend itself externally from a new wave of colonialism or expansionism and internally from the darker ambitions of those that would place themselves as dictators. Parts of Africa exist as Germany once did and thus it is prone to millenarianism not always unlike the Nazis. For instance, Rwanda. The more interconnected (to better navigate their continental interdependencies) and independent (of foreign nations with hegemonic aspirations), the better.
Throughout history leading nations found Africa to have more than enough for its own people--enough even to be worth stealing. For Africa to progress and prosper, it needs to better exploit their abundances, form an infrastructure (all the better done by many working toward one goal) and (though quite a few already exist in it, it can overall) establish itself as a proper national entity (a continental nation perhaps--this will be a favour to Americans; many think Europe and Africa are countries anyway...).
African countries (given that they share similar climatic and sociopolitical regions of the globe) are only so different from one another and could as well be managed in a union like the different (almost nation-like) provinces of Canada...
It seems that the majority of the arguments against the African Union are why it WOULDN'T work. But we are here discussing why they should at least give it a try. The majority of the continent is ridden with corruption and poverty, but I feel those are direct byproducts of having to fend for themselves; however, with an entire union of countries facing the same problems, there is surely going to be more done to solve the problems than what is currently being done (nothing).
For the last five hundred years, Africa has been routinely exploited by the western world, longer if you include the Middle East. It is a group of kleptocratic banana republics because the people who decide who rules the country do not reside in that country, they reside in Wall St and Canary Wharf. Africa serves now as a Western colony, in definition and in practice. A colony is a place established as a cheap source of natural resources, land and labour by a parent country - Britain in Nigeria and Kenya, France in Algeria and Mali, Belgium in the Congo and Rwanda and so on. The only way Africa can stop being a Euro-American colony is to have the power to refuse the demands of foreign corporations and to place the interests of the 99% above those of the 1%. However, I doubt it would ever come to fruition, as there have been numerous instances in other areas where a political and economic union has been hampered by western intervention, such as a proposed union between Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran; which would control 75% of the world's oil reserves, and be a beacon for Arabian Pan-Nationalism. This was in the late Seventies, and through covert whipping up of ancient Sunni-Shia tensions, the US managed to ignite the Iran-Iraq war, which drove a wedge between the two most regionally influential powers in the region; and once that ended, with there still being a possibility of a union between Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Saddam Hussein, acting on behalf of the CIA, invaded Kuwait, prompting military action from Saudi Arabia and the coalition, which washed its hands of all previous friendship with Saddam. This was the Gulf War of 1990-91, and killed Pan-Arabian Nationalism in a similar way that several Latin American regime changes destroyed Latin American Pan-Nationalism. Africa is the world's source of food and cheap labour, and the USA would not allow it to reach a stage where it was strong enough to dictate its own terms to the fruit and clothing corporations that dominate African politics and keep its people below the poverty line.
Out of many one - one Africa - united in its diversity, to create a more powerful voice in global affairs. Many of the "no" arguments sound like the same arguments used by european powers to dissuade those who might believe in a european union. While not perfect, the EU has at least delivered in part what the AU sets out as its goal: peace, prosperity, and unity.
I am in support of African countries uniting. I think it is the best way forward. It will strengthen their negotiating power and bring about development to a wider spectrum of people. Although there are many languages and differing cultures, if the idea was broadcast and supported by leader, people would gradually warm to the idea; especially, if they could envisage a better way of living for themselves and their children as a result.
The unity of Africa is crucial to the people of the continent. With the diverse deposit of natural resources and the recent discoveries of oil and gas, which will transform their economies, they are posed to become the richest continent in the world, with one of the strongest and largest militaries in the world, if they can unite. Without unity there will be no transparency. That is the Africa that no non-African wants to see. Africans are still waiting for their leaders, waiting for them to be ready to start Africa's engine and begin the slow acceleration of this great ship. But I think they are still sleeping while the African people are awake. Now that they have oil and gas being discovered in more than 28 African countries, all eyes are on them, like eagles waiting to take their chances. Only a united Africa can protect herself and watch her neighbours' backs. They are capable of getting TWO MEMBERS SEATS at the UN security council, and will have 53 members states in the general assembly, which is more than a third of the total members of the UN. It is of great disadvantage to Africa not to unite. My greatest fear is that history will repeat itself in this new age of hydrocarbon and gas blessings. While some people will wish to see it become a curse, it is a blessing. Africa and her children are rich. That is why the the economic, political, and military unity is essential to the survival of the African people in this new era.
African countries should not only unite politically and economically they should also unite militarily. Because no single country in Africa is capable of defending them selves but together, they are a force to reconcile with. If sub-Saharan Africa unite they will become the largest country, economy, richest, and largest ARMY in the world. So every single African country will be protected by the large African army. Every African will agree that there is a wave of economic army marching towards African oil , gas and natural resources. Without the cooperation between African countries , exploitation is inevitable and the same old history will keep on repeating itself over and over. The only thing the continents' leaders should do is to look beyond the speeches of foreign diplomats and they will understand. I think the African union is a ship full with enthusiastic passengers .
What does being African have to do with not having equal rights? Oh yea, I forgot, just in America and South Africa.
Africa is a turbulent, underdeveloped mess. If the countries there would band together, then they could stabilize their own continent. In bike races, if one bike starts leaning over, the riders around him will lend a hand to keep him stable, so they all don't go down. Dictators rise to power in many African countries because no one will do anything about it. But, if their neighbors all band together and surround them, trouble spots can be put out, before they erupt into wars and genocides.
In order to overcome the negative effects of years of colonial rule and then corrupt and weak rule in post colonial years in so many African countries, an African Union could provide leaders and direction as well as economic benefits that could help these nations become what they would like to become in the 21st century. It may also provide the power that will help them resist modern colonial expansion by powerful western countries seeking primarily to take resources from less developed countries.
There just isn't any evidence in African history that a successful nation state is possible. Of the 51 current countries, the odds are that at least 1 or 2 would be run effectively and democratically. Unfortunately such is not the case. At least with 51 little corrupt nations, there is always the chance that real ethics and democracy might get off the ground somewhere. But 1 big oppressive cesspool of corruption would be too overwhelming. Real freedom wouldn't have a chance.
Unless a third party is there to help them in this endeavor, it seems like a big job for each country just to get their own country in an economically successful state. If these countries try to organize without that experience, it may just slow things down, and get them mired in corruption and bureaucracy.
Africa is currently unified by very little. There are vast differences in the level of economic and political development. While some countries are relatively developed with democratic governments, others are in a state of civil war or have dictators. It is difficult to see how any meaningful union could work until Africa further develops.
Africa is made up of such a diverse group of countries, and it would not make sense for them to form a political or economic union. Some countries are advanced, while others are still third-world countries. Each function at their own pace, and one method should not be forced on to all. Background and tradition needs to be observed, and there is no way to blend all of this culture.
Africa is far too diverse to form either a political or economic union. Mauritania has nothing in common with Nigeria. Many African countries are unable to form strong internal political alliances, so, a continental alliance is unrealistic. A more realistic approach would be to form area alliances with common interests. North African interests are not the best interests of West Africa.
I firmly believe that most African countries are not stable enough to form a political and economic union. Every year, there is news about a military coup or ethnic fighting on the continent. Moreover, there is the economic instability in certain countries like Zimbabwe, which are suffering from hyperinflation. Without this stability, it would be very difficult to reach any agreement for unification, not to mention the immense solidarity and cooperation that would be necessary to maintain such a union.