A proposed super state is being contemplated on the African continent. If it becomes reality, the new country of East African Federation (EAC) will begin to redraw the map of Africa that was imposed on Africans by colonial countries of Europe. It should be the beginning of the decolonization of Africa by Africans.
There is a lot of reason to hope for the country to emerge as anticipated. Already existing as East African Community since 2000, the proposed country will start as a confederation. There is an existing treaty between partner countries.
The constitution allows for a political union of sovereign states to form initially start as a confederation, and sometime later, incorporate to form federal union with a central government, one currency, a national language (Kiswahili), and seat of government in Arusha in Tanzania.
As an idea, the EAC as an entity will have tremendous political and economic power than each country individually, which will help to mitigate the influence of Europe, China, and the USA in the region. The countries in the proposed Federation include Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, and South Sudan. It could include the Democratic Republic of Congo.
East African Federation, if it truly becomes a reality, will have a population of about 184 million people, will become the second most populous country in Africa, second only to Nigeria’s estimated 206 million. It is expected to form in 2024.
There will be a central government with headquarters in Arusha, one currency: the Shilling, and one national language, Kiswahili which is spoken with different variations across the region. The largest city will be Dar-es-Salam with population of 7million people. EAF will be the largest country in Africa by surface area. Port cities: Mombasa Kenya and Dar-es-Salam in Tanzania will enhance Trade and Commerce. The proposed country has a tropical climate with two main seasons: dry and rainy seasons.
East African Federation will be the second most populated in Africa with 184 million second only after Nigeria with a median age of 16. GDP (2020) estimate is at $602,584 billion US dollars which could rise to if the Democratic Republic of Congo joins the union as it has been discussed. Agriculture will be largest export: Tea, Coffee, Cotton, and tobacco while natural resources will include Coltan, Diamond, Gold, Copper, Cobalt found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Oil in Uganda and Natural gas in Tanzania.
The proposed country will need to resolve several issues which might include the different levels of development in the existing countries, diplomatic resolution of existing conflicts, free flow of goods and services, migration policy – free movement of people is already in place.
There is also the need to work towards peace and stability in The DRC and South Sudan. In the DRC, years of war in the Congo has armed groups roaming the countryside. There must be peace and stability in the region, especially in the newly incorporated country.
Incorporating an incredible number of ethnicity with hundreds of languages would require strategies that foster ethnic relationships and cultural affinity.
Additionally, the lack of strong democratic institutions to balance power within many African countries, lack of democratic system within member countries of the proposed Federation, and corruption is a common underlying factor requiring strategic planning and a willingness to succeed. Lack of basic infrastructure such as potable water, roads, transportation, health care delivery, electricity supply, food, schools, etc. will require immediate attention.
Impact on the African continent
Landlocked South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi will have access to the sea. A democratic East African Federation will trail blaze a new dawn in Africa that is characterized by progressive thinking, unity, and a common sense of purpose. The Federation will have the economic power to have a positive impact on Africa without the influence or meddling by outside forces.