Although Africans call themselves citizens of the 55 member states of the African Union (AU), the conflicts do not take place on that level. The conflicts, suspicions and animousities manifest on the level of the original African nations that existed before the advent of European and even Arabian-style colonialism. Those original Nations, still very much in existence, are today called Tribes and Ethnic Groups – and their indigenes, even in subsequent generations, and even when they can no longer speak the indigenous language, still often feel deeply beholden to them, or are made to feel so, or are made to understand that they are seen to be so.
And yet, although this is the level on which, national-identity-wise, insults and patriotism are most deeply felt, there is no medium, no active Organisation, no Instanz, no consciousness, no consensually constituted Authority, to mediate the debate, the cooperation, the healing and the upbuilding on that level.
Any mention of this is equated to a threat against the colonially created Nation-states, with the corresponding reactions of fear or uncertainty that this thought awakens, depending on the nature of the dependancy-or-exploitation-relationship each person has with a particular Nation-state. It seems as if Africams have become so weak or deeply afflicted by Inferiority Complex that they have no sense of self-confidence in managing or developing their affairs upon any other stage than that designed for and given to them by Non-Africans; even in matters regarding the interacting of their own core identities – core national identities and languages that formed and developed over centuries and eras.
The AU is not the equivalent of the EU. Whereas it is largely native indigenous European peoples who, under the appellage “nations”, are the member units of the EU, it is completely the oppposite in the AU. Here it is the colonially born countries that are the members. With the result, that the actual African peoples themselves, the indigenous nations, have no theatre of Consensus and thus no voice. This is what is direly missing on the African continent: A Union of African peoples. The sheer number of different african indigenous nationalities should not daunt us to the task. Conversely it only shows us the potential for misunderstanding and conflict which has been exploited for decades. It is simultaneously also the potential for harmony and would be worth every ounce of effort put into it. Anything to foster and further peace and understanding in Africa is of prime importance now.
– Che Chidi Chukwumerije