IS PATRIOTISM DERAILING TRADE IN EAST AFRICA?


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  • Written by:

    Dan Mwangi

    dan@mtkenyatimes.co.ke
    When the first African states gained independence there was a lot of talk about creating a pan Africanist state. From Kwame Nkurumah in Ghana to Haile Selassie in Ethiopia, the environment seemed ripe for the creation of a super African State. This was until the seeds of nationalism were planted in the hearts of Africa both by imperialists and by our own selfish motives. When leaders who had stood together as pan Africanist got a hold of the reigns of power, power did what it does best, it corrupted.
    Voices of “One Africa” were quickly drowned under the screams of “One Kenya”, “One Nigeria”, “One Tanzania”. Priorities shifted and dreams of creating one super country were eclipsed by the galaxies of nationalism. So when African states came together to chart a course towards the creation of an African Union as a path to create a united political federation, it was the resuscitation of an already wounded giant.
    The path to unity was broken down into small pieces called regional blocs which were to spearhead the integration process at a regional level. The main means they were to utilise was the liberalization of trade between countries in one region and eventually for all regions. One such small piece was the East African Community. The Community was started on the right footing but protectionist policies have undermined cross-border trade and could lead to slowed growth.
    Experts warn that strong nationalist and protectionist stances could weaken the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). A new report by the Uneca……Subscribe to Readmore………

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