Wednesday, September 9, 2009

African Union

Did you know that Africa has a Union? Of all the African states, only four are not active members. According to Wikipedia:

The only African country that is not a member of the African Union is Morocco, which left the AU's predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), in 1984, when many of the other member countries supported the Sahrawi nationalist Polisario Front's Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Morocco's ally, Zaire, similarly opposed the OAU's admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, and the Mobutu regime boycotted the organisation from 1984 to 1986. Some countries have since retracted their support for the Sahrawi Republic.

Three nations are suspended: Guinea, Madagascar, and Eritrea.

What does this mean? It is political: the African Union can apply some pressure to states that are failing in human rights. It is commercial: peaceful cooperation means better commerce, and better commerce means an easier path to peace and prosperity for all. And it means Africa is coming rapidly into the 21st century.

Beyond that, I wonder if we are moving toward a World Union, that would mean peace for all. Is that even possible?

Perhaps one day the AU will complete the Cape to Cairo railroad, Cecil Rhodes'dream that has long been a symbol of colonialism. If Africa does complete the railroad, it will a major triumph. The terrain is not easy, there are three different gauges in the already extant rail beds, and then there is the political challenge.

Again, according to Wikipedia:

The concept of the Cape to Cairo Railway is not dead. While the current turmoil in Sudan is an obstacle to its completion, tangible concepts have been forwarded to complete the link between Sudan and East Africa for economic reasons. It has been suggested that such a link would facilitate trade between the Mediterranean countries and Europe and the Sub-Saharan part of Africa and be of economic benefit.

There is something about African freedom and prosperity that touches my heart. I pray for the day that all of us have peace, food, education, and health.