Unity is “the state or quality of being one or united into a whole” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ .
In Africa, a very simple but vivid example is used to explain the power of unity. Thus if you are given a broomstick to break, you will do it with cheeky ease but when the bunch of brooms is given to you to break together as a whole, you cannot. This tells us the power of unity.
“If you want to go quickly go alone if you want to go far go together.” “It takes a village to raise a child.”, “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt” are just a few African proverbs that tell us the ideas and believes the Africans have about the importance of unity.
Today, Africa is bedevilled with so many challenges to take care of in the area of trade, politics and socio-cultural challenges and the spirit of individualistic attitudes right from the continental level to individuals in our homes.
We lack unity among the countries of Africa hence the slow pace of development.
The Africa Union has gone through several years of reform and has the absence of unity among African countries when it comes to international issues and the need to stand their grounds on issues that confront the African people.
Some external forces are at work as well in ensuring that Africans are not united in any way.
It is sad to say that, we lack the ability to find solutions to our economic, political and social problems since we duplicate efforts rather than harnessing our unity in diversity.
“THROUGH UNITY OF PURPOSE, ‘THERE IS NO LIMIT TO WHAT WE CAN ACHIEVE’, SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT” on 29 JANUARY 2007.
In that same speech, he added that “Unity of purpose guides our collaboration for democracy, human rights and good governance, including through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.”
My question is, do we as African see the power of unity of purpose the UN secretary general is seeing? A big question indeed but not without an answer.
It is an undeniable truth that we as Africans can achieve success through the unity of purpose. Where are the goals we set for ourselves, we are the choices we have made in the past?
What efforts are we putting in to achieve targets we set for ourselves? Instead of the unity of purpose, we rather have our separate individual national goals that are not integrated into a common goal for Africa.
If all countries in Africa come together to have a common goal for each year and work at them within the spirit of unity and collaborative effort, we can achieve greater results. Have we forgotten the meaning of synergy in Africa? 3 greater than 1+1+1.
Leadership at all levels as well as political, economic and religious should have a shared vision.
Through this, we can coordinate, cooperate, and contribute our efforts to the development of Africa using African resources, benchmarking nations and continents that are succeeding, developing our own homegrown solutions and implementing them.
“It is only those who see the power of our unity as ONE AFRICA that would say we cannot succeed in the spirit of unity of purpose.
If we agree with them based on their perceptions, we shall remain where we are, poor, useless, cheated and manipulated without hope for our people.
It starts from the mind. Optimism, hard work, efficient and effective use of our resources and we shall get there.
Africa must say we as a continent and not I as a nation, that mentality divides us.
Africa must Stand tall united and stand well growing together.
Picture credit: https://d39ya49a1fwv14.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Many-Hands-African1.jpg Proverbs source: http://atlantablackstar.com/