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Africa in World Politics: Pan-African Movement Essay

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Updated: Jun 25th, 2020

For a long time now, Africa has always been left out, especially when making decisions that would essentially affect the entire world. This paper seeks to outline the principles of African societies as well as highlight the influence of technological innovations on the continent. The views of optimists and pessimists will also be described alongside threats that are facing post-colonial Africa. Eventually, the perception of Africa as a single unit by other continents will also be given consideration.

Principles of African Societies

Postcolonial Africa is divided into 52 nations, and border integrity has been maintained. All these nations have tried to maintain sovereignty by providing methods of self-governance, including the establishment of democracies and monarchies. The majority of the nations in Africa have established constitutions based on the constitutions of the nations that governed them. For instance, Kenya’s constitution, to a large extent, is a replica of Britain’s constitution.

The concept of regionalism has also been given importance, with the continent being divided into five regions; these are North Africa, South Africa, East Africa, West Africa, and Central Africa. Territorial integrity has been established by the respect of established borders, and whenever the integrity of boundaries is interfered with, conflict amongst neighboring nations erupts. This has been seen severally in the central African region involving the movement of rebel forces into the Congo from Uganda.

Federalism has been the most acceptable framework in most of the democratic states in Africa (Martin 265). Countries such as Nigeria and Rwanda are headed by an elected head of state under the support of regional leaders. These regional leaders are also elected to the parliament to represent particular constituencies.

International humanitarian intervention is welcome in all regions of the continent, and most of the nations around subscribe to the doctrines of international organizations such as the United Nations. Countries that don’t welcome humanitarian intervention end up crashing down as has been reported in Zimbabwe with inflation rate towering over 500,000 percent.

Influence of technological innovations on Africa

Africa, as a continent, has welcomed the using technology in a majority of its centers of operation. Technology in agriculture has seen African nations sufficiently produce food enough to sustain the inhabitants as well as produce other commodities like flowers for export (Sanginga, Waters-Bayer, and Kaaria 77).

The opinions of Afro-Pessimists

Some individuals believe that Africa is on the verge of collapse. With the constant regional wars and the unprecedented effects of drought and famine, these schools of thought subscribe to the notion that Africa should not be given any aid and should be left to die down so that as a continent, it can start afresh (Francis 56). These individuals mostly like to cite the country Rwanda which went down in the 1994 genocide where over 1 million people have killed in just 100 days while the rest of the world just

I watched. Eventually, the country sprung up and is now on the way to becoming Africa’s most stable economy.

The opinions of Afro-optimists

The majority of individuals and particularly those who inhabit its borders, see Africa growing into a superpower. The impact of democratization has seen most of the countries in Africa develop into self-sustaining societies. The individuals who subscribe to this school of thought propose that whenever instability occurs in a nation, it is the intervention measures that the country takes, which makes it more stable (Ben-Rafael and Sternberg 199). It, therefore, does not have to collapse to the dust in order to start a new. The end of dictatorships and the death of Monarchies have made African states more democratic, and the opinions of the majority are respected (Onwudiwe and Ibelema 166).

Threats to post-colonial Africa

Cross border conflicts have been a major threat to the integrity of African nations. Intrareligious and Interreligious conflicts like the one that wiped out Sudan and Somalia bring about instability in the region. The lack of adequate security measures around the continent poses a substantial threat to the stability of the nations within it (Triulzi and Ercolessi 239).

Africa as a single unit

Calls have been made to have Africa operate as a single unit, much like the U.S.A only that this conglomeration will be known as the United States of Africa. However, this is just a pipe dream because the democratic state of the continent is still fragile (Allen and Gandiya 36). It is very difficult for a president in Africa to lead a single nation, and it beats logic to try and have one leader head all the 52 nations as one entity.


Africa, as a continent, has received a lot of scrutiny from the developed countries. Due to the availability of resources such as precious stones, the majority of the G8 countries would like to exercise some sort of domination on select nations within the continent of Africa. However, Africa as a whole is waking up and has started competing with the rest of the world, and with time it might be able to catch up. This essay has analyzed some issues regarding the continent of Africa, including the principles of African societies, the influence of technology on Africa, the views of optimists in contrast to those of pessimists, and the possibility of a united Africa.

Works Cited

Allen, David, and Francis Gandiya. Assessing exchange rate hypothesis within Southern Africa. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2004. Print.

Ben-Rafael, Eliezer and Yitzhak Sternberg. Identity, Culture and Globalization. Leiden: BRILL, 2002. Print.

Francis, David. Uniting Africa: Building regional peace and security systems. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006. Print.

Martin, Guy. Africa in world politics: A Pan-African perspective. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2002. Print.

Onwudiwe, Ebere and Minabere Ibelema. Afro-optimism: perspectives on Africa’s advances. Abingdon: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003. Print.

Sanginga, Pascal, Waters-Bayer, Ann and Susan Kaaria. Innovation Africa: Enriching farmers’ livelihoods. Earthscan, 2009. Print.

Triulzi, Alessandro and Maria Cristina Ercolessi. State, power, and new political actors in postcolonial Africa. Milan: Feltrinelli Editore, 2004. Print.

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