So the whole continent of Africa stood still yesterday on account of an AU day. At the core of this all is a dream of a united Africa of which Kwame Nkrumah was the foremost and nay arguably the most ebullient advocate. I share Nkrumah's Garveyite world view and to be sure I will shout myself hoarse that his brilliance as leader is yet to be matched in Africa(I have all his books and have practically listened to his most seminal speeches beginning from the age of say 5 because my Dad owned a vinyl LP of his great oratorical flights).
But I think the continental unity dream was at best a diversionary,seducing walkabout: politically appealing, logically flawed and practically unfeasible. The Nigerian thinker Chinweizu puts it brutally: if weak states aggregate the outcome is simply a larger weaker entity. What is the point?
The key for me is what I term the inward turn with an outward gaze. Go with the AU flow for all is worth(China is building the AU headquarters in Addis; what does that say?) but recognize that Africa's emergence to global power lies in the rise of a military, technological, industrial, post-industrial capable super power on the continent in the shortest possible time. Short of this the AU day is a pitiable loss of time: just ask Gbagbo and Gaddafi.