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Africa's Trap in Useless White Man's Borders

It is very disturbing that, almost a century and half later still African nations are trapped in the 'arbtrarity' of the artificial white man’s boundaries. Just 2 years ago I was denied entry into the Congolese side of Goma from Rwanda because I didn’t have a visa or immediate cash to pay for permit and/or bribe. Earlier this year I was briefly detained at the Namanga (Kenya-Tanzania) border because I crossed without having my passport stamped. I did it intentionally to see what worst could happen anyway and yes the worst was that my shuttle left and so I had to part with an extra Tsh. 10,000 on fare down to Arusha. Who like me, has ever fantasized about a border-less world?! It feels like liberation, at least as far as the fantasy lasts.

In reference to this one commentator has opined that her concern has always been why African states seem so attached to these boundaries that mean so little to the people on the ground? Path dependency where those who could dismantle these borders are the same taking advantage of them? She further posits that in West Africa, there have been some advances in freedom of movement but it is striking how the Anglophone-Francophone divide - another artificial colonial heritage - is taken ridiculously seriously. I agree with her. We got a huge problem of arbitrary boundaries; the linguistic dived can only make matters worse. Nowhere is this palpable as current day crisis in Cameroon.

Why Africa is stuck in this border tragedy, in my view, partly boils down to the mediocrity of the captors of African polities who, like the colonial era home-guards (that they are anyway), only care about nothing beyond their own narrow interests. To an ordinary African man, woman, boy or girl those borders mean nothing. If anything they are a real bother. Recently we had cattle belonging to Kenyan members of the Maasai community in Kenya being detained and auctioned by Tanzanian government. All this in total disregard of the simple fact that members of the Maasai community both in Kenya and Tanzania are one and the same group that has occupied that territory for centuries with seamless movements back and forth in search of pasture. Today, we terrorize them in the name of useless national boundaries between Kenya and Tanzania. Sad!

Africa's Trap in Useless White Man's Borders Africa's Trap in Useless White Man's Borders Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on November 20, 2018 Rating: 5

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