I would appreciate the opportunity of using your reputable media to air out my views on the socio-economic and infrastructural developments in the Gambia with the opening of that famous SeneGambia Bridge in Faraffenni/Yeltenda by their Excellences, presidents Adama Barrow and Macki Sall of the sister Republics of the Gambia and Senegal respectively. By all indications, this event does not only mark the fulfilment of a long awaited project, but also a giant stride in the ECOWAS transport and communication network enhancement as a whole. This accomplishment rekindles the ambitious dream of Pan Africanism, which aimed to encourage and strengthen bonds of unity and solidarity amongst folks of African ancestry. The ensuing 1963 formation of the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union) of course, aimed to safeguard and protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of African states. Nevertheless, this AU dream remains meaningless without the necessary impetus such as good roads, transport and tele-communication networks across Africa in the calibre of the SeneGambia Bridge, a step in the right direction.
The Pan African dream was not limited to liberation from the talons of colonial masters but to also foster unity and cooperation between African states. This was evident in Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s popular remark that “the Independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up to the total liberation of Africa.”
Thus, the African Union somehow represents Africa’s renewed intentions and commitment to deliver on the ambitions of her ancestral leaders, whose Pan African ideas gave birth to the Organisation of African Unity in May 1963 to bolster the continent’s independence gains, with unity and togetherness. African leaders responsibly owe it to posterity to endeavour and accomplish the objectives of the United States of Africa. In fact, as an added impetus, already, descendants of Africa’s victims of colonialism and transatlantic slave trade have begun their inquisition and expedition in exploring the true origin of their ancestral ancestors to re-establish the broken family ties that were shattered by the brutality of colonial vandalism and separation.
The West African leaders, championing the successful removal of dictatorship and replacing it with a democracy in the Gambia was no mean achievement but a significant milestone in African and global political history and decorum. On the hindsight the collective determination and willpower that harnessed that collaboration and relentless sacrifice in removing Gambia’s former President, Yahya A J J Jammeh, arguably one of the most powerful leaders in Africa at the time, is a clear testament to the adage that ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. Accordingly, I humbly call on African leaders to muster courage and blow the bellows of African unity and integration with commitment and responsibility to the success of the pilot single currency that the ECOWAS is about to launch in 2020. Who said Africa could not unite? A united states of Africa would no doubt inspire peace, progress and mutual prosperity across Africa, the richest continent in the world. Without much ado, I call on African Presidents to let the SeneGambia Bridge and the ECOWAS single currency mark the de facto beginning of the ultimate integration for a United States of Afirca. Long live the pan African dream, long live One Africa, One People and One Nation.
Alh Yahya Ceesay