The Horn Of Africa States: Disaster On The Way For Somalia – OpEd


Peter Mathuki, the Secretary General of the EAC in a panel at the Africa Investment Forum in Marrakech, Morocco, on November 9th, 2023, noted that the EAC is to expand into the entire Horn of Africa, with the possibility of Somalia being admitted this month through the Ordinary Heads of State Summit that is scheduled for November 23-24, 2023, in Arusha, Tanzania. The presidents of the bloc are expected to endorse Somalia’s accession to the bloc. Soon after, Ethiopia is expected to follow suit as it is also reported to have expressed interest in the group.

This would be the death knell for Somalia as the bloc is already advanced in its process to create a new country, the East Africa Federation, where the members of the EAC are to lose sovereignty and adopt the new country with a new federal capital, constitution, president, legislature, and indeed, a new leadership. Each of the current leaders of the group would then transform themselves into governors of the current member countries, until new governors are to be elected through the processes in the new federal constitution.

Secretary General, Peter Mathuke was speaking in a panel comprising leaders of African economic blocs including those of the EAC, COMESA, SADC and ECOWAS, who were discussing issues related to Africa’s economic and political integration.  As usual, they were mostly concerned only with the positive aspects of such an integration and failed to look into the possible abyss the continent was being pushed to. 

In the nineteenth century, Africa was divided into many tiny parts to enable a few colonial Europeans to control such a vast continent. Now that the continent has mostly recovered its independence from Europe in the format of some 54 countries that are all members of the United Nations Organization and its bodies, they can sit at many forums and present a large of array of opinions. They also have the ability to make deals with whoever they want and wish, as sovereign countries. This has irked many outside the continent, for many countries of the continent are now making deals with countries that are not readily welcomed by others. A need has, therefore, arisen for an indirect control of these multiple decision-makers across the continent.

The concept of regional blocs has been developed and would be good for the continent to improve its negotiation capabilities and capacities. However, to push them into federal states under the control of a few bureaucracies presents a whole different ballgame. In the new federal infrastructure, as proposed for the EAC, the whole region of some 5.2 million square kilometers and a population of some 300 million people, that is, market, would be managed by a bureaucracy that can be easily controlled. The assets and wealth of the region would be decided upon by a few who would be manipulated from beyond the region and continent and here is where the trouble starts. The independence that was gained some sixty years ago would be lost again.

Somalia was, so far, outside such machinations mostly because of the civil strives that plagued the country for the past four decades, but it appears, it has now been dragged into a trap, from which it would be difficult to extract itself out, thanks to its current leadership which does not even have the ability to consult its population. The country does not have a constitution and its federal government is not in control of its total territory. What kind of a bloc would admit into its fold such a country unless there is a hidden agenda? It surely points out to the fact that Somalia is on its way to its death knell.

Secretary General Mathuke was not truthful when he noted that the EAC is people centered. This is, indeed, far from the truth. It is an elitist organization, which has never consulted the populations of the region. President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud, who is spearheading Somalia’s adventure into the EAC has never consulted his population and one should note the disaster on the way for the country, including Somaliland, which is being sold out without being consulted.

Dr. Suleiman Walhad

Dr. Suleiman Walhad writes on the Horn of Africa economies and politics. He can be reached at [email protected].

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