Africa is the world's second-largest continent. It has a long and illustrious history, with several African kingdoms and states ruling over vast swaths of land. Nation states created by the partitioning of Africa in 1885 are widely regarded as arbitrary constructs and colonial legacies.
As a result, some Pan Africanists are promoting the concept of integrating Africa as a single entity. The idea of a United States of Africa has a long history and has been renewed in recent years. Although there have been many hypotheses concerning the formation of a United States of Africa, it is unlikely to happen in reality. This is due to a number of factors, explained below.
Due to the significant cultural diversity and divisions across the continent, the concept of a United States of Africa is simply unachievable. It's difficult to bring together over 2500 ethnic groups into a single entity. Each tribe and country has its own favored method of administration. It's illogical to recommend that they all embrace a unilateral administrative pattern that differs from what they've known for thousands of years. Before the 1885 partition of Africa, each African tribe lived in its own space, with its own set of values and practices. One of the only things that drew them together was trade, and they were always respectful of one another's identities. Traditional Africans frequently split from their tribes to start new societies in search of self-realization and freedom. This idea of making Africa into one entity is un-African.
Furthermore, the language barrier makes unifying Africa into a single entity much more difficult. It would be hard to choose official languages due to the diversity of nationalities. Some countries in North Africa have Arabic as their official language, whereas others speak indigenous languages and foreign languages such as French, Portuguese, and English. Because Swahili is the most commonly spoken indigenous language, Julius Malema recommended it as the perfect language for a unified Africa. However, Swahili is only spoken by less than 15% of the continent's 1.2 billion people. Adoption of such a language, if accepted at all by speakers of the other African languages, would require a huge effort.
Religion can also have a significant impact. Islam is the state religion of countries like Mauritania and Somalia, and disobedience to Islam is punishable by death in those countries. They wouldn't allow Christianity to be practiced in their countries. Because the north of Africa is largely Islamic and the south is predominantly Christian, a dividing line between Islamic and Christian Africa can already be seen. Forcing major religions to coexist in a single country rarely works.
Another key impediment to Africa's unification is the continent's economic disparities. Africa is home to a diverse spectrum of economies, development levels, economic models, and resources. Countries with dramatically disparate economic performance are unlikely to unite, as the poorer countries would be a financial burden on the wealthier ones. Different tribes have different perspectives on the economy. Constricting everyone to a single economic thinking system would be harsh as well as chaotic. No traditional African civilization approached commerce and trade in the same way as the others, and those values have remained unchanged to this day. This characteristic is one of the reasons why many African countries' centrally planned economic reforms fail to provide the desired effects among different tribes. It would be impossible to make any economic model work for every society in a united Africa, regardless of which one is chosen.
The threat of tyranny is frequently cited as a reason why governments are wary of this concept of the United States of Africa. Proponents of this concept have yet to realize that the stronger a central authority is, the greater the risk of tyranny. The level to which post-independence African leaders have shamelessly abused power demonstrates this. According to the political history of modern Africa, one leader in charge of a large entity with vast resources would be exceedingly dangerous. It is also impossible to have a parliament that is large enough to accommodate all of the continent's tribes. As a result, there would be insufficient representation of interests, leading to calls for secession.
Despite the fact that Africa is unlikely to become one country, integration and multinational collaboration at the regional level are more desirable. For example, more integration can happen through the EAC, ECOWAS, and SADC.