opinionBy Christine Ropafadzo Chihambakwe
What are the causes of poverty in Africa? Why have the continent's countries failed to develop despite being the richest when it comes to resources? Who is responsible for the armed conflicts, political turmoil and high mortality rates in African countries? The international media would have us believe that our leaders are corrupt, greedy and lack the correct skills to navigate us as Africans to a brighter tomorrow.
In fact, anyone on the continent who preaches the gospel of Pan Africanism, the powers that be in the West quickly carry out projects to ensure that the said African leader is accused of poor governance, corrupt activities, or the current favourite " has no respect for human rights".
The idea of a United States of Africa did not begin with the late Colonel Gaddafi, but was born out of a realisation that unless Africans unite to fight slavery and colonialism they would never be free.
African unity is a threat to those in the northern hemisphere and as such they aggressively fight to divide us Africans, manipulating our histories, cultures, economies and politics.
We are made to focus on our differences, ethnicities, and tribes so that we fail to see the bigger picture.
In a way one might say unless we start speaking with one voice we are no different from our ancestors who welcomed the men with no knees, and were used to ravage the motherland in search of strong intelligent able bodies men, women, and children to be shipped off to the Americas to work as slaves in the plantations.
Julius Nyerere wrote, "There is a sentiment of African-ness, a feeling of mutual involvement which pervades all the political and cultural life of the continent".
Unfortunately, this feeling of mutual involvement has been dying a slow death with the help of opinion makers in the media, who are reinforcing the Euro-centric propaganda claiming that African Unity will result in a loss of identity, which is being pushed by dictators who want to remain in power, is not feasible because of the continent's vast territory and numbers.
Surprisingly, it is those same mouth pieces and Western leaders who are on the forefront of calling for Africa to speak with one voice when the need suits their greedy resource exploitation agendas of toppling African governments that refuse to sell their minerals, oil and land for a song.
Africans and the world have been coached that poverty on the continent is caused by corruption and poor governance usually by dictatorial regimes and the only way to get rid of these is by having America and the European Union intervene by placing countries under sanction, military intervention, or better still sponsor individuals to form political parties and organisations that are Euro-friendly to take over African governments.
We are told that in most African countries there is poor land utilisation as families own large chunks of land, which they are not able to manage, but these landowners lack the proper farming education to maximize their land.
The answer of course is to allow big American and European companies to move into these lands and farm with machines and move the natives to crowded towns were disease, crime and unemployment are rife.
Africa is popular for its civil wars, either between neighbouring countries or within the same country. Chances are high that four in every five news articles you read, see or hear, that are to do with Africa are conflict related.
Who benefits from all the conflict in Africa? It is certainly not we, the Africans. Which African country has ammunitions production and arms manufacturing as one of its highest grossing industry?
Who is providing arms and munitions for all these rebel groups that are seem to mushroom every year in the Great Lakes region? The answer to these questions is very simple.
In Zimbabwe the international community and world diamond regulatory bodies had no problem with the illegal mining that was going on in the Marange diamond fields because these activities were benefiting Western corporations and their governments.
However when the Government of Zimbabwe moved into the fields, suddenly all these institutions recalled that there were laws that governed the mining and trading of diamonds and these had to be enforced in the Marange fields. It had to take the collective voice of diamond producing countries on the continent to knock some sense into the KPC in order to restore the body's legitimacy.
The death of Colonel Gaddafi brought sighs of relief to many Western leaders, for many in the Western World, his death also meant the death of the United States of Africa dream as the Colonel had the financial muscle and political connections that would have seen to the realization of that dream. Unlike some of our African leaders who boast at international platforms that they are heavyweights on the continent and believe the international media hype that they are king makers, Colonel Gaddafi put his money where his mouth was. Colonel Gaddafi funded liberation groups, nurtured political movements, and often paid a huge portion of the operating costs of the continental body, the African Union.
The latest fit of ridiculousness and gutter journalism by certain sections of the international media to allege that President Robert Mugabe wants to be the President of Africa is nothing more than a stunt to add flesh to the character of "Mugabe the Boogeyman", which the media created ever since the impasse between Zimbabwe embarked on the Land reform Programme. In fact one would say this is a "pre-emptive strike" by foreign media on behalf of their governments against President Mugabe and the African Dream of Unity. By disgracing, smearing mud and speaking ill of one of the top candidates to hold the post of President of the United States of Africa should that position become available, the power brokers in the West understand fully that this will cause the usual puppets and sellouts on the continent to shy away from the debate and discussions on how to achieve a unified Africa.
A United States of Africa would go a long way in tackling many of Africa's problems.
A few leaders on the continent are mesmerized by the handshakes and red carpets rolled out for them in Europe and America to an extent where they vote for military action by non continental forces on the continent, forgetting that when the tide turns as it always does in politics they will look to their African brothers and sisters for assistance.
Africa has the numbers and resources that if channelled through one voice would command instant attention in the Eastern and Western world.
The East and West are in a resource war and now would be the opportune time to have our voices as a people who have been trodden, abused and manipulated heard.
As long as Africa continues to be divided, our resources will continue to be plundered for a song, governments will continue to be toppled by external forces using puppets and our living conditions will not improve.