Re-visiting Xenophobia in South Africa and its Impact on Africa’s Integration
Integration of the disparate countries on the African continent is a principal aim of the African Union. This is even more compelling in the twenty-first century with all the myriads of socio-economic and political challenges the continent confronts. While the legacies of the continent’s colonial past, neo-colonialism and the idiosyncrasies of African leaders have been identified as impediments to the realisation of the continent’s integration, the role of xenophobia as a hindrance to Africa’s integration has not been recognised and acknowledged. Although xenophobia is not a new phenomenon on the continent, the size and scope of South African xenophobic attacks in recent years indicate a great challenge for African integration. This paper argues that the leaders of the African Union member states need to channel more attention to the menace of xenophobia as Africa’s integration can only be realised if this question is acknowledged and addressed. African integration becomes a mere intellectual and elitist pursuit if this challenge is not given adequate attention.