Common Problems Affecting Supranational Attempts in Africa: An Analytical Overview
Ever since the colonial era, attempts have been made throughout the various regions of Africa at building supranational units chiefly for administrative and legal convenience. Examples of such attempts include the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the East African High Commission and the federations in former French West and Equatorial Africa, all of which were attempts at forging a supranational nation state. These experiments laid the foundation for further supranational initiatives in post-colonial Africa. In this respect, every region in Africa has either experimented with or is currently experimenting with the idea of supranational regional organisations. This article aims at investigating selected attempts at supranationalism on the continent, the successes and failures of such experiments, and the lessons to be learnt from them. As Africa embarks on the journey of solidifying its unity through the establishment of leviathan continental institutions, efforts should be geared towards building on the experiences of past and present experiments at the sub-regional level. Such experiments offer instructive lessons as they are rooted in similar historical and social contexts.
KEYWORDS: Supranationalism; African integration; East African Community; Southern Africa Customs Union; Economic Community of West African States; OHADA; West African Economic and Monetary Union; Central African Economic and Monetary Community