Africa today is faced with a stark choice, either unite or perish. So opens David J. Francis' intriguing study on the state of African nations in relation to one another. Frances spends a great deal of attention outlining the serious social and economic problems facing the African continent. He begins by describing how Africa is viewed by the rest of the world, namely Western countries. There is a great perception, the author believes, for Western countries to yield a complete lack of understanding about how all-encompassing the problems are, which Africa must overcome. Francis acknowledges that Africa has been the recipient of immense amounts goodwill from outside countries.
[...] By highlighting the historical significance of Africa's interconnectivity, he makes a very strong call for regional unification. Where Unite Africa falters is on the specifics of the authors' beliefs. At the outset he fails to present his argument coherently. His thesis is not overt. The reader must dig to decipher Francis' main contention. It is unclear, at first, if he supports total unification of the continent or if he would prefer a unification strategy based on regionalism. Francis' work on this book is clearly very thorough. [...]
[...] Francis' Unite Africa: Building Regional Peace and Security Systems, centers on how sub-regional organizations have made efforts at unofficial unification. Beginning early after the Second World War, but more practically in the early 1980s, there were discussions about economic unification with the hope of providing stability to the very weak economies of Africa. Francis is clear to outline, in perhaps too specific detail, the various past efforts to develop coalitions whose goal would be to instigate over-arching support across boarders. [...]
[...] Independent, de facto agents of peace and security would be much more strongly utilized if they were institutionalized under a formal order. In a post-civil war world, the nations of Africa have acquired new freedom with which they may govern themselves. Africa most clearly personifies the point that no country can be completely contained within itself. The nations of Northern Africa are fiercely affected by the actions of their neighbors; the same can be said for any region in the continent. [...]
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