Should African borders be rebooted?

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,014
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I personally know African citizens from Senegal and Mali [they live and work in Italy]. My impression is that Senegal is a cohesive country with a strong and growing economy [a new airport, a new city, a new railway, a new port ...] and I think that it will be among the leading countries in the future of Africa.

About Mali ... well ... there are still French forces there to annoy the local population and to influence local political life. Probably before of reconsidering borders, Europeans armies should leave Africa ... Italian forces included [I'm not playing the role of the angel here].
 

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,743
Lower Styria, Slovenia
I doubt any one country would be willing to give up an area very rich in natural resources (say, a copper mining area), even if constantly harrassed by the most hostile and noncooperating ethnic or tribal group living there. Consensus on a border redrawing could be reached easier if the land on both sides is relatively worthless though or at least doesn't have a signifficantly bigger money making potential on one side.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,627
Benin City, Nigeria
Hi Ighayere,

Let me ask you strait forward, what is your opinion about a possibly redraw of the country borders in Africa?

I must say that personally I am sceptic about the benefits, but with the events in the last decade or two, I am receptive to the possible benefits of different perspectives.
I do think the borders need to be redrawn, and I think the biggest benefit to redrawing the borders would be that ethnic conflicts would decrease and the focus on ethnic politics within countries would also decrease, so that the governments of various countries could move closer to a meritocratic government. The other major benefit would be that in those cases where there are some groups that are currently more economically productive and who are really trying to modernize their countries (groups that are effectively subsidizing the development of the areas of other, less productive or less modernizing groups), these groups would be free to actually develop at the pace they want instead of being held back by their obligations to some other less productive groups in their countries. Additionally, the less productive groups would be incentivized to "pick up the pace" and put vastly more effort into becoming more productive and into developing than they currently are. Although that would be a significant challenge at first, it would be better in the long run so that the efforts of those more productive groups are not just wasted.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: VHS

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,627
Benin City, Nigeria
I personally know African citizens from Senegal and Mali [they live and work in Italy]. My impression is that Senegal is a cohesive country with a strong and growing economy [a new airport, a new city, a new railway, a new port ...]
Your impression of Senegal is probably correct for the most part and the cohesion in most of that country may be due to the well documented process of "Wolofization" that occurred and is still occurring there.

Senegal achieving a sort of cultural unification (mostly through a shared language) for most of its population, in a similar way to how the Hausa and Fulani (for the most part) achieved a cultural unification in precolonial Nigeria is definitely a sound basis for a cohesive country, and with the possible exception of the Casamance region, tensions probably will not arise that could lead to a secession or breakup of that country in the future.
 
Apr 2017
722
Lemuria
This will create more problems that it will solve. They need to get over their tribal biases and embrace modernity in a responsible way. If anything they should abolish the frontiers and form a union the way the Europeans had.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,627
Benin City, Nigeria
This will create more problems that it will solve. They need to get over their tribal biases and embrace modernity in a responsible way.
Well I think this is usually a sort of cliche that people throw out when they haven't looked at what's actually happening on the ground.

It's strange that I could mention that there is literally ongoing ethnic cleansing in a country and the response could be "get over tribal biases" as if the issues at stake in all cases is simply related to "tribal bias". The heavily armed killers roaming through central Nigeria slaughtering men, women and children in order to gain control of land that was never theirs are not something that should be "embraced" in any way, and a person putting aside their "tribal bias" will not stop them from murdering that person or even invading and destroying entire towns.

Also the argument about "getting over tribal biases" is somewhat strange considering that some modernized countries in various parts of the world could be said to exhibit some degree of "tribal bias" in favor of their own and against outsiders; only, those countries usually have an entire country for most of their "tribe" already.

If anything they should abolish the frontiers and form a union the way the Europeans had.
Europeans abolished their borders?
 
Nov 2014
1,651
Birmingham, UK
Well I think this is usually a sort of cliche that people throw out when they haven't looked at what's actually happening on the ground.

It's strange that I could mention that there is literally ongoing ethnic cleansing in a country and the response could be "get over tribal biases" as if the issues at stake in all cases is simply related to "tribal bias". The heavily armed killers roaming through central Nigeria slaughtering men, women and children in order to gain control of land that was never theirs are not something that should be "embraced" in any way, and a person putting aside their "tribal bias" will not stop them from murdering that person or even invading and destroying entire towns.

Also the argument about "getting over tribal biases" is somewhat strange considering that some modernized countries in various parts of the world could be said to exhibit some degree of "tribal bias" in favor of their own and against outsiders; only, those countries usually have an entire country for most of their "tribe" already.



Europeans abolished their borders?
Out of interest, if you were given chance to redraw the borders, how many new nations would arise?
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,014
Italy, Lago Maggiore
And do you know WHY there are French troops in Mali?
When you discuss such a matter with an African, you could discover a certain difference between what the establishment of an African country considers and what the common people of that country thinks. After the military coup of 2012 the country wasn't exactly in nice conditions. The military commanders did this accusing the elected President not to be able to defeat the rebels in the North East [Tuareg tribes who wanted the independece of their territory]. The military commanders created a curious "government" with an odd acronym [CNRDR]. The forces still loyal to the President begun to prepare a counter coup [while the Tuareg tribes kept on rebelling]. It was a mess. Despite an agreement for a transition period and a temporary government supported by the Parliament the military commanders arrested the Chief of the Government some months later ... The President of the Parliament [in that moment President of the country], in agreement with the "Economic Community of West African States" [ECOWAS] asked the intervention of the French Air Force against the rebels in the North [so against the Tuareg tribes]. It was January 2013 and thanks to that intervention several cities in the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists were liberated.

Since 2014 [with an elected government] in Mali there is a French mission of counter-terrorism, the Barkhane. As for I have understood common people thinks that these French troops are there to control the natural resources of the country. They would use the rebellion in the North East as an excuse to stay. In the meanwhile the negotiations for the autonomy of the Tuareg region go on. My impression is that in Mali [where the 80% of the population is Muslim, in a similar way to the Senegalese population] they tend to see Tuareg tribes as fighters for their independence more than as terrorists. And they tend to blame the military coup of 2012 [they don't trust so much those commanders ... friends for the French ...].

To say all, they underline that in Mali there are some of the greatest gold mines and places where to find diamonds [about gold it's true, checking on the net I've found out that Mali is the third producer of gold in Africa despite the poor condition of its mines, imagine if the industry would be improved ...]. In a few words they suspect that the French have come back to put their hands on those resources. The colonial past is something impossible to erase in the history of a people, no way.

I would say that until the French aided from the sky it was ok, but when they begun to see French troops on the soil ... they begun to suspect something. Probably they would be glad to concede the independence to the Tuareg territory not to see French soldiers around ... but the establishment of the country is planning something well different.

Now, obviously immigrants from Mali who work in Italy are from the common people, sure they are not from the middle class of the country [which is anyway a minority] where I guess there is a well different opinion about the European presence [Italy is experiencing something similar: at the Italia Africa Business Week 2018 we have heard African businessmen asking to Italians to "come back to Africa"]. In other words High and Middle Classes want Europeans to come back, common people not that much ... overall when Europeans come back wearing military uniforms ...

As an aside note, also Italian forces are in the region, at Niamey, Sahel, after not little "misunderstandings" just with the French who gave the impression not to want us in the area ...
 
Apr 2017
722
Lemuria
Well I think this is usually a sort of cliche that people throw out when they haven't looked at what's actually happening on the ground.

It's strange that I could mention that there is literally ongoing ethnic cleansing in a country and the response could be "get over tribal biases" as if the issues at stake in all cases is simply related to "tribal bias". The heavily armed killers roaming through central Nigeria slaughtering men, women and children in order to gain control of land that was never theirs are not something that should be "embraced" in any way, and a person putting aside their "tribal bias" will not stop them from murdering that person or even invading and destroying entire towns.

Also the argument about "getting over tribal biases" is somewhat strange considering that some modernized countries in various parts of the world could be said to exhibit some degree of "tribal bias" in favor of their own and against outsiders; only, those countries usually have an entire country for most of their "tribe" already.



Europeans abolished their borders?
It's cliche because it's common sense. Everyone here knows that redrawing the borders will create a blood bath unless some outside force with military authority is doing it. It will solve nothing as well if done as the ethnic landscape before the colonial days were different. They should focus on unifying the continent through trades and common values. What's done is done. They should move on. I'm not for example against a unified Bantu federation if such an entity is greater than the individual nations that make it. But it's ridiculous to break a nation such as Nigeria into petty tribes based on ethnicity.

Yes, the Western Europeans abolished their borders to some degree to allow free movements of workers and trade. The border between France and Germany is not that different from say California and Oregon.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Ancientgeezer