Zimbabwean President claims a united continental block under a figurehead is required to move Africa in World Superleague
The display of muscle power and pageantry at the inauguration in Washington can be watched by envious eyes in the world. Not least among those who aspire to build another USA - United States of Africa - under one president.
Such was the dream of Muammar Gaddafi, a quixotic project that seemed to have disappeared with the Libyan but was revived by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.
Speaking in Harare after meeting the President of Benin, Thomas Boni Yayi, which is the African Union (AU) outgoing president, Robert Mugabe claimed that a figurehead is needed to lift Africa out of regional blocs and World Superleague.
"Get them out of the shell and enter regional continental shell," he was quoted as saying by the Herald newspaper owned by the state.
"The African continent ... This is what we must become And here we must also have an African head He spoke of the president of Africa Yes, we need We are not there yet ..
"This is what we need to go and chat, but we must also discuss the issues that divide us."
The AU held its last summit this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mugabe, 88, warned that Africans are not as smooth as expected by the founders of the AU's predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, there are half a century.
"We did not really fit as an African people into a real union," he said. "And that's the worry, my brother, and worry that I;. The concern may be others also that we are not yet at this stage, which was predicted by our fathers, when they created this organization. "
The founding fathers had a vision of a united continent politically, economically and culturally, he added. "We are not yet there. As we here people will look at us, as I Anglophone, Francophone him, you see. It is also Portuguese, but we are first and foremost Africans. Africans, Africans. Watch our skin .
"This is our continent, we belong to a continent. We can, by virtue of history, have been divided by certain limits and especially by colonialism. But our founding fathers in 1963 showed us the way and we have noted that education that we got in 1963. that we are one and we must be united. "
A United States of Africa covering Cape Town and Cairo was proposed by Gaddafi in 1999 as a means to end conflicts on the continent and challenge the West, but he did not get enough support from his African counterparts. Some suspected that Gaddafi wanted the job for himself - a charge that Mugabe is unlikely to dodge.
There is a case for hard boundaries that have been established by the European imperialists and continue to hinder travel and trade. But critics say the idea of bringing together 54 countries with their thousands of languages and ethnicities is now untenable. In fact, some parts of Africa have been moving in the opposite direction and the search for local autonomy. Economies are moving at very different speeds.
Lindiwe Zulu, international relations advisor to the South African President Jacob Zuma, said :. "I do not foresee a single United States of Africa with a single president, because we are so diverse politically and otherwise it is very desirable in the long term, but I do not see anytime soon. There is much more to do. We are still agonizing over sovereignty. "
She added: .. "When you call for a president, calling for ministers to serve under them, a parliament and a legislative process There are too many things that divide us on political levels, social and economic We need a common agenda and approach to human rights and development before we can speak of a president. We must face the democracy on the continent and leaders who think beyond themselves ".
HRH PRINCE AGOUMOUSSE Dieudonné (politician Africanist) said: I know we can do it, but our personal egos and racing dynasty new rich will put us a spoke in our wheels. Those who are against, dance with the devil to establish the continent. The African diversity is a richness and strength of harmonization if we put aside the bored imported here by those there ... We'll get there, the fight is long but hope will pass through the doubts.
Richard Dowden, director of the Royal African Society, said: "The idea that a government can rule the whole of Africa at this stage is stupid and unworkable They need to build from the bottom rather than economically to impose a concept of unity from the top. bottom is absurd.
"It is a dream of totalitarian fantasy, not the people. Africa is increasingly local. I am in Kenya right now and the next election is all about ethnic arithmetic."