The Customs Union of Central African States, the Economic Organization of North Africa, and the West African Economic Community are but a few of the failed attempts at African unity. These were attempts by the nations involved to reap the benefits of economic cooperation without first creating a political union. Diop’s position is that political unity must preceed attempts at economic unity.
This means that all parties involved in attempts at confederation must be prepared to sacrifice their national sovereignty in order to make the union binding and irreversible. None of the failed groupings of the past required that members surrender even a portion of their sovereignty. Consequently, whenever anyone was dissatisfied with anything, they could just up and walk away, causing the union to crumble. The selfish interests of governing bodies must be set aside for the goal of achieving political unity. Diop explains that the selfish interests of heads of state who want to reap the personal rewards of economic cooperation are blind to the fact that before an attempt can be made to form a union, a national political organization to which all members are subordinate and bound must be created first. This requires a surrender of sovereignty, and is what makes the federated structure irreversible. Diop says that within a federation, political borders would be mere administrative lines, and that disagreements that pitted one nation against another would be inconceivable. This is particularly important because political stability is an absolute prerequsite for economic growth.
The energy resources of Africa are enormous. Africa leads the world in hydraulic energy. Almost 90% of the world reserves of hydraulic energy is located in underdeveloped regions. Africa represents about 50% of total world resources with its thousands of billions of kilowatt-hours. The Zaire river itself holds more than 600 billion kilowatt-hours of annual reserves. Atomic energy is already being used in some areas of industry, such as nuclear powered submarines. There will undoubtedly be more uses for it in the future. This bodes well for Africa (potentially), because there is a wealth of uranium on the continent. Most uranium is concentrated in Zaire and South Africa. However, it can also be found in Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique and the Sahara. Unlike hydroelectric or solar power, uranium is an ore. Therefore, it can be mined right out of the continent if African people do not guard it! Senegal uses wind energy to irrigate the soil and supply water to cattle in semiarid regions. The Cape region and the entire west African coast could be equipped with huge windmills to take advantage of the trade winds.