Richard Dowden Considers African Unity

Question: Is there still a dream of African unity?


Richard Dowden: Well, it’s still a dream. The dream is of a united states of Africa. And I think it’s a good dream because that, again, is about building a sense of African identity.

But at the moment, it’s at the regional stage. And so, you think yes, if all the different regional groupings based on the economic trading partnerships.

When you look at them closely, you have the dreams there but, of course, it means we lose our taxes on this and we don’t; they could, then, destroy our industry on that. It gets very, very, very messy.

And they’re not moving ahead as fast as they should. Beause once you had an East African community or West African community that was real, I think investors would come in because the markets will be that much bigger. But knowing the difficulties you have crossing borders in Africa at the moment, I don’t think that investors will come in a sort of numbers they should, given the wealth of the place and the number of people there.


Recorded: March 16, 2009


Journalist Richard Dowden says solidarity is the goal but it's handicapped by regional allegiances.

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less