The integration process associated with postcolonial African unification resulted in the establishment of several Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and two continental organisations, ranging from the Organization of African Unity to the African Union. This thesis begins with the premise that the integration approach has thus far been unsuccessful, encountering structural impediments in every facet of its political, economic, and sociocultural framework. Similarly, the structure of regional economic communities (RECs) has made little difference in terms of empowering African peoples, developing intra-African trade, or accelerating the unification project to its desired heights. Additionally, it appears as though the
RECs are not structured or mandated to address the socioeconomic challenges confronting populations, to restore African identity, or to promote economic interdependence among member countries. As a result, many aspects of the original vision of free movement, free trade, open borders, and Africa-wide integration remain a pipe dream. This thesis argues that a narrow focus, as well as a lack of a common philosophy and model compatible with African socioeconomic and political aspirations in an African context, is at the heart of the continent's failed unification project. Despite numerous efforts since 1963, postcolonial Africa continues to suffer from balkanisation as a result of arbitrary borders, a phenomenon that has resulted
in numerous, frequently protracted intra-national conflicts, economic stagnation, and governance challenges. In essence, the majority of African regional integration scholarship focuses exclusively on economic integration, omitting critical variables such as the political, sociocultural, and philosophical contexts for regional unification. Subsequently, there is a dearth of literature focusing on the restoration of African unity through a holistic approach. As evidenced by the research, I contend that focusing solely on the integration model underpinned by economic integration will not result in Africa's full unification. Additionally, this thesis responds to calls for contemplation of what an indigenous alternative architecture might look like in order to forge a common bond and responsibility based on shared consanguinity
in order to reverse colonial architecture and reintroduce the African value system. The study employs a qualitative research approach to examine the challenges to Africa's unity. The purpose of this study is to examine the possibility of an alternative African unification theory based on indigenous knowledge systems, using the Horn of Africa as a case study.
Thesis (PhD (International Relations))--University of Pretoria, 2021.