EAC: Proposal for a strong political federation through a Pan-African Sovereign Conference

The theme of the 12th extraordinary summit of the EAC of heads of state was: ‘‘one people, one destiny: building sustainable structures for deeper integration’’.  In the 30th April 2014 final Communiqué, it was said (point 6): ‘‘The Summit considered the progress report on the establishment of the political federation. The Summit directed the Council to initiate the process of drafting a constitution for the political federation and develop a roadmap on what the constitution making progress would involve. The summit further directed the council of ministers to make a comprehensive evaluation of performances on the implementation of protocols on the establishment of EAC customs union, common markets and monetary union and other laws on the community and report at the 16th ordinary summit in November 2014.’’

I suggest a new path: a Pan-African Sovereign Conference in which regional leaders, political elites and elites of civil society would discuss and could decide the creation of a new state: the Republic of Swahili. It is around this substance my proposal lies.


In this article, I consider 2 things:

• On the field, there is a sort of resurgence of tribalism. The sectarian ethnic behaviors and tribalism are default solidarity within states plagued by personal political conflicts. A nationalist sham serves as ideological tool for unproductive elites. Today’s African States – inherited from colonization – had become hopelessly closed fields of fratricide competitions, exactly as programmed by the colonialists. “Nationalism” does not work as a factor of integration and advancement of the people. African States are often instrument of shameless enjoyment of social privileges. Regional leaders should work towards the actual integration of the peoples rather than signing of treaties for which a fiasco is inevitable.

• In international politics, it is impossible to navigate with ease without a major strategic doctrine. Panafricanism is an opportunity for us to redefine ourselves – within united Africa – new districts (provinces) that allow leaders of these local entities to effectively meet the concerns of populations. Therefore, it is important to redesign – politically -a non- colonial configuration in Africa. New African and big regional states should appear in this 21th century. Time to discuss on how to share resources (railways, harbors, airways, aviation facilities, educational links like students exchange system and East African certificate of education through different and separate countries) is finished. It is time to transform common resources into marketable products.

That is why I suggest a new path: a Pan-African Sovereign Conference in which regional leaders, political elites and elites of civil society would discuss and could decide the creation of a new state: the Republic of Swahili. It is around this substance my proposal lies. I strongly believe that Republic of Swahili could be a core federation for all ICGLR countries, beginning by DRC

1. Major objective: setting-up a strategic alliance in diplomacy

Economic and social development must clearly appear as the substance of the sought African Union. But, to begin and achieve this sustainable development, it requires a prior political process. It is necessary to distinguish purposes of this approach: economic integration is the goal of the constructive approach of African Unity which is essentially political. For Europe, the Treaty of Rome established this prior political process. ‘‘Rome’’ political process gave birth to today’s European economy.

In Africa, there are still no real national autonomous economies. For and by us, we need a specific policy path. It is crucial to assembly different pieces of ‘‘economies’’ of Africa in a one and new dynamic economy. To facilitate first political integration, secondly economic integration and then finally social progress, we must rely on Panafrican Cultural Elements. OAU was just an institution grouping African states. And African Union (AU) does not yet provide a framework for the creation of major regional states.

In this context, we could easily envisage cooperation with West – freely and truly privileged – based not only on democratic values (dialogue, debate and compromise, civil power at the head of State Administration and separation of powers, judicial system independent) but also on the weight of history (African Diaspora, interpenetration of economic structures, common cultural references). It will be imperative to sign a lasting friendship pact, clear and mutually beneficial.

Beyond specific interests of each political regime in the states of the Great Lakes Region and weakness of their governance structures, it is possible to organize a summit meeting of the main political leaders of the region to decide on the unification of these states into a single state: Republic of Swahili including Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. This is an option among others for the necessary rebuilding the ”State” in Africa.

2. Political proposal

This vision focuses on building a core federation for the Union of Central, Eastern and Southern Africa in a unique Pan African State including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. Instead of wearing their eyes on pseudo-nationalism in the current post-colonial states or on internal identity conflicts, the leaders of these above-mentioned States should seek to unite them in a single political Pan African union so called ”Republic of Swahili” of 37 autonomous districts with effective local governments. See Annex).

To do this, we must look at it in terms of creating a core (strong political link) between all states iof the Central, Eastern and Southern Africa by unifying first the Great Lakes Region, a hot zone of identity conflicts.

Post-colonial state Area (km2) Number of districts district Area average Estimated Populations






























The Republic of Swahili would be a State of 1,815,666 Km2. It would have a population of around 144,200 million people in 2014 and 1500 more or less ethnic groups and/or tribes. His wealth would be immeasurable and varied. His huge potentialities could lead to a rapid development to meet needs for all Swahilis: oil, gas, hydro-power, coal, wood, copper, cobalt, coffee, tea, cocoa, cotton, food products all seasons livestock products of all kinds, etc.

The” Swahili’’ could easily meet the requirements of globalization and fight – collectively – against a new form of insecurity due to ‘‘local disappearances’’ of state and/or to other social mechanisms of internal control and protection of populations against looting of resources by criminal organizations at national and international levels.

3. Ideological framework

Panafricanism is a bias, as constructive utopia and prospect, for African Unity for three fundamental reasons:

First: Many precolonial peoples were divided into two or three post-colonial states in Africa. Often, people continue to cross borders between post-colonial states as if there had been no settlement. The phenomenon so called ”customs fraud” is – a reality for all populations – a continuous business as it was before European colonization. There is a sort of collective schizophrenia to be eradicated. It is better to work for meaningful regional political integration for these populations.

Second: Beyond economic integration, the best way to resolve the issue of identity distress (anxieties) is to remove boundaries in Africa at maximum level. We must encourage internal movement of populations while paving the international reality of tomorrow, that of Continent-States. We must therefore encourage the movement of people and goods in Africa through regional economic integration.

Third: It is clear – without political unity, the development process in Africa will be helpless and pathetic. It is desirable for that globalization to start by and for Africans themselves, by aligning into a big movement for an United Africa, a sort of United States of Africa.

African peoples have to face to a colonial rape maintained by post colonial states that still somehow oppress and divide them into several political entities and various official and foreign languages such as French, English, Portuguese and Spanish.

On the ground there is a resurgence of ethnic conflicts. Panafricanism is an opportunity for us to redefine in United Africa new districts which could allow local leaders to respond effectively to people’s concerns. We also note that ethnic differences today are manipulated by elites and have become – politically – the most important internal condition of underdevelopment and external domination of the continent.

Panafricanism as it was preached since the 1960s until 1970 was aiming the tightening of ties between African States in order to face neocolonialist domination. Panafricanism was serving relay Soviet propaganda against the West in Africa.

Today, Panafricanism is rather a kind of maturation of the oldest ideas and a rupture. The ideal remains the same, African unity. But, the new Panafricanism is now a core rupture intending to solve – permanently and structurally, political problems of a domestic nature. Today, it is desirable to have new institutions for new freedoms.

4. Process of federating core states of Central, Eastern and Southern Africa

The official creation of the Republic of Swahili would be done through a Sovereign Pan-African Conference. Its composition would be done by State and by district in terms of delegates to this Conference.

The Representatives of civil society should be determined by the ratio between the estimated populations of a state and area average of district within that state. It reflects the extent of the state, the density of its population by district. In addition, we must rely on two people by local government following the configuration of Republic of Swahili in its local entities. Each post colonial state will have right to 100 official delegates and each district should send 2 persons at the Sovereign Pan-African Conference! Zanzibar would have a specific number of delegates within Tanzanian delegation !

Post colonial State

Delegates By State

Representatives of civil society

2 people per district

Political Leaders (package)
































Upper House (20 persons by state)


Lower House


  • Each district would provide a number of people from the lower house to draft the Constitution of the Republic of Swahili and other documents relating to the Transition (10 years).
  • Each current state would provide 20 persons to sit into the upper house for any amendments of documents relating to the transition.

Validation of mandates would be done plenary and Delegates should proclaim the sovereignty of the Pan-African Conference and affirm:

  • The end of existing post-colonial states represented at the Sovereign Pan African Conference.
  • The birth of the Republic of Swahili.
  • Their determination of drafting a constitution for the new Republic.
  • Their determination of drafting a Transitional law for a fixed period.
  • Their intention of designating – formally – leaders of the Institutions during of the Transition Period.

The central government would be headed by a Presidential Council of Transition of 10 years period and the Prime Minister should be responsible for the implementation of all decisions of that Council.

All current ‘‘national’’ parliamentarians should meet in a single legislative chamber for a period of 10 years: this will be Parliament during the Transition

At the end of the transition, members of the Presidential Council of Transition should be Senators for life and it should be the same for the Prime Minister of Transition, the Vice- Prime Ministers and for Members of the Bureau of the Parliament of Transition.

The members of the Presidential Council should supervise governmental activities during the transition by assuming – for each member – a vital role as Vice President of the Republic, but one of them would necessarily be chosen as head of state for 2 years.

Preparatory meetings of high-level leaders of the current states could be held in Nairobi (Kenya) for the determination of criteria and procedure for appointing Delegates of civil society and local governments and – especially – Delegates of political parties within civil society. They should also study and implement appropriate measures for the organization of the Pan-African Conference Sovereign.

5. Governmental structure during the Transition

Departments under a member of the PCT for political supervision Government agencies under a Prime Minister for technical coordination.

Departments under a member of the PCT for political supervision Government agencies under a Prime Minister for technical coordination
I Justice and Human Rights
  • Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic
  • Support Office to courts
  • Bar Association
  • Office of the Ombudsman
II Institutions of Regulation • Office of Institutional Control (Governmental Audit Institutions, Usual Technical Control  and Protection of Users) • Office of Support to parliamentary scrutiny • Bureau of sworn Jobs
III Production • Bureau of Agriculture and Livestock • Bureau of Public Institutions of production and distribution Energy and Water • Office of Public Works and Infrastructure management institutions
IV Economic Affairs • Office of Public Institutions of Transport & Telecommunications • Bureau of  ICTs and Technological  Innovations • Office of Professional Organizations and Commercial Affairs
VI Financial and Monetary Affairs • Office of Governmental Revenue• Office of Public Accounting • Inspection of Finances • Bureau for Financial Institutions
VII Budget and Planning • National Bureau of Economic Planning • Office of Annual Budgets • Bureau for Surveys and Statistics
VIII Family and Social Affairs • Bureau of Family and Gender affairs • Office social solidarity and inter-community peace • Bureau of Land Affairs and Rural Development
IX Health and Environment • Bureau of Hospitals • Office for Public Health Institutions • Office for Nature Conservancy
X Education and Scientific Research • Bureau for nursery and primary schools• Bureau for Secondary Schools• Bureau for Colleges and Universities• Bureau for  Scientific Research Institutions
XII Cultural Affairs  • Office of  cultural organizations and artists • Bureau for churches, religious ministries and NGOs • Office of Youth Organizations, Sports and Leisure
XIII State governance • Bureau for Governmental agencies and Public Institutions • Bureau for Local Governments
XIV Political Affairs • Office of Communication and medias • Office of Elections and People’s Representation Organs
XV Foreign affairs • Bureau for external relations • Bureau for Economic Cooperation• Bureau for Institutional Cooperation • Bureau for Diaspora
XVI Army and National Defense • Bureau for Armed Forces • Bureau of  the National Security Council
XVII Home Affairs • National Agency for Internal Security • Public Security (local Policies)

6. First major objective: basic political organization

As unitary republic, the Republic of Swahili should be highly decentralized with 37 autonomous districts.

The administrative hierarchy could be like this:

  • District political autonomy
    • Canton : coordinating and supervising the activities of municipalities
      • Municipality devolution
        • Cell : Framing populations

a. District

Every autonomous district would have its own local government (whose members are called Executive Councilors at the head of Local Executive Departments). Each district should elect its governor. It would have some powers (competencies) totally distinct of those of Central Government. National Defense and Foreign Affairs should remain exclusive areas of the Central Government but local Government would have its own police.

b. Major towns

”Major Towns” of 5 million inhabitants or beyond – as districts – would be entities with special status management. A major town could obtain direct support from Central Government in terms of budget support and technical assistance. Current administrative divisions within major cities would be ” ‘‘Cantons’’ (townships) divided into ‘‘Municipalities’’.

c. Canton (with a big rural area)

Canton should be a coordinating body of various activities of the executive departments on the ground. Canton responsible and his high ranked agents would be directly accountable to the District Governor in terms of supervising the activities of municipalities. A Canton should correspond to the current districts in Tanzania, to the current districts in Rwanda, the current counties in Uganda, and the current counties in Kenya and to current provinces in Burundi. After, a transition period, this could be changed!

d. Municipality

Municipality would be a set of cells under the political leadership of a mayor. Each executive department of the local government should provide support to municipalities through its field services. A mayor of a municipality would be elected by the representatives of cells composing this municipality.

During the early years of the Transition, officers of local government would be appointed by the Presidential Council of Transition on proposal of Prime Minister. During the second half of the Transition, local elections will be held in the following manner:

  • he people directly elect councils of cells (urban and rural);
  • Councils of cells should vote their delegates to Municipal Councils (rural or urban) ;
  • Municipal Councils should elect or designate their delegates to sit at Local Assemblies at District level on the basis of individual application or a specific form of local designation.
  • The number of members of a Local assembly will depend on the population size of the district. They would be called ‘‘Legislative Councilors”.
  • The Governor of District would be elected by universal direct and secret suffrage.
  • Municipal mayors would be elected by the members of the Boards of cells in together in Elective Assembly.

The structure of a Local Government would be identical as following:

 District Governor (every 5 years) Administrative Level
Service for international cooperation
10 Departments

 District Level

Canton Level

Municipal  Level

Economy and Small and Medium Enterprises

Local Coordination

Cantonal Services

Municipal  Services

Social affairs and  Communication Local Coordination Cantonal Services

Municipal  Services

Economic Planning, Budget and Finance Local Coordination Cantonal Services

Municipal  Services

Security and Police Local Coordination Cantonal Services

Municipal  Services

Health and Environment Local Coordination Cantonal Services

Municipal  Services

Infrastructure and Energy Local Coordination Cantonal Services

Municipal  Services

Agriculture and informal businesses Local Coordination Cantonal Services

Municipal  Services

Education, Culture and Sports Local Coordination Cantonal Services

Municipal  Services

Justice and Human Rights Local Coordination Cantonal Services

Municipal  Services

Public Administration Local Coordination Cantonal Services

Municipal  Services

7. Basic economic organization

Support to creation of businesses by Swahilis in the field of production, to technological innovations and to efficient organization of public and private institutions should be the basic principles of the Lumumbian economy. In this perspective, the fight against corruption should be a true national religion.

To initiate and conduct a such process of sustainable development, we should have :

  • A single currency: PESA and a single Central Bank: Swahili Central Bank (SCB).
  • The Local Monetary Councils (local control of the money supply and participation to national monetary policy)
  • One Public Revenue Agency (To collect all taxes due and leave 40 % for districts, 50% for the Central Government and 10% for the Equalization Fund).
  • All former Public Enterprises should be merged (sector by sector) and – more or less – opened to private investment. Large private companies in strategic areas (oil companies, airlines and shipping companies, mining companies) are expected to sign agreements with the central government to set up joint ventures, agreements assigning specific tasks for local development where they would operate.
  • Specific criteria should be used (level of capital, strategic importance of the field) to distinguish large enterprises from small and medium-sized enterprises operating on a local basis.

8. Basic organization of Courts


Subject matter Municipal Level

Cantonal Level

District Level

National Level

Penal Penal Municipal Court


 Penal District Court

High Court

Civil Civil Municipal Court

Civil Cantonal Court



Military Municipal Court


Military District Court


Administrative Municipal Court


Administrative District Court

State Administrative Court

Political -

Political Cantonal Court

Political District Court

Constitutional Court

Supreme Court

As indicated in the above table, there would be three levels (maximum) for an appeal in Swahili judiciary system.

The Supreme Court is divided into three rooms and Judges should be appointed – for life- by Senate:

  • 15 Judges proposed by Head of State.
  • 15 Judges proposed by President of the National Assembly
  • 15 Judges proposed by President of the Senate.

The 45 Judges of the Supreme Court should elect their Chairman, a Vice -President for each room and subdivide themselves into different rooms (State Administrative Court, High Court and Constitutional Court). The functioning of courts would be assisted by the Central Government through a Support Office to judicial institutions. The 45 judges should meet (Supreme Court) for certain matters expressly provided for by the Constitution.

During the transition period, the Judges of the Supreme Court would be appointed by the Presidential Council pending the general elections at the end of this Transition.

9. Basic organization of the army and security services

The army must be a tangible sign of the new republic.

During the transition period, the objectives of the reform of the defense and security sector would be:

  • To recruit at least 400 000 new soldiers from all district and train them in the same spirit.
  • To establish a unified command for the 5 former armies, each considered as an army with its own well-defined divisions. These armies should be sent out of their usual areas (countries). Each of these 5 former armies would have a recycling centre under new operating rules of the New Swahili Army (NSA) and a common language of command.
  • To demobilize one party in each former army by pouring it either in the body of veterans or in the Army Reserve and to direct another party to various local polices.

The supreme organ of national security would be the National Security Council. During the transition period, its function would be assumed by the Presidential Council of Transition but expanded to the Prime Minister and high-ranked leaders of the Army.

In collaboration with the Unified Command of New Swahili Army (NSA), the National Security Council would establish a functional structure of security services.

10. Core values of the new Republic of Swahili

Values of ”Liberty”,” Justice” and” Progress” should be the foundation of the new Republic of Lumumba. They are absolutely useless if they are not actually perceived through their relations, as shown in the intersections in the figure below.


Innovation is a product of the exercise of individual genius (freedom) to the service of his community. The central government should build an endogenous economic system allowing individuals to transform their personal talents into innovations and continuous change.

Development is a vast movement of endogenous innovations or external contributions incubated and efficient transformation of social structures. Local governments should contribute to development by strengthening individual capabilities within a single social system.

The heart of modern political values is the safety of persons and property. Taken together, political institutions must act as a unit in the service of collective security. Security is primarily the feeling of not being threatened. Hate speech, social harassment, sectarian exclusion … are among the threats against which a security organization must fight to ensure the tranquility of the people. The organization of the” security ” should not be reduced to its operational services.

11. Major political condition: trust between regional leaders

The step of the Sovereign Pan-African Conference is crucial for the above proposal. There should be a willingness of the current political leaders to build a new republic as a state of 37 really autonomous districts with local governments. The new state should act as a suction pump of public revenue and as a redistribution structure of these funds to the central government (50%) and local authorities (40% for local budgets and 10% for the Equalization Fund).ign Pan African Conference could be considered as sustainable way out of crises in the Great Lakes Region.

Jean Munyampenda

ANNEX: Autonomous Districts in the Republic of Swahili

8 former provinces  of Kenya


4 Regions of Uganda



23 Districts  of Tanzania
Mara Mwanza Kagera Kigoma
Sinyanga IrInga Dodoma Manyara
Pemba Arusha Kilimanjaro Rukwa
Singida Mbeya Tabora Rwema
Pawni Lindi Mtwara Zanzibar
Morogoro Dar es Salaam











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