Africa can be a united force
By George GBENGA OLOWOYE
Picture of Nigerian children and their chaperons who visited Arusha
I am becoming enthused with some developments to make Africa embrace and get to know each other more. May be that way, we can begin to see our common humanity and promote the best on our continent. President Uhuru Kenyatta reiterated this in Arusha early this month when he said, â€œIt is high time all Africa become border-less and we in East Africa are pioneering the process because when you come to think of it, it was the white men who drew these borderlines without even consulting our forefathers.â€
Last Saturday I went to have dinner ...view middle of the document...
He said I needed to go to Dar es Salaam and apply for an entry visa into Kenya despite the fact that I live and work in Arusha. The Nigerian passport I carry according to him was an anathema. Now, more and more Africa countries are signing bilateral agreements to allow their citizens obtain visas at point of entry. In fact, Rwanda passed a law starting from January 2013 allowing all African nationals to obtain visa at the point of entry. When I applied through their online portal in 2011 to visit Rwanda for the first time, I was not granted. Now, I have used RwandAir to travel to Lagos via Kigali about two months ago.
I asked each of the young children who visited Arusha about the best memories they are carrying with them as they go back to Nigeria. They all had different perspectives but with their visits to Manyara National park, Kilimajaro National park, Marangu waterfalls, the Snake Park, the Massai Craft shop, etc the visit is a game changer in the minds of all the children. Inioluwa, 8 years and the youngest of the lot liked very much the array of mountains, the sweet foods, cool weather and other cultural aspects of East Africa that has enriched her general knowledge. Ogooluwa Oseni, 16 years and the oldest in the group happens to be my niece and this happens to be her first time out of Nigeria. She said she loved the rich culture of the Massai, the Rift Valley, visiting the Wild, enjoying new tastes of food different from what she grew up with and has a very positive awareness now about East Africa as a wonderful place on earth.
The other children, Semilore who is 10, Noah who is 11, Samuel 14 and Naomi 12, have all been...