- 13 August 2007
- Sources: Primary
- Categories: Aga Khan IV ·· AKDN & its Forerunners ·· Enabling Environments ·· Golden Jubilee Souvenir Book (extracts) ·· Governance (National) ·· Imamat (Humour) ·· Imamat (Personal) ·· Islam (Interpretation) ·· Kenya ·· Partnerships & Collaboration ·· Published ·· Regional Focus ·· Speeches
Inter-governmental cooperation in many areas can be a key which unlocks the future in East Africa. This is why both the Imamat and the AKDN support the creation of new federal constructs in the region — including the concept of an East African Community. A federal concept simply means that governments will forge a united approach on matters which call for unity — and will operate in disparate ways when diverse approaches are better. To work of course, there must be a feeling of predictability as to who does what. And there must be a sense of equitable opportunity for all partners.
Federalism at its best need not be limited to governmental arrangements. Even as I commend the concept of a new East African Community on the political front, I would also encourage new region-wide approaches on the economic front, as well as in the civil society arena. Again, the dominant themes should be diversity, variety and experimentation — and an appropriate sharing of responsibilities.
History endorses the value of what I have called federal approaches — including the history of Islam — where some of the greatest chapters demonstrate how people who share a common faith can also embrace a broad diversity of local cultures.