East Africa to take new shape after inevitable resource wars
1/18/2012, 1:39 p.m.
Dec. 20 (GIN) - The coming struggles over water, land and other resources in East African will produce a new map of East Africa. Countries will be born and others extinguished, experts say.
"The wider East African region is special - and even notorious - in Africa. In the past 18 years it has produced more new or wanna-be-new nations than all of Africa combined," writes Charles Onyango-Obbo, executive editor of the Nation Media group in Kenya.
"Virtually all the countries in the region, except Tanzania, face serious water stress in the next few years. Kenya is the most stressed," writes Onyango-Obbo, "with only a quarter of what hydrologists consider the basic per person minimum.
"The most successful countries will be the water-rich ones or those smart at environmental management: In this scenario, Rwanda and a resurgent DR Congo could eat up Uganda; and Tanzania will become the regional superpower, swallowing most of Kenya. South Sudan will take a chunk of Kenyan and Ethiopian territory."
"The Democratic Republic of Congo is the resource king ... with $24 trillion worth of untapped mineral deposits, equivalent to the GDP of Europe and the U.S. combined. It has the world's largest reserves of cobalt and much of the world's diamonds, gold and copper. This makes the DRC potentially the richest country in the world."
In the coming years, predicts Onyango-Obbo, Tanzania will ingest Burundi, Uganda and DRC would eat Rwanda for lunch, and Kenya would all but disappear, being carved up between Uganda, Tanzania, and South Sudan. Ethiopia would, largely, remain intact."