Background: The U.R.A. is not a new idea, its actually a much older one dating back to the 1960s and perhaps even further. Due to disputes between different countries, the idea has never truly got off the ground. The problem these days is that the players have changed, but many disputes are still there. The people involved in the politics have not realized that unification could be the answer to their problems.
Geography & People: The people of Africa are united geographically, but within that geography the borders of countries and carved-up pieces of territorial land have created disputes over territory. By unifying into one larger republic or dominion, similar in concept to the United States or the European Union, the people would be unifying themselves as a singular continent, and thus be a much greater force to reckoned with. Separated, the people can be ignored and kept isolated by other larger/more powerful countries like the United States. As a larger unified group of nations, Africa would have more international power over its territory.
Government: The republics of Africa would become more like individual provinces, governing over their own schools and their local economy. An unified federal government with a prime minister and multiple ministers from each republic. Thus a single group of leaders for all of Africa would be in place, and unlike a president, a prime minister can more easily be booted out of office due to corruption. Thus the system maintains its stability and fights corruption within its own ranks. This brand of democracy is already found in countries like Canada and Australia, where it has been proven to prevent widespread corruption.
Economy & a Single Currency: Importing and exporting amongst themselves, African countries suffer from a lack of internal and external trade. By uniting as a single entity Africa will boost its inter-continental trade, and boost its internal trade system. By switching to a single currency for all of Africa internal trade will no longer have exchange problems, external trade will become more stable and reliable, and the economy will be boosted by record growth.
Communications: There are two issues at stake here, one is electrical and the other is linguistics. Africa does not have an united language. 40% of the people in Africa speak English as their first language, but otherwise the languages are divided up into French, German and hundreds of native African languages and dialects. Those languages need to be preserved for historical reasons, but an official language will have to be recognized and taught in schools. For economical reasons, English would be the obvious choice, but a predominant African language (or several languages) might also be a good choice for cultural reasons, so that Africa is united under an indigenous African language. Scholarly, it would be possible to combine multiple African languages, plus some english into a new language and create an official African dictionary. It would be a linguistically challenge, but it is possible to do, and it would be a more patriotically unifying language.
An United Africa would finally be able to create a continental-wide communications system for cellphones, internet and an unified African television network to showcase African-made tv shows and African-made films.
Transportation: A better planned and transcontinental system of highways and railroads, along with better ferry services along coastal countries and on the Nile river. The end result would be to ease transportation, lower the cost of food and boost the overall economy of greater Africa.
Tourism: Africa suffers from racism from other continents and a lack of tourism as a result. Part of the stigma is partially true due to the fact that war and conflict breaks out regularly amongst African countries. As an Unified Africa, internal civil wars and territorial disputes would be stopped, guns and militias eventually made useless under the weight of diplomacy and an United African Army. The end result would be a more peaceful continent and a continent more open to tourism.
Military: An United African Army, an African Air Force, an African Navy, and perhaps the most important of all: An African Coastguard and a Federal African Police Network, to track smugglers and criminals within all of Africa. It would spell an end for criminal networks, militias and bring a sense of unity and pride to Africa as a whole. Plus, it would be cheaper to maintain a single larger military than to maintain many smaller military groups.
Territorial Disputes: All territorial disputes within the internal republics would be solved diplomatically or made null and void, because the disputes would no longer be necessary amongst countries which are now economic allies.
Disease: Controlling the spread of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDs would be a primary responsibility of an United Africa. Radical solutions may be needed, such as quarantined towns and cities where the infection rate is over 25%. Regular testing for diseases, a continental information network for controlling the diseases, and stronger federal programs to test for HIV and to promote the use of condoms in order to prevent HIV from spreading to others.
The USA Factor: The United States doesn't want Africa to unify because then Africa will become a nuclear threat. As an united continent, Africa will have the technology and resources to build and test nuclear missiles. Since the Cold War, the United States has been supplying arms shipments to African countries and militias in order to maintain instability in Africa so that it will never unify. The fear during the Cold War has been that if Africa did unify, it might become a communist republic. Thus, it was the fear of a communist republic with nuclear weapon capability. Racism is also certainly a factor in the case of the United States, for many people in the Republican Party are also racists and have no interest in helping Africa and would much rather hinder it. For this reason, one of the primary duties of an United Africa will be to stop arms trade with the United States. Those weapons are fuelling wars, not stopping them.