The average area of a country in the world is about 770000 sq. km while in the African continent, it is only about 570000sq.km. If large countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Algeria and Libya are excluded, the average size of a country in Africa would only be about 450000sq.km.
Similarly, the average population of a country in the world is about 35 million while in African continent, the average population of a country is only about 20 million. If large populated countries like Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt and Dem.Republic of Congo are excluded, the average population of a country in Africa would be only about 12 million.
In Europe, countries are moving towards de facto merger. If several of the small countries in Africa, particularly in West Africa is merged to form fairly large countries there would be faster economic development on account of the following:
i. most of the disputes and wars between the neighboring countries relating to borders etc will automatically disappear
ii. the governments can be effective in putting down civil unrest, organized crimes, etc.
iii .a large number of inter-country irrigation projects (which are many in Africa) which are held up due to disagreements/non cooperation among smaller countries, can be taken up for implementation
iv. A large number of military personnel can reduced as many borders would disappearand total military expenditure can be reduced
v.chances of military coups can be reduced and democracy may well be established
vi. number of civilian employees can also be reduced
vii. movement of goods& services, capital and labour will become free leading to development
viii. large infrastructural projects can be taken up. As small countries, it would be difficult to undertake large projects
The problems if any of languages will only be minor and can be overcome as India which has more than 600 languages/ dialects, has managed. Religious and ethnic differences between the people will not increase, as the composition of the population of existing small countries is not much different from one another and in any case, the differences would be much less than in India.