I am continually amazed by how ignorant most Americans are about tribalism. It’s so wired into the DNA that Americans with the same identity invented their own forms with modern street gangs such as bloods and crips.
In my opinion, tribalism is the primary reason most of the third world remains a dysfunctional mess.
There was a great editorial cartoon back during the heyday of apartheid. It showed a small mud & waddle, tin roofed building with bars on the doors & windows and a large sign reading “Apartheid”.
A black man, shovel in hand, clad in the rough shirt & shorts prison uniform common to Africa has just stuck his head out of the tunnel he has dug to escape the ramshackle jail, “Apartheid”.
He looks around at his new found freedom, only to see that the pathetic jail is located inside massive stone walls topped with concertina wire and machine gun equipped guard towers. This massive edifice is labeled “Tribalism”.
You have hit the proverbial nail on the head re: Africa. Tribal trumps ALL.
There is scant to nil "nationalism" in existence there. Most, if not all groups have historically been nomadic tribes-people. This is their reason for life.
As you suggest - it might as well be a genetic aspect of their existence. This is what determines their allegiance - not some politically shifting 'border' or political group.
To understand Africa this must be understood.