Sunday, April 14, 2024

AFRICAN UNION A PRODUCT OF PAN AFRICANISM THAT SHOULD BE REDEEMED

Radical Pan Africanists out of frustration and due to its unproductivity and passivity towards the real issues affecting the African people have for long dismissed the African Union. This position is not hard to understand since a number of other prominent Africans such as P.L.O. Lumumba and have added their voice to the chorus.

In this analysis I will attempt to argue that Pan Africanists must not give up on the Organisation but must fight to transform it or dissolve it and emerge a new functional one.

When the OAU was formed in 1963, it was after centuries of struggle by Africans in the diaspora who fought for a Pan-African organisation that would represent the interests of all Africans or black people on the planet, all who were under the yoke of European oppression, slavery, colonialism, apartheid and Jim crow segregation in the white man’s world and on the Continent itself. It was out of this suffering and agony that classical Pan Africanists like Henry Silvester Williams, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Marcus Garvey and Later Kwame Nkrumah felt burdened to find a solution for the black race, this resulted into decades and later centuries of steady and purposeful grinding which wore out Imperialism forcing it to give partial freedom to the Africans and other Colonised and oppressed people of the World.

When Pan Africanism arrived back home on African soil Dr. Kwame Nkrumah injected it with a new sense of urgency. Many don’t realise that it is this sense of urgency that led to the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which would later be transformed into the African Union (AU) under the determined leadership of President Muammar.

A general view shows the headquarters of the African Union (AU) building in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, Tiksa Negeri

Even though the African Union as an organisation and its parent organisation the OAU have been far from what Nkrumah envisioned, it is nevertheless an organisation which embodies the Spirit of Pan Africanism. Had it not been President Kwame Nkrumah’s hard push. His contemporaries many did not understand what he was talking about in a sense that they did not have enough sophisticated understanding of the danger posed by imperialism to the then new independent African states. They thought that the Unification of Africa was some luxury to be put off until all African countries were strong and rich enough.  What they did not understand as they would discover later is that this Imperialism would not allow them to grow stronger and richer.

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They assumed that because the imperialist countries were extending loans to them, they were friends to Africa and therefore the newly independent African States, they assumed that African countries were equal enough to compete in a world where all the finance capital was concentrated in the hands of the imperialists, the then African heads of state who were not so sophisticated in their analysis of imperialism as Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was thought they had time to luxuriate and make arguments.

At the very formation of the OAU speeches were given, but as was the custom, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Speech stood out. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah pushed so hard that he irritated his contemporaries and according to Mwalimu Julius Nyerere during his speech in Accra in 1997 scared many who later got locked into gradualism, had Nkrumah not pushed as hard as he did, those men and women would not even have given us a weak organisation such as the OAU for the mere preservation of the Spirit of Pan Africanism.

The OAU / AU would go ahead to birth the Pan African Parliament which now sits in South Africa to which all member states in Africa send 4 Members of Parliament.

The Pan African Parliament Sitting in Sandton South Africa

Having understood from whence the African Union came from and the centuries of sacrifices made to have it, it is important for Pan Africanists to not just condemn the organisation but to also work hard to take and revolutionalise it, to fight for it and kick out those polluting and making it a playground for imperialist groups. This would be an act of redeeming the Sweat and sacrifice put in its formation by our Pan African foremothers and fathers who fought so hard for us to have a preservation space for the Pan African Spirit that is the African Union and the Pan African Parliament (PAP).

Kwame Gonza
Kwame Gonza
Kwame Gonza is A Pan Africanist member of the African Continental Unity Party (ACUP), a Mechanical Engineer and the Pioneer of the Africa Railway Triangle Network Master Plan (ARTNMP) which aims to Connect the Whole African Continent. He is a Geopolitical analyst who has been a guest on SABC News South Africa, Press TV Iran, TV Africa Ghana, Oromia Broadcasting TV in Ethiopia and Channel TV Nigeria to Comment and advice on the future of Africa and Pan African Issues.

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