If there is no Africanness then there are no Africans Fortunately Africanness exists among Africans on all fundamental issues of their life They have suffered the holocaust of the Slave Trade, Colonialism and ongoing racism That is why many regard themselves as Africans first and their clan or country identities as secondary They are anti-tribalism and have intermarried among themselves unlike in the past and unlike others who have kept to themselves They regard those who owe their allegiance to Africa as African and respect the fundamental values of the African majority Africans belong together whether they like it or not Their survival and security depend very much on this togetherness whatever problems they face in that togetherness That is why they are all in the African Union That is why the Organisation of African Unity was formed to decolonise the Continent Pan Africanism itself is a manifestation of fraternal solidarity among Africans and people of African descent The recent Global Diaspora African Summit held in Johannesburg on Africa Liberation Day 25 May 2012 is evidence that wherever Africans are they share the same aspirations to restore Africa’s power to achieve the economic liberation of this continent and its technological advancement. So-called “New South Africa” cannot be an exception. Africanness is strongly related to Africanism, African Personality, Pan Africanism, African Nationalism, Afrocentricity and Africentric view of the world Let me now share briefly what some of African great leaders and visionaries have said about some of these concepts On African personality Dr. Kwame Nkrumah said, “The desire of the African people to unite and to assert their personality in the context of the African community has made itself felt everywhere” In March 1960 he added “Ghana independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa and with the projection of African personality in the international community” On culture Nkrumah said “We are doing everything to revive our culture, but if this revival is to endure, it must be based on strong moral and spiritual foundation Our moral and spiritual qualities should not lag behind the progress we are making in the economic field” That profound Pan Africanist scholar Dr. Antony Muziwakhe Lembede observed that “Nationalism has been tested in the peoples’ struggles and fires and found to be the only effective weapon against foreign rule and imperialism Africans are the natives of Africa from time immemorial Africa belongs to them.Out of the heterogeneous tribes must emerge a homogeneous nation” Africanness is related to Africanism and Pan African Nationalism It is a reality African Nationalism will not go away It is the African weapon for attaining authentic liberation where Africans control the riches of Africa for the benefit of the presently economically brutalised and criminally oppressed African people of this country and continent

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Kwame Nkrumah unique among his peers A political strategist and a visionary Initiator of the African Personality A fighter for the total liberation of Africa A strong proponent of African Unity He planned his Presidency future oriented And lived ahead of his time Chose African people first Before himself He wrote a book Neo-colonialism The Last Stage of Imperialism The USA government punished Ghanaians for this publication During his reign no affirmative action But women excelled And education for all And tribalism unknown After his death his peers confessed That he was 100 years ahead of them And they were 100 years behind him All the criticism and opposition were baseless President J. F. Kennedy broke all diplomatic protocol By climbing into the plane to welcome Nkrumah The first and last President To be accorded such an honor He used constitutional means To break the back of the British Empire And set the momentum For the total liberation of Africa He united the opposition instead of dividing them While in the USA the FBI opened a file on him Because he was preaching African Nationalism To Africans in the United States Who were suffering under Jim Crow laws His speech at the15th Anniversary of the UN Drew the longest standing ovation In the history of the UN Thus a worldwide recognition for Africa

the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963

the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963 (pdf) – needs to take stock of its strengths and weaknesses as an intergovernmental organisation designed to promote the pan-African agenda politically and economically As articulated by the leading figures of pan-Africanism, that agenda consists of a three-dimensional project of political self-determination, economic self-reliance, and solidarity in the promotion and defence of African interests nationally and internationally The OAU came into existence as a compromise between the radical pan-Africanism of leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah who advocated a union government and a continental military high command, and the more conservative outlook of the pro-western leaders of Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Liberia who insisted on a gradual approach to African economic and political integrationn Despite the antagonistic positions separating them the groups were both favourable to setting up a pan-African institution based on the principles of state sovereignty non-interference in the internal affairs of member states and the inviolability of national boundaries Within the global context of the cold war, the more limited goals of the OAU were (1) the total independence of Africa from colonialism and white settler rule (2) the peaceful resolution of interstate conflicts through negotiation, mediation and conciliation and (3) greater solidarity and economic co-operation Decolonisation and majority rule, particularly in the colonial-settler states of Algeria, Kenya and South Africa where racism was institutionalised were a major achievement of the project. The culminating event was the liberation of South Africa from apartheid in 1994, ending 82 years of struggle led by the African National Congress and 31 years of support by the continent through the OAU This unswerving opposition to white minority rule and colonialism is undoubtedly the OAU’s greatest achievement It succeeded in mobilising African and world opinion against colonialists in the Portuguese colonies and settler states of Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe The worldwide isolation of the apartheid state of South Africa, including its exclusion from international organizations and sporting events, was spearheaded by the OAU And the OAU African Liberation Committee deserves praise for its outstanding work in supporting armed struggle in Guinea-Bissau and southern Africa. Guinea, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe also made great sacrifices in supporting total liberation from colonial oppression The OAU also had some achievements in conflict resolution, particularly mediating in border disputes, the major area of interstate conflict in Africa. However, most of the armed conflicts since independence have been internal rather than interstate As a pan-African organisation, the OAU had an obligation to address such conflicts inasmuch as they involved gross violations of human rights, including cases of genocide, and had a humanitarian dimension in the large number of refugees and internally displaced people they generated Unfortunately the OAU failed to exercise its right of intervention in cases of state-sponsored terrorism and heinous crimes, including ethnic cleansing and genocide The organization expressed little or no solidarity with Africans facing mortal danger from their own governments and never recognised the legitimacy of African struggles against African tyrants. In 1979, when President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania took the courageous decision to pursue invading Ugandan troops all the way to Kampala and assist Ugandan patriots in overthrowing the regime of Idi Amin Dada he found very little support among his African peers Things changed for the better in the 1990s, particularly with the adoption in 1993 in Cairo of the OAU mechanism for conflict prevention management and resolution, which gave the organization a role in internal conflicts. Since replacing the OAU in 2002, the AU has increased its intervention in domestic affairs. Both the AU commission and the regional economic communities (RECs) have played a useful role, sending peacekeeping forces to countries in turmoil The RECs seem to be playing a greater role in resolving internal conflicts than in promoting economic co-operation and integration A major problem confronting the AU is resources With so much dependence on the EU and other external funding, questions arise about African ownership and initiative in some of the theatres of intervention. In addition to governments lack of political will, the lack of resources for peace and security, as well as economic co-operation, is partly because countries are also members of multiple regional institutions. It is not uncommon for a country to belong to three or more regional economic groups. By spreading themselves thin, countries deprive institutions of the skills and money they need. This raises the question of how strongly committed Africa’s leaders are to economic and political integration This is at the heart of the AU’s future Its neoliberal development programme, Nepad, is less suited to the needs of workers and peasants than the more comprehensive development strategy of the Lagos plan of action adopted in 1980 As an organization that reflects the social character of the states composing it most of which are under authoritarian rulers who cling to power through force and electoral fraud the AU is ill-equipped to meet people aspirations for democracy and social progress

Brief history of the African Liberation Day

Agwambo Odera (Press release)—On 15 April 1958, in the city of Accra, Ghana, African leaders and political activists gathered at the first conference of independent African states It was attended by representatives of the governments of Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, The United Arab Republic (which was the federation of Egypt and Syria) and representatives of the National Liberation Front of Algeria and the Union of Cameroonian PeoplesThis conference was significant in that it represented the collective expression of African Peoples’ disgust with the system of colonialism and imperialism, which brought so much suffering to African people. Further, it represented the collective will to see the system of colonialism permanently done away with After 500 years of the most brutal suffering known to humanity, the rape of Africa and subsequent slave, which cost Africa in excess of about 100,000,000 of her children, the masses of African people singularly, separately, individually, in small disconnected groupings for centuries had said ‘enough!’ But in 1958, at the Accra conference, it was being said in ways that emphasised joint, coordinated and unified action. This conference gave sharp clarity and definition to Pan Africanism, the total liberation and unification of Africa under scientific socialism. The conference as well laid the foundation and the strategy for the further intensification and coordination of the next stage of the African revolution for the liberation of the rest of Africa, and eventual and complete unificationThe conference called for the founding of African Freedom Day, a day to ‘mark each year the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolise the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploration  Five years later after the first conference of independent African states in the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia another historical meeting occurred On 25 May 1963, leaders of 32 independent Africa states met to form the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). By then more than two thirds of the continent had achieved independence from colonial rule. At that historic meeting, the date of Africa Freedom Day was changed from 15 April to 25 May and Africa Freedom Day was declared African Liberation Day African Liberation Day has since then been held on 25 May in every corner of the world African Liberation Day as an institution within the Pan African movement reflects the growth and development of Pan Africanism When Pan Africanism was faced with fighting colonialism, the focus of African Liberation Day was on the anti colonial struggle and the fight for national independence. As Pan Africanism grew stronger and developed into a more mature objective African Liberation Day activities reflected this maturation African Liberation Day has contributed to the struggle to raise the level of political awareness and organisation in African communities worldwide. It has further been used as a tool to provide a platform for many African and other oppressed peoples to inform the African masses about their respective struggles for true liberation and development Particularly for Southern Africa, African Liberation Day played a critical role in the defeat of colonialism and apartheid It inspired others to support through various progressive organisations, liberation committees and movements both in Africa and the socialist countries around the world, the building of anti colonial and national liberation movements by generating arms for the freedom fighters, offering a platform where the world could receive political education on the nature of the struggle, and providing a mass assembly where the spirit and moral of the freedom fighters could be reinvigorated. African Liberation Day has helped to expose US led imperialism, Zionism and colonialism as enemies of Africa Imperialists for decades have attempted to distance African Liberation Day (and the African Revolution in general) from the struggle for socialism. Remember that it was, and is, capitalist Europe, and not the Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea, China or Vietnam which occupied, colonised and exploited Africa. Several states in Africa today stand independent because of military and other assistance from socialist countries From the first African Liberation Day held in Accra, Ghana where Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah planted the first seed to the hundreds of African Liberation Day observances which have occurred all over the world African Liberation Day stands committed to the struggle for national independence African redemption, African liberation African unification and scientific socialism Today, African Liberation Day activities are being organised throughout Africa and all over the world where African people are living and struggling. The journey down the revolutionary path can only be accomplished by joining a revolutionary organisation working for the people The freedom of Africa and African people demands revolutionary action through revolutionary organization