Human existence itself demands that freedom is a necessary condition for that human existence. I anticipate an insurrection of second nationalism. A liberated Africa unification-nation founded on a radical Pan-African historical imagination.
The case for African Unification
An idea of the African, with the idea of the Africa United Nation and both the African citizen and the nation.
However disconcerting to admit, the state-elite dilution of the Pan-African ideal through the official process will continue to bite. Despite all the sacrifices paid over half a millennia through a history of prolonged African resistance, Africa’s national liberation is still not settled.
The national question cannot be entrusted to officialdom.
The reduction of African Nationalism to the pathetic goal of merely inheriting post-colonial structures by chasing European and American colonial/imperial powers is a gross caricature.
Pan African ism and not the
nationalism of the current post-colonial state defines both the form and substance of the African national question
and/or the anti-colonial and anti-globalisation question.
Historical Roots for Pan-African Resurgence
Karl Marx once said history is the queen of the sciences.
The particular or peculiar way in which African history has evolved as part of world history provides the primary data for advancing the theses that Africans must forge a collective identity to deal with the challenges threatening their collective well-being.
If Africa wishes to come out of the
prison of history, it must write a new autobiography and history of liberty.
It must take a hard look at its past in order to project a new ideal to transcend and overcome its many fractures, fragmentations, sores and wounds.
Africa has not yet fully owned the power to design its free future without European interference, either through charity or conditionality.
The issue of how Africa can shed its dependence while trying to design a new engagement with a world economy that has been known not to benefit her from a foundation of self-reliance remains the burning challenge of our time.
The form of European contact with Africa is not static. It has changed over time but the essence of that contact still retains the gaze and power of European political, military and economic expansion into Africa.
The world has seen the rise of hegemonic powers: Portugal in the 16th Century, Netherlands in the 17th, Britain in the 18th and 19th century and in the 20th the US.
Thus the hegemonic powers have changed, but the hegemonic control over Africa has not.
It takes a long time for those who have been perceived as slaves to be treated with respect and equality.
One can see that wherever there are many African populations, despite legal equality, sad as it is to admit it, their social and economic status remains unequal.
Slavery has been done away with in the main, but the slave conception of Africans cannot be said to have been expunged from world human consciousness.
It is an intellectual challenge to confront this affront with open candour in order to undo an evil vermin that continues to diminish African humanity and liberty.
Whilst slavery destroyed African institutions and dispersed African populations, colonialism arrived with the civilising mission and imposed European politics, economics and culture on Africa.
Africa continues to suffer not only from the aftermath of slavery but also from colonialism in its varied guises, depending on the historical time in which the world economic and political co-ordinates move.
Major Political and Economic Consequences of Colonialism
Of the major political and economic consequences of colonialism the following remain critical to shaping Africa’s future in the 21st Century:
Colonialism imposed the European nation-state system on the varied African political systems that existed in the pre-colonial era. Even those that were independent have been heavily under the pressure of the colonial model.
The nation-state did not evolve from the pre-existing traditions of African systems of rule.
It did not free Africans and their resources; it locked them up for external transfer and exploitation.
The arbitrary and casual tearing up of the continent left territorial disputes. The post colonial state inherited conflict left by the European powers, which used to settle territorial disputes in Africa literally with leaders standing on a map with a ruler and drawing lines without any regard for the Africans inhabiting the territories.
The post-colonial state was imposed on communities that are not related ethnically, linguistically or any other basis of common attributes (leading to conflicts such as irredentism) and/or communities that have no common attributes(leading to conflicts of secession).
The colonial authoritarian legacy has been infused and distilled to the post-colonial state, and the instability of these states is related to their alien structures and coercive apparatus.
The post-colonial state was seen more as a sign of enrichment and accumulation. It distorted political development in Africa, turning it into a major prize for political contest.
The destruction of regional economic ties.
The export-oriented, mono-crop or mono-mineral economies perpetuate African dependence on the external world and reduce opportunities to create,interlink, and diversify an all African economic, communication and training infrastructure.
Mineral extractive and agricultural monopolies dominate African enclave economies.
These problems are still with us.
The imposed nation-state is a case of inheriting a perverse political system as burden on Africa.
Colonialism continues to live in Africa through its political and economic legacies that it left behind.
We have in Africa colonial powers without the need to be physically present in Africa for the purpose of ruling and controlling it.
The longer Africa fails to manifest a clear strategy for shaking off its dependence, the more the ex-colonial powers can relax as long as Africa does no threaten them.
We must say with courage and anger that even if the heavens fall, Africa must have justice.
That means reviving and positioning Pan-African ism as the national emancipatory project to recompose Africa on a fresh basis.
There is a need to build a united identity to a common form of oppression in order to thwart the plans of the current muscular, unilateralist and resurgent imperialism.
The making of the Africa-nation is not a mere dream. It is the way to freeing Africa from the control of its politics,economics and humanity by others.
The African for free and united Africa
The making of Africa requires a prior making of the African.
It is people that wish to deal with common problems and challenges by building a shared purpose that can unite.
There is no shared idea of the African yet. Nor is the idea of Africa something that is settled.
Who is Uniting? What is the Unity for? How does the Unity proceed?
The African Union (AU) remains subordinate to the overriding need of the heads of states to maintain their largely hollow sovereignties.
The key challenge remains to this day:
the creation of Africa as a sovereign entity.
Africa Agenda 2063
We echo the Pan-African call that Africa must unite in order to realize its renaissance by:
- Increasing agricultural production; investments in science, technology, research and innovation; gender equality, youth empowerment and the provision of basic services including health, nutrition, education, shelter, water and sanitation.
- Africa’s stolen culture, heritage and artefacts will be fully repatriated and safeguarded.
- The continent will continue to oppose all forms of politicization of religion and religious extremism.