SUSTAINING THE NEW WAVE OF PAN-AFRICANISM
SUSTAINING THE WAVE OF RESISTANCE TO REVOLUTIONARY PAN-AFRICANISM?
(An Analytic Critical Review of the book ‘Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism’)
Lang T.K.A. Nubuor
Those two reviews are distinguished by their common brevity and sticking to informing us on the structural outline of the book without telling us about the substance therein.
They are also at one in observing the diversity of opinion expressed in the various papers at the Workshop held from December 6 to 9, 2010 at the University of Namibia under the theme Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism. They, however, miss the point that despite that diversity those opinions exhibit and share a common thread in their general opposition to Revolutionary Pan-Africanism and in their implicit and explicit commitment to the retention of the neo-colonial African states in their balkanized or pigeon-hole existence.
Peter Mietzner, described as a businessperson with various experiences in the media, correctly makes the observation that former President Dr. Sam Nujoma’s keynote address at the opening of the Workshop sets the tone of the proceedings. Reading the said address one is immediately struck by the former President’s declaration as Mietzner quotes thus:
Now that the continent of Africa is independent, we need to embark on the 2nd phase of the struggle: the genuine economic independence to eradicate socio-economic evils that still linger â€¦ in order to ensure economic development for the benefit of the African people on the continent and those in the Diaspora.
In fact, the reader cannot find these words in exactly this order in the book. Mietzner appears to be quoting from some other script. The actual order of words is found at page 15 of the book where President Nujoma says that
Now that the continent of Africa is politically independent, what we need is to embark upon the second phase of the struggle for genuine economic independence to eradicate ignorance, hunger and poverty as the enemies of the African continent… [I]t is of great importance for our countries to spend more resources in the training of our youth, to enable Africa to produce our own doctors, mining engineers… to accelerate economic development for the benefit of the African people on the continent and those in the Diaspora.
Wherever Mietzner quotes from, the essence is the same. What he omits to mention is that the decision to hold the Workshop does not emanate from the youth who are its target audience. It is a decision taken when the former President sits at a dinner with the Nigerian High Commissioner to Namibia and apparently General Williams of PANAFSTRAG. The following brief narrative in the book at page 2 shows that it is, as usual, a decision taken from the top and that the youth is only dragged into it. We quote thus:
Tonight I need to pay great tribute to one of the living icons of the liberation struggle of Africa, His Excellency Dr. Sam Shafishuna Nujoma, who, I should say, is the kick-starter of this workshop… The workshop arose out of the dinner hosted by His Excellency, the Founding President of Namibia on August 02 2010. General Williams of PANAFSTRAG had come to Namibia in search of connecting the Pan-African Parliament with Diasporian parliamentarians. An idea emerged from that dinner to convene a workshop in Namibia to look at the outcomes of the various African Conferences/Congresses and to look at PACON as a suitable role model for adoption in other parts of the African constituency – that is in Africa and also in the Diaspora. Thereafter, I held a working dinner for General Williams, to which I invited Namibian Pan-Africanists to attend. I encouraged General Williams to return to Namibia, which he did on October 18, 2010 to interact with Namibians and to make some presentations. This resulted in General Williams travelling to Swakopmund to interact with the Namibian youth. He also made a presentation on Pan-Africanism at the University of Namibia (UNAM).
Clearly then, what is to follow at the Workshop is conditioned not only by the fact of it being initiated by important personalities who believe that political liberation and independence have been achieved but more importantly by their stake in the survival of the current pigeon-hole neo-colonial state structures. No doubt then that the various papers, if even not all of them, assume the continued and perpetual existence of the inherited neo-colonial state systems as that which must not be questioned and do not therefore question that existence.
This explains the concerted direct and tangential attacks on what is stated as Continentalism and attributing it in the main to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the leading proponent of Revolutionary Pan-Africanism. To launch such attacks successfully, Continentalism is briefly presented as a commitment to Africa’s geographical space to the neglect of the African person as the centre of the liberation and unification process. In this way, attention is diverted from the basic proposition of Revolutionary Pan-Africanism that the neo-colonial states must be replaced.
Replacement of these states is not presented as one that replicates the balkanization of Africa in a new form but rather one that presents the continent with a single state upon the abolition of the neo-colonial states. Revolutionary Pan-Africanism projects this liberation and unification of Africans on continental Africa as the condition for the liberation and unification of Africans everywhere. The statement to this effect is found in Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s book The Spectre of Black Power.
As part of the definition of Revolutionary Pan-Africanism, African Personality is pursued in an African Renaissance through the simultaneous recovery of the African cultural heritage. In fact, in Consciencism (page 4) Dr. Nkrumah explains that cultural acquisition becomes valuable only when it is appreciated by free men. The political emancipation of the African cannot, therefore, await but precede African cultural acquisition, even if not pursued simultaneously. His personal efforts in this respect are today represented by his establishment of the Institute of African Studies3 at the University of Ghana.
Hence, so-called Continentalism is an invention by those who assert pre-occupation with the cultural movement as the pre-requisite for the political liberation and unification of Africa and therefore do not only put the cart before the horse but more significantly freeze the pursuit of African emancipation and unification. And without doubt, they are actuated by nothing more or less than either their closeness to those in control of neo-colonial power or are, in fact, directly exercising that power. This explains why not a single paper is presented at the Workshop for a full representation of the point of view of Revolutionary Pan-Africanism.
The youth of Namibia take notice of this political manipulation at the Workshop and as such issue a thinly veiled protest ‘That elders give due support and advice to the youth without seeking to impose themselves, their viewpoints and/or partisan political agenda’. They reveal their dissatisfaction with their alienation from the processes leading to the organization of the Workshop in these set terms: ‘That there should always be openness, transparency and integration of ideas in program creation and formulation’. And most importantly, echoing the mass-based approaches of Revolutionary Pan-Africanism, they also insist ‘That for there to be effective and properly representative results of such fora there should be broad based approaches which are rooted in the masses’. The Communiqué that carries such weighty information for those who do not have the opportunity to attend the Workshop can be found at the last pages of the book and on the internet4.
So that what takes place at the University of Namibia in December 6-9, 2010 is not an event sustaining any new wave of Pan-Africanism. It is the resurrection of the decades-old resistance of cultural movements to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Revolutionary Pan-Africanism, which finally re-crystallized as mass-based Pan-Africanism. What is new about it is its change of name – from Negritude to Sankofa. Without their calling it by its only name ‘Revolutionary Pan-Africanism’, the Sankofa movement invents a new name for it ‘Continentalism’ which it then defines to disadvantage and in distortion. And as can be seen the awakened Namibian youth see through the subterfuge. No, what we are seeing is not ‘Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism’ but ‘Sustaining the Resistance to Revolutionary Pan-Africanism’.
In what follows, we explore the theme of this resistance in as many of the presented papers as possible to portray the tension between their Pan-African prescriptions and their adherence to the pieces of the African continent and people – the unviable neo-colonial states – in their unmindful service to imperialism. This is what Prof. Chinweizu Ibekwe Chinweizu does not want to hear and that is what we intend to portray from his own paper. We come to the height of this illogicality when the Nigerian High Commissioner to Namibia, His Excellency (Prince) Adegboyega Christopher Ariyo, bases his entire Pan-African industrial edifice on an assumption that the states will resolve to trade among themselves – voluntarily! The comprador bourgeois survives only with neo-colonialism intact. Voluntarily? The force of reason is only one of two means of getting them to see reason. The force of brawn is the other.
This book Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism is a must-read for anybody who seeks to know the state of mind of the current leadership in Africa. We explore that mind thematically. It is definitely a reactionary mind that requires our study to enable the masses of our people put paid to their compradorial neo-colonial existence. They need be liberated to rejoin their people. Otherwise, they must sink with imperialism, neo-colonialism and above all capitalism.
WHAT IS THE AFRICAN NATION?
In paper No.18 ‘Pan-Africanism – Rethinking Key Issues’, Prof. Chinweizu Ibekwe Chinweizu says that there is nothing called the ‘African Nation’: what can be called a nation in Africa is the tribe. This is exactly how he puts it:
Is there an African nation? Where is it? Are there African nations? If so, where are they? I submit that the African nation does not exist and has never existed. There is the African race, but it is not a nation. There are many African nations, but these are what we have learned to defame by calling them tribes. These so-called tribes were the true nations in pre-colonial Africa. What nowadays are called African nations, are not nations at all; each is just a country under the jurisdiction of a state. It is fashionable to call them nation-states, but that is at best a courtesy.
According to Prof. Chinweizu, a nation is determined by the criteria set out in cultural anthropology, historiography and biology. Collectively, he says, these criteria show us that ‘a nation is made by shared language, historical memories of struggles carried out together, and a shared body of myths, legends, epics, songs, etc., and it demonstrates its nationhood by outward antagonism and the defence of its common territory’. From the angle of this perspective, he considers that the African Nation ‘remains only an aspiration’ since ‘languages are diverse; there is no shared body of myths, legends, epics, songs, etc., and the historical consciousness has never been fostered’. The central concepts of this perspective are therefore common ‘language’, ‘territory’, ‘historical memory’, ‘myths etc’ and ‘antagonism’. These are overwhelmingly cultural components: ‘linguistic, historical and psychic’.
By these criteria, Prof. Chinweizu concludes that only what we have come to know as the ‘tribe’ qualifies as a nation. But he is quick enough to suggest the possibility of aspiring to be a nation and by logical extension the possibility of such aspirants successfully achieving nationhood. What finally qualifies the aspirants to be a nation is their measuring up to the stated determinants of a nation in terms of the cultural and territorial factors. The concept of aspiration has no suggestion to an instant achievement but involves the strong suggestion of an evolutionary process. So that the fact of the reality of the African Nation being an aspiration is strong with the suggestion that the African Nation is at a certain point of emergence in the evolutionary process. For this reason that a baby does not require being fully grown to be considered human, so also an infant African Nation remains a nation, we assert.
Without questioning Prof. Chinweizu’s nation construct, it is possible to demonstrate that by the demands of that construct the African Nation does not represent a figment of anybody’s imagination but a reality. At the linguistic level, unless dialects of a language are considered a reflection of the existence of different Chinweizuan nations we find no contradiction in asserting that the use of two languages by the same people does not disqualify them from being such a nation. For, dialects of a language may be so strong in their differences that they may not be mutually easily understood. The fact still remains that in spite of the difficulty communication is not impaired. The urban and rural variants of an African language are an example in this respect. Moving from one part of an African country to the next exposes one to how one language tapers smoothly into the next.
This phenomenon presents us with scenes of a linguistic mat whereby two or more languages weave into each other. The result is the grouping of African languages, in spite of their so-called diversity, in general categories that are themselves related. This linguistic mat reflects the similarity of African cultures in such a way that it becomes possible to talk of a cultural mat. Expressions like ‘African tradition’ capture that reflection. Reference to ‘African culture’ or ‘African tradition’ conjures up in an African’s mind notions and practices that are pervasive on the African continent and in the Diaspora. We are therefore left in no doubt that despite the ravages of capitalism, colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism there is this African cultural pervasiveness that exudes an African Spirit which compels other nations to see an African at first glance as an African but not as a Nigerian, Namibian or Sudanese.
If the Chinweizuan notion of a nation accommodates the reality of the same people speaking at least two dialects that may pass as different languages then it stands to reason to admit that a nation is not necessarily limited to a single language. The Swiss nation is a multilingual entity. The following extract shows the language situation there and indicates that the current urge to promote Swahili as the foremost official African language and Africa’s lingua franca is evidence of Africa’s recovering back unto the trajectory of its historical determination in common language expression. The Swiss extract says that
The official languages of Switzerland are German (spoken by 64 percent of the population), French (19 percent), and Italian (8 percent). The fourth national language, Romansch, is spoken by less than 1 percent of the people. Other languages, particularly Spanish, Portuguese, and Turkish, are spoken by the remaining population.
Most Swiss are multilingual. In a majority of the cantons the most commonly spoken language is Schweizerdeutsch (Swiss German), an Alamannic dialect of German differing vastly from other German dialects. Newspapers and magazines are written in standard German, however, and German is the language of many theatre, motion picture, and television productions. French is the most commonly spoken language in the cantons of Fribourg, Jura, Vaud, Valais, Neuchâtel, and Geneva, and Italian is the predominant language in Ticino. Romansch, a Romance language, is spoken chiefly in the canton of Graubünden. Encarta Encyclopaedia Standard Edition 2004.
Hence, the language/culture or the linguistic mat/cultural mat scenario in Africa rather than nullifying the notion of the African Nation attests to the fact of its existence.
Territorially, the reality of borders that constrict Africans in Bantustan pigeon-holes called ‘countries’ does not nullify the conscious African’s awareness of the commonality of African space, be it outer space, marine space or terrestrial space. Dr. Ikaweba Bunting, in his article In Search of a New Africa, narrates how he once drives from Tanzania into Kenya without knowing that he has actually made the ‘crossover’. The Fulani herdsman respects no boundaries because he does not know or see any. The reality of ‘different territories’ in Africa exists in the mind of Ivory Tower academicians and those intellectuals employed to sustain that fiction for their neo-colonial advantage and fulfilment. These are the people who mysteriously see ‘borderlands’ and consider geographical existences like the Sahara Desert as social barriers. They seize every opportunity to sustain a Bantustan Africa.
Considering the facts of history, Africans share a common history of antagonism in the liberation struggles against colonialism, if we have to cite a recent phenomenon. Dr. Sam Nujoma, at the University of Ghana in December 2010 just at the time of the Workshop, shares his own experiences of the liberation struggles. The concerted African involvement in the liberation of Namibia and other areas in Southern Africa is well captured in that public lecture, captioned The Importance of Pan-Africanism in the Contemporary African Political Scene. The lecture is not different from his keynote address at the Workshop. The two machine guns and two pistols that were used to ignite the armed struggle in Namibia were supplied to Dr. Sam Nujoma by the Algerian government and were carried through Egypt to Tanzania. The Arab African and Black African involvement is without question.
Before we consider another dimension of Dr. Nujoma’s lecture in Ghana it is worth taking note of this other aspect of the Chinweizuan conception of a nation: commitment. Prof. Chinweizu talks about the futility of an African Nation when half of its army is Islamic and committed to primary allegiance to the Arab (not Arab African). See page 83. Another way of saying it is that it is futile to talk of an African Nation when its army is half Christian and committed to primary allegiance to the Israeli. Commitment must be to the African Nation. It is in this regard that he considers Sudanese Arab Africans not a part of Africans; and for two reasons. He says, firstly, that these Sudanese, the products of inter Black African and Arab marriages, see themselves as Arabs and belong to Arab organizations though Arabs see them as second rate Arabs. Secondly, they are explicitly Islamic. But, they also belong to the African Union.
We are here faced with an American situation. African Americans are not only a great mix of Christians and Moslems who consider themselves American but also express commitment to the African. Take note that some of these African Americans are the products of Black African and White American marriages. Immediately, think of Mr. Barak Hussein Obama. The question is whether their situation in the United States of America disqualifies the United States from being a nation. Does the African Diaspora in the USA disqualify the USA from being an American Nation? If the answer is ‘No’, does the Arab African in Africa (the Sudan and North Africa) disqualify the existence of an African Nation – bearing in mind that the jurisdiction under which a nation lives is not and has never necessarily been a single state? The same question arises even when we cite the Indian American situation for illustration.
Prof. Chinweizu creates grounds for suspicion concerning his best intentions for Africans. He suggests in his paper under consideration that although some non-Black Africans living on the African continent see themselves as Africans they must be discouraged from the practice in order to dissociate them from African processes because of their commitments elsewhere. To this end, he suggests that instead of ‘African’ we should use ‘Negro’ for the simple reason of his belief that ‘Negro’ is a less attractive name for non-Black Africans. This is how he puts it at page 92:
Maybe we should seriously consider finding and adopting a name for ourselves from an indigenous African language; particularly a name whose meaning would be repulsive to Arab and European settlers in Africa. While we search for such a name, we have no option, I think, but to revert to the name Negroes, which our European enemies bestowed on us. It has the supreme merit of having been applied to Black Africans, and Black Africans only, both on the continent and in the Diaspora; it never included Arabs, Europeans, Indians, etc., who have settled in Africa; and most importantly, none of them would welcome being called Negroes. So, this name is the only one that guarantees that they will voluntarily stay away from our organizations. So, in my view, until we come up with an isolating name from a Black African language – a name they will loathe to apply to themselves – Negroes it is.
The important observation one makes of this is that mixed blood Africans who are said to have been Arabized are considered to be non-Africans. No such ostracism, however, is applied to Westernized Black Africans living south of the Sahara. Our wonder is whether Prof. Chinweizu would like the same standard to be applied to Africans in the Diaspora. This innocent justification of racist hatred for African Americans in the USA logically ostracizes the African Diaspora from processes on the African continent; in fact, ostracizes them from any notion of the African Nation.
Although, territorially, Arab Africans (whether of biological or historical origin and calling themselves Africans) live on African soil with cultures distinguishable from Arab culture and exclusive to Arab Africans in Africa in spite of some of them sharing a religion with Arabia Prof. Chinweizu says they must not be considered African. In fact, he contends that the Boer (European African) as well as the Indian African, who have similarly evolved cultures different from those of their countries of origin and unique to Africa, does not qualify or deserve to called an African; and therefore of the African Nation. So that, in the final analysis, the African Nation can only be a Black African Nation.
Hence, he focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa for the construction of his Pan-Africanism. The rest of the African landmass above the Sahara is a zone for future contestation to recover it for Black Africans. And, once recovered, it becomes unnecessary to retain the reference ‘Black Africa’ because that would be co-extensive to ‘Africa’. In straight language, the kind of Pan-Africanism being projected here is aimed at purifying the African continent to its former state of a land of Blacks. This is how he renders it at pages 89-90:
For avoidance of doubt and deadly confusions, it is necessary for each Pan-Africanist to specify which Africans, and which Africa, is the constituency of concern. This is very important because the African continent is no longer racially homogeneous…
Some Pan-Africanists object to the use of the term Black Africa. Some do so claiming that imperialists have imposed terms like “Black Africa” and “sub-Saharan Africa” to drive a wedge between Black Africans to the South and their Arab African “brothers” to the north.
Of course that is just nonsense. There are no Arab Africans, only Arab invaders of Africa. The deep racial and cultural and political divide between the Arab settler colonizers now in North Africa and the indigenous Black Africans is no fiction, no invention of the imperialists. It is a deluded continentalist doctrine that prevents some from recognizing that long-standing fact of life. It is our duty to ourselves to recognise it. We gloss over it to our own peril, like the fool who insists that a python has become his brother by taking over part of his family compound.
Some others object to the terms “Black Africa” and “sub-Saharan Africa” on the grounds that, by so restricting our designation, we concede to the Arab invaders the northern part of our continent. They say the entire continent is ours and we must keep the designation to remind us of our duty to recover the enemy-expropriated lands.
That is a fine sentiment, but premature, since we are still losing land to the Arabs. The job we should undertake now is to stop any further Arab expropriation of our lands. When we stop losing more land to the Arab expansionists, and have recovered our entire continent, that would be time enough to drop the term Black Africa. For, by then, all of Africa would once again be co-extensive with Black Africa, making the qualifier superfluous. Until then, let the qualifier keep reminding us that we have a duty to recover the parts of our land seized by Arab and European invaders. (All bold italics are added).
Having asserted that the ‘tribe’ is the only entity that qualifies for the ‘nation’ designation, Prof. Chinweizu finds no common referent on which to hang his Pan-Africanism other than the colour of the Black African skin – raciality. He employs a concept of ‘racial privacy’ which he likens to the practice of excluding even best friends from family meetings. This principle enables him to restrict his Pan-Africanism to the ‘United States of Black Africa’ rather than the ‘United States of Africa’. According to him the latter also includes Arabs – an anathema. The interesting thing is that while he rejects the existence of Arab Africans and asserts that of Black Africans he does not name the other Africans. And yet he states that the ‘African continent is no longer racially homogeneous’. It is now like the USA, so to say.
Prof. Chinweizu sees only Arab and European invaders (temporary residents) living together with Black Africans, though separately, on the African continent. So that by his refusal to acknowledge Arabs in Africa as Arab Africans and Europeans and Indians as Boers or Afrikaners (Dutch Africans) and Indian Africans respectively, he actually sees no racial heterogeneity. He therefore renders the black in ‘Black Africans’ superfluous. And this yet, this is not his intention. The assertion of racial heterogeneity and racial exclusivity becomes a contradiction in terms. If we are to take him to be serious then European invaders of America cannot be considered as Americans. Certainly, his criterion for the designation of an African is too crises-ridden to be of utility for Pan-Africanism. It even leaves out the Berber who has lived in North Africa for millenia and mentioned in historical records dating to 3000 B.C.
But this nebulous conception of the ‘African’ forms the basis of the Sankofa movement and its resistance to Revolutionary Pan-Africanism. The Chief Priest of the Sankofa movement, Prof. Kwesi Kwaa Prah, is similarly afflicted by this nebulousness. So also is the lesser Sankofa spirit, Mr. Bankie Foster Bankie, who is a co-editor of the book under review. The result of this futile Sankofa conceptual acrobatics is an apolitical pre-occupation with the African cultural past outside the context of the anti-neo-colonial struggle, the immediate concern of current Pan-Africanism. This pre-occupation with the cultural movement assumes that the political process of the liberation struggle is really over. Anti-neo-colonialism does not feature in Sankofa discourse except in its cultural discussion or in forced salutations to it.
This is where we get back to Dr. Sam Nujoma’s lecture in Ghana. In both that lecture and his keynote address at the Workshop there is not a single reference to neo-colonialism. He is given to think that African political emancipation ends with the successful anti-colonial struggle. Thenceforth, every African country pursues Pan-Africanism as a security measure to safeguard its own newly-won ‘independence’. This is what he sees Dr. Kwame Nkrumah doing. Recognizing the revolutionary nature of Dr. Nkrumah’s brand of Pan-Africanism he states that ‘For Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the ideology of Pan-Africanism became a revolutionary movement for the unification and total liberation of the African continent’.
Strangely, however, he goes on to suggest that when Dr. Nkrumah links the independence of Ghana to the total liberation of the African continent his objective is to secure Ghana’s independence in an ocean of colonized countries. This strange imputation of selfish motives to Dr. Nkrumah’s Pan-African agenda that predates Ghana’s independence is worth being quoted thus:
When Ghana gained independence in 1957, we recall Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s famous statement, when he proclaimed at the time of Ghana’s independence that “the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent”.
In a sense, Ghana felt that its independence was not assured if it was an island surrounded by colonized and occupied territories.
This reading of Dr. Sam Nujoma’s pigeon-hole type Pan-Africanism into Dr. Nkrumah’s Revolutionary Pan-Africanism is based on a fragmented conception of the African people and it is that which reinforces the resistance to Revolutionary Pan-Africanism. That resistance, as we indicate above, assumes the end of the liberation process and considers the unification project in culturalistic and economistic terms. The ‘African Nation’ is forced out of existence in such calculations which ensure that African countries freeze in pigeon-holes. But this is exactly what Dr. Nkrumah stands against when he states emphatically in Africa Must Unite that
If we are to remain free, if we are to enjoy the full benefits of Africa’s rich resources, we must unite to plan for our total defence and the full exploitation of our material and human means, in the full interests of all our peoples. ‘To go it alone’ will limit our horizons, curtail our expectations, and threaten our liberty.
The politics of defining or determining the existence or otherwise of the ‘African Nation’ is generated just by this parochial anti-people desire for perpetual neo-colonial existence. Prof. Mburumba Kerina renders Dr. Nkrumah’s famous declaration better and correctly when he says that ‘On the independence day of Ghana, President Nkrumah declared that: “The destiny of Ghana is bound up with the destiny of Africa”.’See page 27.
When Dr. Nujoma announces Africa to be now politically independent and declares a second phase of the struggle as one for genuine economic independence in his keynote address he also commits himself to culturalism in his lecture in Ghana where he makes it clear that
In my humble ways, I always encourage and promote African cultures and ways of living thus ensuring the empowerment of the youth of Africa to spearhead the ideology of Pan-Africanism from where the Founding Pan-African leaders left. Armed with the knowledge of our past, we can with confidence charter a course for our future.
Clearly, his political horizons are limited to the unviable neo-colonial state. This reflects in and underscores the overwhelming majority of the papers at the Workshop which he kick-starts in Windhoek in the neo-colonial enclave of Namibia and which suppresses the expression of unrelenting Revolutionary Pan-Africanism. The youth’s communiqué protests against this suppression; while in paper 14 ‘The African Condition as I See It’ which is replete with references to the Africa Nation, Job Shipululo Kanandjembo Amupanda humbly submits that
I am afraid that Africa’s history of exploitation is the history of today, dear friends. We are yet to emancipate ourselves… The liberating generation, of the 1960s … led people-driven economies and delivered free education and many other basic amenities. They had no idea that they would be either toppled by their own people who were intoxicated by the enemy (Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, et al) or that those succeeding them would put Africa on auction to the very same people against whom many had died fighting.
This is the Spirit of Revolutionary Pan-Africanism exploding. It finds its way in expression in a sea of counter-spirits of reaction. If nothing that is said here encourages you to lay hands on the book under review, Shipululo’s ‘The African Condition as I See It’ cannot be part of it. Get hold of the book.
FALSIFYING THE HISTORY OF PAN-AFRICANISM
Falsifying the history of Pan-Africanism begins with the page 221 assertion that among the colonial powers that granted independence to Africa was Arabia. Mr. Bankie Forster Bankie, in paper No. 33 ‘Early Formations of the Pan-African Movement’, talks of ‘the colonial powers – Britain, France, Portugal and Arabia’ granting independence to Africa. This strange appearance of Arabia and the disappearance of Belgium in the list of colonial powers from which independence was won are instructive. Nowhere in African history is it ever said that Holland, whence the Afrikaner originate, is one of the colonial powers granting independence to Africa. Which African countries had their independence from Arabia? All North African countries gained their independence either from Britain, Italy or France.
This false presentation of Arabia in the mould of European imperialist powers among whom Africa was partitioned in 1884/5 is directed at the same exclusion of Arab Africans from the Pan-African Project as we find in the attempts to define the African to the exclusion of Arab Africans, Afrikaners and Indian Africans. It is one of the weapons of the Sankofa culturalists in their resistance to Revolutionary Pan-Africanism which they falsify as Continentalism – an idea that is falsely attributed to and restricts Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Pan-Africanism to the liberation of Africa’s geographical space only and thus neglects the African wherever they might be as the central concern of Pan-Africanism.
In this section, we address this falsification of the history of Pan-Africanism from its genesis as an inheritance of the Black slave revolts and demands for the establishment of a Black Republic on American soil to the evolution of struggles for Black citizenship in the USA into the Back to Africa movement and consequent anti-colonial liberation movements in Africa ending in the anti-neo-colonial struggles of today. We are talking about a history in which the entire Black race is reduced to the working class for capitalist accumulation processes and its resistance to those processes; a history in which a few Blacks are developed into collaborators of international capitalism and imperialism; a history that has to contend with racial variation in its demographic content; yes, a history that calls into application the principle of proletarian internationalism.
These anti-capitalist political struggles resonate in cultural expressions like Negro Spirituals, Soul Music, studies in African past civilizations, etc. It is not the cultural expressions that resonate in the political struggles. It is the other way round. Expressions of ‘I am Black and Proud’ never set the political movement in motion but rather emerge from that movement which is itself consequent upon the economic exploitation of Blacks and forms the immediate arena for the resolution of conflicts in production relations. The history of Pan-Africanism is part of the world’s history of resistance to capitalism and its off-shoots of imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism. Any consideration of this history outside these parameters of capitalist production and exploitation as well as the resistance to them fails from the word ‘go’ to give a proper and true account of the past and present.
It is in this light that Mr. Bankie Forster Bankie is seen to be falsifying the history of Pan-Africanism when he sees it as a racial movement then and now. The consideration of the Pan-African movement as essentially a racial phenomenon ignores the fundamental fact that a whole race is reduced to a working class without citizenship status. Not only is the emerging class differentiation in African society, which manifests in kings and feudal states like the Kingdoms of Buganda and Ashanti, suppressed among Africans transported to work on plantations in the West but also the ethnic origins of these Africans are obliterated through cultural repression. This process of proletarianization, working-classization, reduces enslaved kings, queens and commoners to the same denominator of a working class in Western society where their personal names, languages and practices are replaced with Western alternatives.
What survives of the African is their spirit of egalitarian humanism and resistance against infractions and negations of that spirit. The process of class differentiation in African society prior to enslavement in the West finds this spirit abiding and therefore accommodates it in its development. It is that spirit that finds expression in the slave revolts. Slavery as the means of capitalist proletarianization becomes obsolete in its expensiveness and therefore transits into full working-classization in the industrial period. The persistence of denial of citizenship rights to Blacks then foments a spirit of nationalism directed at the creation of a Black Republic on American soil. The abolition of slavery to free labour for its cheaper exploitation also opens up a process of class differentiation among Blacks. The Black resistance develops, consequently, diverse class orientations that fuel different approaches to Pan-Africanism.
The centrality of class in Black resistance to capitalism is a constant. It is clearly not an issue bordering on the periphery. It is not a recent development. It is the history of the class struggle in Black resistance to capitalism that defines the development of Pan-Africanism into the 21st century. Raciality is an absolute inferior standard for tracing the trajectory of Pan-Africanism. The victorious march of conscientious resistance to racial discrimination and denial of Black citizenship – leading to the national celebration of Blacks like Rev. Martin Luther King, Jnr., and Mr. Barrack Obama’s presidency of the United States – and the persistence of class struggle therein emphasize the secondary nature of the racial phenomenon and the fundamentality of class determinants in the processes of Pan-Africanism. Revolutionary Pan-Africanism, expressing itself in class terms, emerges as the clearest statement and inheritor of this history.
On Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois’ 1903 statement in The Forethought to his book The Souls of Black Folk to the effect that ‘The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of colour’5 Mr. Bankie comments that ‘This was the analysis which announced the arrival of Pan-Africanism on the world stage at the threshold of the 20th century. At the beginning of the 21st century, the words a hundred years later ring true. Some would add to the colour line the preoccupation with the issues of class, others the issue of gender.’ (Italics added). This comment oversimplifies Dr. Du Bois’ complex analysis of class and race relations in American society at the beginning of the 20th century. What we find in the book at Chapter IX gives us an insight into how Dr. Du Bois transits later from trying to resolve the question of racial discrimination through racial co-operation within the capitalist system to supporting the class-based projects of the 1945 Fifth Pan-African Congress that opens the floodgates of the anti-imperialist anti-colonialist movement.6
The reluctance to appreciate Dr. Du Bois’ transition, which Dr. Kwame Nkrumah talks about in The Conakry Years, and the dominance of scientific socialism at the 1945 Manchester deliberations that he chairs leads to a distortion of the history of Pan-Africanism. So that by the closing years of the first half of the 20th century the racial referent ceases to be the focus of mainstream Pan-Africanism. Pan-Africanism ceases to be a racial reaction accommodating itself within capitalism and imperialism and becomes truly revolutionary seeking the end of capitalism, imperialism, colonialism and, now, neo-colonialism. So that, again, it is incorrect to say that the racial orientation persists over these hundred years. It does not last for even fifty years. That it is said to have lasted to date only reflects a Sankofa desire to justify its hysterical hatred for the Arab African as well as its fears of Revolutionary Pan-Africanism. But do we need to be held down in our studies by our desires and fears? Dr. Du Bois has a word of advice to the Sankofa fraternity thus:
To bring … hope to fruition, we are compelled daily to turn more and more to a conscientious study of the phenomena of race-contact — to a study frank and fair, and not falsified and coloured by our wishes or our fears.7 (Italics added).
In this respect, we need to have our concepts in an unambiguous order. Mr. Bankie does not appear to be sure of the difference between Pan-Africanism and African Nationalism. For, at page 220 he talks about ‘Pan-Africanism, or African nationalism if you will’; while at page 221 he talks of ‘Pan-Africanism never dies, like African nationalism’. He needs to be exact: does he find the two to be equivalents or different concepts? For, cautious usage places them apart and views them in their logical contradiction to each other and also in their dialectical contradiction. In their logical contradiction, whereas African Nationalism represents the efforts to seek the interests of an African country, Pan-Africanism seeks the interests of Africa as a single Nation. As a dialectical contradiction, the two are related in such a way that Pan-Africanism aids an African country against foreign domination with the ultimate aim of liberating the African people for their unification under a single state. African Nationalism preserves the inherited colonial borders. Pan-Africanism seeks to abolish them.
Revolutionary Pan-Africanism does not see that ‘Pan-Africanism never dies’. It views Pan-Africanism as a programme but not as an ideology. As a programme, Pan-Africanism, by Dr. Nkrumah’s terms in The Conakry Years, has a life span which terminates with the achievement of the total liberation and unification of the African continent and its people wherever they might be under a socialist People’s Republican State of Africa. And as a programme it is a movement. It is not an ideology by itself but a programme of an ideology. That ideology is scientific socialism. Dr. Sam Nujoma’s reference to ‘the ideology of Pan-Africanism’ in his two presentations in this respect becomes problematic. It does not only create problems for a consistent conceptualization of the processes of the history of Pan-Africanism. It as well contradicts the world view of Revolutionary Pan-Africanism.
In the construction of the history of Pan-Africanism we are minded to trace its trajectory as a resistance to capitalism from the moment the first African is captured and transformed into a slave. This resistance begins from the point of entry into the slave ship through the journey over the Atlantic to the plantations of the West. It then finds expression in rebellions on the plantations through efforts to create a Black Republic on foreign soil alongside seeking the rights of citizenship to the establishment of the socialist liberation and unification of Africa as the prime condition for the freedom and restoration of the dignity of the African wheresoever they might be. The contradictions internal to this resistance throw up different currents inspired by the class differentiation within the Black community.
Such differentiation finds expression in racialist and cross-racialist concepts of strategy with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah emerging as the foremost theoretician and practitioner of the latter current. Emerging as Revolutionary Pan-Africanism that current fundamentally expresses itself in class terms as against the theoretical practice of the other currents. Through thick and thin it seeks the institutional replacement of capitalism and its imperialist, colonialist and neo-colonialist ancillaries through ultimate confrontation by way of revolutionary guerrilla warfare. In this respect, the other currents, expressing themselves in culturalistic and economistic terms, stand opposed to Revolutionary Pan-Africanism. This trajectory of the history of Pan-Africanism reflects the objective process of anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist and anti-neo-colonialist resistance to capitalism and its ancillaries for the freedom of the African.
That conception of Pan-African history gives the compradorial bourgeoisie in Africa no rest. It embarrasses them. To combat it they organize workshops like the one at hand to distort reality with the African youth as their target. In spite of this and to their chagrin, that history recognizes the pre-eminence of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in the Pan-African struggle and erects his statue in the forecourt of the headquarters of the African Union – a statue that while it towers over the landscape of Ethiopia from Addis Ababa and overlooks the large expanse of the African continent with hope and confidence also symbolizes the triumph of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s policy of non-racial internationalism, an important cornerstone of Revolutionary Pan-Africanism.
PAN-AFRICAN ORIENTATION AND PRESERVATION OF THE NEO-COLONIAL STATE – THE TENSION
Preservation of the neo-colonial state in Africa and the pursuit of the goals of Pan-Africanism occasion a contradiction. As with all such contradictions, this contradiction is in tension. It is a dialectical contradiction. The resolution of that contradiction resides solely in dissolution of the neo-colonial state. Consequent upon this dissolution, an ethnographical re-demarcation of the state’s territory is occasioned to redress the adverse effects of the artificially-created borders which dismember ethnic groups and place them under different state authorities to aid the divide and rule policy of the colonial powers. The African comprador bourgeoisie makes of the inherited colonial state its immediate economic base and therefore resists the necessary dissolution that this state must suffer. But it is an unviable state the solutions to whose problems are conceived in Pan-African terms.
The African neo-colonial state understands, so to say, that it cannot solve its problems without operating in concert with the other African states. Objectively speaking, however, it knows that such an operation in concert requires a certain devolution of its power to a central body. It cannot countenance that inevitability. At the same time, it sees itself losing a part of its economic base in the state and also control over its territory. This dilemma of the comprador bourgeoisie makes it inclined to devising such forms of co-operation as will safeguard its power in its integrity. Unfortunately, this yields nothing. To protect itself against mass uprising it falls on aid from the former colonial powers that provide it with strings attached such that it looks rather outward instead of inward Africa. The situation worsens and to retain power and therefore its state economic base it either militarizes the state or invites the neo-colonial power to establish a military base in fear of its people.
This situation strategically restricts co-operation between and among the African neo-colonial states in favour of co-operation with the imperialist and neo-colonialist powers. In this atmosphere, to draw up Pan-African projects that require the co-operation of these states and assume the co-operation as a given is to be involved in an exercise of self-deceit. This is what the Nigerian High Commissioner to Namibia, H.E. Prince Adegboyega C. Ariyo, does when his paper draws up a Pan-African industrial plan and predicates it upon the assumption ‘that we have resolved that we should trade amongst ourselves so that we can create and sustain jobs for our teeming population’. In what follows, we illustrate that in his choice of China to show what Africa must do he neglects to observe that China and its population are under one government unlike Africa. His implicit insistence on the existence of the neo-colonial states of Africa and predicating the industrialization of Africa on their voluntary co-operation is an exhibition of lack of understanding of the mechanism of neo-colonialism.
In paper No. 30 ‘Industrialization the Way Forward to Make Africa Relevant in the World Economic Architecture in the 21st Century’, H.E. Prince Adegboyega C. Ariyo says Africa needs to devise her own road map for her development. At page 201 he says that unless this is done the current situation whereby Africa’s chances of prosperity are determined by the North could be perpetuated. He holds that the ‘current globalising architecture that made many bankers and a few capitalists richer than the rest of us is not the way we should continue’. He observes that the exchanges between protagonists of capitalism and socialism, as respectively represented by Adam Smith and Karl Marx, do not inure to Africa’s benefit. He celebrates Cheikh Anta Diop’s investigation into ‘matters relating to the laws governing evolution and social change in African societies, the characteristics of African states and social structures and a peculiarly African mode of production.’(See page 200. Italics added)
His Excellency then declares that mode of production to be communalism when at page 201 he indicates that ‘We all grew from a communal background, where everybody was her/his brother’s keeper.’ That mode of production exhibits ‘our humane advancement as a people in all spheres of life’. He then urges us to return to it. ‘We must return to this.’ he declares. He laments that ‘The colonisation, exploitation, and despoliation of Africa derailed’ this humane development. It is in this spirit that he prescribes that ‘Africa needs a completely domesticated policy and measures to improve her living standards. We must own our developmental programmes and execute them. Africa must deploy participatory and supportive relationships in all its activities …’. To this end he makes this claim in behalf of African governments. We quote it from page 201 thus:
It is my belief that the desire and in fact the programme of all our Governments has been and is still essentially to raise the dignity of Africans to the exalted level they were before the adventure of the colonising forces, who destroyed our political, economic, social and cultural developmental processes and imposed their own developmental processes on us.
Clearly, His Excellency stands on the grounds of African socialism – that theoretically and historically discredited comprador bourgeois ideological construct. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, in his African Socialism Revisited and obliquely in Consciencism, distances Revolutionary Pan-Africanism from that construct; and places Pan-Africanism on the ideological premise of scientific socialism. Our immediate concern here, however, has to do with the absolutization of the co-operation, over the entire space of history, which the African communal system naturally breeds. In the neo-colonial situation, we have stated, co-operation flows as a matter of course more in the direction of foreign agencies rather than among Africans. And the resolution of this institutionally-structured dispositional anomaly resides not in pious proclamations about the African past but rather in confronting the reality of neo-colonialism instead of dodging the issue.
Nobody can sanely disagree with His Excellency when he defines ‘the industrialisation of Africa as a process for the movement of African resources to develop industries across Africa on a massive and integrated scale to support the living of Africans and support enhanced African dignity perpetually.’ See page 202. The problem is that he does not seem to appreciate the enormity of the African situation whereby ‘development strategies approved by our leaders with the consent of extra-Africa powers, who have turned round to frustrate the actualisation of their laudable objectives’ (page 204) under-perform as ‘African development blueprints’. This is because he does not see an ‘African economy’; he rather sees ‘African economies’. See page 207. That is why at page 205 he sees things being done ‘Between the 54 Governments in Africa’.
The import of this lapse in his consideration of the African reality is that it blinds him to the long established fact that the ‘extra-Africa powers’, whom he is afraid to call by their real names of capitalists, imperialists and neo-colonialists, operate on a continental basis whereas Africans deal with them in their pigeon-hole individual weak capacities. He then projects this into the sustenance of industrial undertakings ‘based on the economies and political decisions of the African Heads of States (sic)’. See page 205. For all this to be in place, he tells us at the bottom of that page that ‘It is assumed that we have resolved that we should trade amongst ourselves so that we can create and sustain jobs for our teaming (sic) population’. These knee-jerk reactions to the neo-colonial problem is occasioned by the fear of the ‘increasing dimension of the socio-economic and political convulsion that Africa may face if there is no remarkable paradigm shift towards meeting the social expectations of Africans as well as the requirements for improving their standard of living.’
The primary concern with the preservation of the African neo-colonial state is betrayed in the fact that after the elaboration of his Pan-African industrial strategy he calls not for a corresponding Pan-African industrialization ministry but for the ‘Establishment of a ministry in charge of industrialisation in all African countries’ together with the ‘Establishment of an overarching African department that will be responsible to AU Summit for the implementation of the African industrialisation strategy that this body may wish to recommend.’ This subordination of the ‘overarching African department’ to ministries in the 54 African countries amounts to an explicit reluctance to subordinate these ministries to a true continental ministerial organ whose directives the ministries must carry out as a matter of course. In a truly integrated Africa such ministries are only departments of the continental ministry for industrialization. They do not receive recommendations but directives that they have been part of the decision-making processes leading to their formulation.
We are talking about the People’s Republican State of Africa as projected in the orientation of Revolutionary Pan-Africanism.
The problem of the Sudan finds expression within the context of the Land Question in Africa. It is better appreciated within the context of historical movements across the entire length and breath of Africa. Among the Ga in Ghana it finds expression in spirited declarations like ‘Ga lands belong to the Ga’. That is in reaction to what is considered to be the persistence of Ashanti feudal ambitions to takeover Ga lands through means other than wars of conquest. The subtle neglect and abandonment of the teaching of Ga in schools in Accra in favour of Asante Twi sets in motion the formation of ethnic-based associations to redress the situation. In Zaya Yeebo’s short novel The Prince we find businessmen from the Ashanti Region being resisted through the initiative of the peasantry in Northern Ghana whose struggle ends in a local Prince assuming its leadership. The Prince gives us an illustration of the play of class and ethnicity in the Land Question in Africa. The problem is widespread.
In addressing ourselves to the Land Question in North Africa, we are inclined to observe the Berber to have been indigenes therein for as long as recorded history can tell. Being marked by the variety of their skin colour, ranging from black through brown to white, the Berber have been systematically displaced to the West of North Africa. Their numbers diminish increasingly as one moves from the West to the East. Not only have they lost land to a wave of Arab arrivals from the East but also their languages and dialects play a secondary role in favour of Arabic just as their religions succumb to Islam. In their history one observes trends similar to the Guan8 in Ghana and the Khoisan9 in South Africa. These latter respectively have lived where they live today before the arrival of those whose languages they speak and whose cultures they have incorporated to the disadvantage of their own languages and cultures. The question of displacements has been a perennial phenomenon in Africa.
The papers in the book on Black Africans’ interactions with Arab Africans exhibit the same trajectory of indigenes losing lands to the newly arrived and being culturally and linguistically absorbed. What appears to be an Arab African conspiracy to continually displace Black Africans from their lands and acculturating them is in fact found among Black Africans themselves. The Asante movement to the south of Ghana, their non-statutory insistence that other Ghanaians speak not just Twi but Asante Twi in particular, their disdain for and reluctance to learn to speak other languages, their metaphoric threats to seize the sea from the Ga and wearing of certain airs of superiority and arrogance in their references to and relationship with other ethnic groups are realities that must be continentally confronted through deliberate policy. To single out Arab Africans for that despicable disposition and call for their ostracism from the continent are just the traits of the ostrich.
And can Africa, in its balkanized state, resolve such secondary contradictions vis-á-vis the fundamental exploitation of the land and resources of Africa by powers that do not even need to establish their physical presence on the continent? Just as Dr. Kwame Nkrumah addressed the Ashanti/Brong Ahafo problem and established the peace in Ghana to date so also can similar problems be resolved over the entire stretch of the African continent under a single state authority. The desideratum is the will to emerge from the pigeon-hole of the petty African neo-colonial states through their dismemberment and dissolution into the socialist People’s Republican State of Africa.
Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism sustains nothing new. That book is a showcase of the well-known and well-trodden path of opposition to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Revolutionary Pan-African idea of placing priority on the political liberation and unification of Africa as the condition for the economic, social and cultural emancipation of the African and not the other way round. It is not a homogeneous platform. All the same it is united in its choice of non-political means of initiating the liberation and unification of Africa for the emancipation of the African wherever they might be. It is the platform of the African comprador bourgeoisie who make of the neo-colonial states their immediate economic base of survival and are therefore not willing to see them dissolved into that single continental State which alone constitutes Africa’s prime guarantee for the restoration of her dignity in the comity of the world’s peoples.
Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism is better expressed as Sustaining the Wave of Resistance to Revolutionary Pan-Africanism. That platform singles out Dr. Kwame Nkrumah from the host of founders of the OAU as the most adamant in the quest for African Unity. In the pages of the book, Dr. Sam Nujoma gives a list of African leaders who ‘kept the spirit of Pan-Africanism alive on the African continent’. He goes on, however, to state emphatically that ‘Among these prominent Pan-Africanists, we should single out Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who was a true Pan-Africanist and had a deeply rooted commitment to the unity of Africa. Dr. Nkrumah truly believed in the total liberation of the African continent.’ Prof. Mburumba Kerina states at page 27 that ‘Dr. Nkrumah planted the Pan-African tree on the African Continent’.
At page 34, Dr. Zed Ngavirue states that ‘… it is fair to argue that the independence of Ghana and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in convening the first All-African People’s Conference in 1958 turned Pan-Africanism into a practical instrument for both the liberation of Africa and plans towards unification’. Paul Helmuth acknowledges at page 36 that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah ‘was the most active’. We also hear even the Sankofa quantity, Bankie F. Bankie, concede that ‘The name Nkrumah is synonymous with the statement “The independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent”’ at page 226. In spite of all these acknowledgements and affirmations, the Workshop and its book do not have a single paper that tells us what Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Revolutionary Pan-Africanism stand for.
They simply ignore him and his stance – possibly in their frantic efforts to write his ideas out of history. The classic example of this exercise in historical and political ostracism is paper No. 28 presented by Paul Tuhafeni Shipale and captioned ‘Reclaiming the Values and Institutions of Africa’s Heritage’. It spots not a single reference to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in its array of Pan-Africanists among whom Shipale includes the Chief Priest of Sankofa, Prof. Kwesi Prah, whom he describes as ‘one of my favourites’.
Outside the premises of the book, Dr. Julius K. Nyerere says that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah ‘was impatient because he saw the stupidity of the others’10; that is, the other Heads of State. In fact, that stupidity is now overwhelming. It is only important that the youth of Africa, as the target of the Workshop and the book, see it for what it is. Yes, only then will the resistance be crushed or ignored as Africa forges on in the Spirit of Revolutionary Pan-Africanism.
But one needs to understand a thing before one decides to deal with it. That is why every African needs to have a copy of the book under review to know the dimensions of the stupidity that Mwalimu Dr. Julius Nyerere reports Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to have seen in African leaders of his generation; and even the current ones, reluctantly retired or still at post11. Else they might themselves be grabbed by that spirit of stupidity to Africa’s distaste.
- “In what way can Ghana make its own specific contribution to the advancement of knowledge about the peoples and culture of Africa through past history and contemporary problems? … Your work must also include a study of the origins and cultures of peoples of African descent in the Americas and the Caribbean, and you should seek to maintain close relations with their scholars so that there may be cross fertilisation between Africa and those who have their roots in Africa’s past.” Kwame Nkrumah; October 25, 1962 on the occasion of the Opening of the Institute of African Studies http://ias.ug.edu.gh/
- Find the full text at http://www.bartleby.com/114/100.html.
- http://www.bartleby.com/114/9.html ‘… we must never forget that the economic system of the South to-day which has succeeded the old régime is not the same system as that of the old industrial North, of England, or of France, with their trades-unions, their restrictive laws, their written and unwritten commercial customs, and their long experience. It is, rather, a copy of that England of the early nineteenth century, before the factory acts,—the England that wrung pity from thinkers and fired the wrath of Carlyle. The rod of empire that passed from the hands of Southern gentlemen in 1865, partly by force, partly by their own petulance, has never returned to them. Rather it has passed to those men who have come to take charge of the industrial exploitation of the New South,—the sons of poor whites fired with a new thirst for wealth and power, thrifty and avaricious Yankees, shrewd and unscrupulous Jews. Into the hands of these men the Southern labourers, white and black, have fallen; and this to their sorrow. For the labourers as such there is in these new captains of industry neither love nor hate, neither sympathy nor romance; it is a cold question of dollars and dividends. Under such a system all labour is bound to suffer. Even the white labourers are not yet intelligent, thrifty, and well trained enough to maintain themselves against the powerful inroads of organized capital. The results among them, even, are long hours of toil, low wages, child labour, and lack of protection against usury and cheating. But among the black labourers all this is aggravated, first, by a race prejudice which varies from a doubt and distrust among the best element of whites to a frenzied hatred among the worst; and, secondly, it is aggravated, as I have said before, by the wretched economic heritage of the freedmen from slavery. With this training it is difficult for the freedman to learn to grasp the opportunities already opened to him, and the new opportunities are seldom given him, but go by favour to the whites.’ W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, chapter ix.
- The Guan are believed to have begun to migrate from the Mossi region of modern Burkina around A.D. 1000. Moving gradually through the Volta valley in a southerly direction, they created settlements along the Black Volta, throughout the Afram Plains, in the Volta Gorge, and in the Akwapim Hills before moving farther south onto the coastal plains. Some scholars postulate that the wide distribution of the Guan suggests that they were the Neolithic population of the region. Later migrations by other groups such as the Akan, Ewe, and Ga-Adangbe into Guan-settled areas would then have led to the development of Guan-speaking enclaves along the Volta and within the coastal plains. The Guan have been heavily influenced by their neighbors. The Efutu, a subgroup of the Guan, for example, continue to speak Guan dialects, but have adopted (with modifications) the Fante version of some Akan institutions and the use of some Fante words in their rituals. As far as the other Guan subgroups are concerned, the Anum-Boso speak a local Ewe dialect, whereas the Larteh and Kyerepong have customs similar to Akwapim groups. Constituting about a quarter of the Guan, the Gonja to the north have also been influenced by other groups. The Gonja are ruled by members of a dynasty, probably Mande in origin. The area is peopled by a variety of groups, some of which do not speak Guan. The ruling dynasty, however, does speak Guan, as do substantial numbers of commoners. Although neither the rulers nor most of the commoners are Muslims, a group of Muslims accompanied the Mande invaders and have since occupied a special position as scribes and traders. The Gonja founded one of several northern kingdoms. In the eighteenth century, they, like their neighbors, were defeated by the expanding Asante Empire. Gonja became part of the British Northern Territories after the fall of Asante. Even though long-distance commerce led to the development of major markets, the Gonja continued to be subsistence farmers and migrant workers.
9. Settlements of Bantu-speaking peoples, who were iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen, were already present south of the Limpopo River (now the northern border with Botswana and Zimbabwe) by the fourth or fifth century CE. (See Bantu expansion.) They displaced, conquered and absorbed the original Khoisan speakers, the Khoikhoi and San peoples. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa#Prehistoric
10. In an interview with Bill Sutherland in Bill Sutherland and Matt Meyer (eds.) Guns and Gandhi in Africa: Pan-African Insight on Nonviolence, Armed Struggle and Liberation in Africa
11. In his article ‘Reclaiming Africa’s Wind of Change’ in Pambazuka 2009-04-09, Issue 427, Chambi Chachage writes that:
As ‘the greatest crusader for African Unity’, generously notes Nyerere, Nkrumah ‘wanted the Accra summit of 1965 to establish a Union Government for the whole independent Africa’. But, he admits, they failed. ‘The one main reason’, Nyerere further notes, ‘is that Kwame, like all great believers, underestimated the degree of suspicion and animosity which his crusading passion had created among a substantial number of his fellow heads of states.’
The major reason, however, confesses Nyerere, is that already too many of them ‘had a vested interest in keeping Africa divided.’ He then echoes his 1960s prophetic warning on the necessity of establishing an ‘East African Federation’ prior to independence by reiterating why Nkrumah encountered such resistance.
Such opposition, affirms Nyerere, naturally happens because once ‘you multiply national anthems, national flags and national passports, seats at the United Nations, and individuals entitled to 21 guns salute, not to speak of a host of ministers, prime ministers, and envoys, you would have a whole army of powerful people with vested interests in keeping Africa balkanised.’
Book Title: Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism
Published 2011 by the National Youth Council of Namibia and the Nigerian High Commission in Windhoek
P O Box 60 956
Edited by Bankie F. Bankie and Viola C. Zimunya
Printed by the Polytechnic Press at the Polytechnic of Namibia
Reviewed by: Lang T.K.A. Nubuor