Pan-Africanism And Nigeria’s Foreign Policy: Some Contemporary Notes

Feature Article Pan-Africanism And Nigerias Foreign Policy: Some Contemporary Notes
DEC 16, 2020 LISTEN


Pan-Africanism is one of the major philosophical and ideological currents that underpins Nigeria’s foreign policy agenda. The collapse of official racism in Europe and North America, the disentombment of colonialism and Apartheid—the twin evils of external exploitation and oppression of Africans—and the emergence of contemporary globalization crystalizes complexly to impact profoundly on the ideals of Pan-Africanism. This impact has implications on the shape and tenor of the foreign policies of African countries. The objective of this paper is to find out the place of Pan-Africanism in contemporary Nigerian foreign policy with the view of proposing alternative policy options. We argue that the originating ideals of Pan-Africanism which hung on anti-racism, anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, anti-Aparthied and plethora of radical and militant ideas are contemporaneously extinct. This development requires that Nigeria would dynamically recalibrate the levers of her engagement with Pan-Africanism in her foreign policy pursuits. The accent of emphasis, we recommend, should be less political; and more economic, technological and cultural. The imperative of this policy option is made the more urgent and important because the future of Africa, nay the world and humanity generally, is premised on sound economic and technological development in a context of mutual global interdependency.

Pan-Africanism: History, Vision and Trajectories

One of the most engaging issues in the Pan-Africanism discourse is the pigeon-holing of its exact historical origin. While some writers point to the 16th century, precisely 1776; majority of others point to the 18th century, precisely 1900. Although W.E.B. Dubois asserted that the 1900 Pan-African Conference marked the beginning of the insertion of ‘pan-African’ in the dictionary, the credit of the first usage of the concept goes to the Chicago Conference of 1893 which opened on 14th August and lasted for one week. The Congress was well attended and had in audience notable Africans and persons of African descent at the time such as Alexander Crummell, Bishop Henry Turner (founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Churches in Sierra Leone and Liberia), Bishop Alexander Walters of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and Fredrick Perry Noble who served as the Conference Secretary. Reporting on the Conference, a local newspaper, Advance, considered the conference to be as notable as such Pan-Presbyterian, Pan-Methodists, Pan-Anglican, Pan-Missionary and Pan-Congregational Convocations that had been held at the time. But in the opinion of the newspaper, none of these convocations ‘signified more than this ‘Pan-African conference’ (Esadebe 1980b, p:18).

This marked the first usage of the phrase ‘pan-African.’ Another pan-African congress similar to that of Chicago was held in Atlanta, Georgia in December 1895. However, the turning point for Pan-Africanism was the formation of the African Association by the West Indian, Barrister Henry Sylvester Williams, which was launched in England on 24th September 1879. The core objectives of the Association were to promote racial unity and solidarity amongst Africans; protest against colonialism and racism; and to give voice to Africans on issues concerning the welfare and development of Africans. It headquarters in London was quite strategic, as it was the imperial capital. It was the Association that convened the July 1900 Pan-African Conference in London. Subsequently, Pan-African Congresses were held in 1919 (Paris), 1921 (London, Brussels, Paris), 1923 (London, Lisbon), 1927 (New York), and 1945 (Manchester). The 1900 Congress had in attendance 32 delegates spanning across the African world with such notable personalities as W.E.B. DuBois, Benito Sylvian, Henry Sylvester Williams, the Trinidadian medical practitioner, John Alcindor; and former Liberian Attorney-General, F.R.S. Johnson. The Congress issued a communique entitled ‘To the Nations of the World’ that was despatched to sovereigns in whose territories Africans and persons of African descent were being exploited and oppressed.

Many factors were central in the crystallization of pan-Africanist thought and consciousness. Firstly, was the need to disentomb the Aristotelian myth—the intellectual, philosophical and ideological foundations of Eurocentricism and racism—that the human race is bifurcated into class of slaves and nobles; on the slave side are Africans, Amerindians, Indians and so on; and on the noble’s side are Europeans, the master race. This separation of races invariably meant that Africans were mentally and intellectually inferior, they lacked agency, they were the infants of civilization and have brought nothing to the table of human civilization and therefore deserving of European paternal protection; that for this and many other reasons, Africans were best suited for hard labour exploitation.

These racial fallacies awoke the consciousness of many notable African intellectuals of the times such as Olaudah Equiano who wrote his autobiography entitled, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African (1789); Dr James Derham, the first Black physician in America; James Africanus Horton, the Sierra Leonean scientist; Benjamin Banneker, the astronomist; and David Walker, the American pamphleteer; and so many others to refute these fallacies. They wrote profusely with evidentially mountainous facts that the Blackman, archaeologically and historically, has been an intellectually resourceful, achievement oriented, and massive contributor to the pool of human civilization. Apart from the historicization of the achievements of Blacks, they also pointed to their personal and professional achievements and those of their contemporaries that exploded the myth of Occidentalism.

Secondly, the rise of Ethiopianism in the last third of the nineteenth century further poured kerosene on the flames of Pan-Africanism. Also referred to as evangelical Pan-Africanism, Ethiopianism purposed to resurrect, safeguard and preserve indigenous African values from the marching boots of European Christian missionization and proselytization, and uphold the principle of ‘Africa for Africans.’ In the European Christian imagination, Christianization and Africanization, were poles apart; not even in a milieu of acculturation. Edward Blyden, an Afro-West Indian who adopted Liberian citizenship and rose through the ranks to become one of its most notable diplomats and administrators, deployed the Bible and classical literature to show the intellectual superiority of the Africans; noting how Homer called Africans ‘blameless Ethiopians’ and the pilgrimages of Greek divinities to Ethiopia.

The proponents of Ethiopianism pointed to the over fifteen references to Africa in the Bible and the fourteen to the Ethiopian and Ethiopians. Prophesies regarding Ethiopia such as Psalms 68:31; Psalms 87: 3-4; Jeremiah 38: 7, 46: 8-9; Amos 9: 7; and, Chapter 8 of the Acts of the Apostle among others demonstrated that Africans were called to the Lord’s table and as such were no less noble than any race. We need to point out that, not all prophesies relating to Ethiopia in the Bible, were about her glorification and sanctification; and this fact is corroborated by Ezekiel 30:4. Ethiopianism as a spiritual ideology of Black liberation was thus grafted to the wheel of Pan-Africanism to protest and challenge the domination, oppression and discrimination of Blacks in Church and State affairs. Ethiopianism opened the flood gate for the Africanization of the church. Given its wider ideological genitor, Ethiopianism, we should emphasis, was embedded within the political womb of Pan-Africanism.

Thirdly, the social conditions of Africans in Africa, in the Americas, and in the Caribbean were deplorable and appalling. Colonialism was the social and political order in Africa and its exploitative machinery and spoliations were on the ascendancy; racism, oppression and social marginalisation of Blacks was rife in America. For instance, many African-American soldiers returning home from the trenches of World War I in Europe were brutally lynched in their uniforms in Southern American. The political nose rather than loosen given the contributions of African to the preservation of the international order disrupted by inter-European rivalry and warfare was accelerated and tightened. The social and political ecologies were asphyxiating to Blacks and for this and many other reasons the pan-Africanists had to rise to the demands of the occasion.

Fourthly, and lastly, the psychological and cultural traumatization of the Blacks was a critical factor in the development of pan-Africanist consciousness. Slavery, colonialism, racism, exploitation and oppression had combined in a variegated tapestry to psychologically and culturally erase the confidence of the African in himself. He was denied of historical existence, denied of psychological ontology, adopted the oppressor’s way of life, accepted the myth of the superiority of the White and consequently became ashamed of his being. Pan-Africanism fulminated against these bastardizations, it deplored the affectations of Europeanized Africans, it called for the rehabilitation of African culture and values, for an African personality, for racial pride, for self-respect and love. The writings of such notable African intellectuals like Edward Blyden, African Life and Custom; Casely Hayford, Ethiopia Unbound: Studies in Race Emancipation; and, William H. Ferris, The African Abroad; among many other titles provided the intellectual and ideological oil that lubricated the wheels of the pan-Africanist struggles.

The factors that catalysed Pan-Africanist consciousness into concrete fruition are many. However, it is apposite at this juncture to look at the conceptualization of pan-Africanism. In the same manner that the history of pan-Africanism is non-linear, so is its conceptualization. Broadly, it embraces all the issues covered in the factors that lend credence to the evolution of pan-African consciousness. Ali Mazrui in his analysis offered a geo-historical conceptualization in what he calls the ‘five dimensions’ of Pan-Africanism. They are (Mazrui 1977, p: 68-67): sub-Saharan Pan-Africanism; trans-Atlantic Pan-Africanism; West Hemispheric Pan-Africanism; and global Pan-Africanism. Furthermore, he distinguished between Pan-Africanism as a movement of liberation and Pan-Africanism as a movement of integration.

We are disinclined to agree with the compartmentalization of Pan-Africanism and the bifurcation of its fundamental ideals into liberation and integration. This form of theorisation is largely ahistorical and asociological; it at best simplifies and make light of the struggles of Blacks to humanise themselves through the thick and thin of history. The conceptualization of Pan-Africanism must embrace the historical peculiarities, specificities and the experiences of Blacks in the quest to surmount their travails. Pan-Africanism, imagined in this sense as noted by Clary (2015, p:92) is ‘an ideology that has historically been a force against colonization and oppression’, and in the course of its historical movement has traversed the strands of Pan-Negroism, Back to Africa Movement, Ethiopianism, the attainment of political independence, overthrow of colonialism and imperialism, eradication of Apartheid, cultural nationalism and unity, political unity and economic integration of the African continent, and the creation of a United States of Africa, (Lipede, 2001, p: 7).

Olisanwuche Esedebe, a leading authority on Pan-Africanism, has provided in our view the most philosophically profound conceptualization of Pan-Africanism. He says that (Esadebe 1980a, p:14):

Pan-Africanism is a political and cultural phenomenon which regards Africa, Africans and African descendants abroad as a unit. It aims at the integration and unification of Africa and the promotion of a feeling of solidarity among the people of the African world. It glorifies the African past and inculcates pride in African values….in spite of the changes in both its leadership and its objectives at different periods of history, Pan- Africanism has consistently moved towards these ideals of African unity and African pride.

We are in complete agreement with Esadebe’s conceptualization of Pan-Africanism. It remains to be said that with the complete decolonization of Africa, the complete elimination of the trammels of Blacks civil rights in America, the dismantling of Apartheid and many other formal structures and vestiges of oppression and domination on the African continent, the radically militant phase of Pan-Africanism is rested in the dustbin of history. It is left for Africans to demonstrate their agency by envisioning a development strategy that would inaugurate authentic development on the continent that would galvanize the talent and resources of the African in the service of continental social and economic empowerment. Esadebe (1980a, p: 14) echoes this sentiment in his assertion that, ‘with independence achieved, the demands are now for the academic pursuit of African studies, for a re-examination of African history, religious ideas, legal principles and social institutions in which the lead should be taken by Africans in the interpretation of things African.’

The contemporary period is marked by globalisation and its accompanying revolutionary speed in information and telecommunication. Globalisation as cultural, economic, political and technological phenomena have altered and remapped the geographies of human organization in radical ways. The mellowing down of the factors that had hitherto energised Pan-Africanism and the calcification of the forces of globalisation requires that African countries necessarily have to rejig their philosophical and ideological vision of Pan-Africanism to chime with the times. How this is done has profound implications on Africa’s development and place in the international political economy.

Pan-Africanism and Nigeria’s Foreign Policy

Pan-Africanism has always been at home in Nigeria. And this is due to many factors. Firstly, the West Africa region apart from the Americas, Britain and the West Indies was the bastion of Pan-Africanism in Africa. This was so because Sierra Leone and Liberia historically served as the countries that ex-slaves were settled and they came in with massive enlightenment and education. These Sierra Leoneans and Liberians radically propagated the ideals of Pan-Africanism and massively mobilized the peoples of the region against colonialism and promotion of cultural nationalism using the media and many other organizational platforms. In Gold Coast, Kwame Nkrumah, a leading light of Pan-Africanism unleashed his intellectual and ideological genius in the mobilization of the peoples of the region to exterminate colonialism and imperialism and in its stead inaugurate self-rule as a prelude to the establishment of a United States of Africa. This ideational fermentation had profound impact on the growth and development of Pan-Africanism in the region.

Secondly, in Nigeria itself, in the period leading to independence, many Nigerians who had studied in Britain and America were influenced by the ideals of Pan-Africanism and back home incorporated its ideals into their anti-colonial and nationalist struggles. Also, many other Nigerians of Brazilian and West Indian background had previously encountered Pan-Africanism and this influenced their social and political engagements. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who had studied in the USA was a major pan-Africanist intellectual and leading light of anti-colonialism and the nationalist struggles in Nigeria. Alongside such nationalists like Herbert Macaulay, they incorporated the philosophy of Pan-Africanism into their nationalist writings and mobilization rhetorics. It is not fortuitous that at independence in 1960, Nnamdi Azikiwe, became the Governor-General, and later President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Thirdly, and lastly, Nigeria was under the jackboot of colonialism and imperialism and Nigerians were fighting to overturn the Augean stable. The ideals of Pan-Africanism such as anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, anti-racism, anti-Apartheid, black power, cultural nationalism and unity, continental economic integration and political unity, racial pride and self-respect all gestured to the nationalist struggles against colonialism and national independence. Pan-Africanism represented the yearnings and aspirations of the peoples and also provided the philosophical and ideological framework to rally against colonialism and also curry international support and solidarity from peoples of similar experience. These and many other factors made Pan-Africanism to have a fertile ground in Nigeria; and this cascaded into the inner recesses of its policy making frameworks.

The historical insertion of the ideals of Pan-Africanism into the political and ideological structures of Nigeria had impact in the framing of her foreign policy objectives and principles. At independence, the core thematic foreign policy preoccupation of Nigeria was the elimination of colonialism and other external forms of exploitation, domination, oppression and margination of Africans. The idea of Africa being the centre piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy is borne out of this philosophical imperative. Both in periods of civil or military rule, Nigeria’s foreign policy never waved in its concern with Africans affairs especially as they relate to the ideals of Pan-Africanism. We would look at three key foreign policy issues that relates to the ideals of Pan-Africanism and how they were mainstreamed into Nigeria’s foreign policy agenda.

Firstly, the imperative for continental political unity is the preeminent feature of Pan-Africanism in Nigerian foreign policy. The search for continental unity and harmonious co-existence expressed in desires such as the formation of United States of Africa is one of the major pillars of Pan-Africanism. At independence, one of the cardinal objectives of Nigeria’s foreign policy was the creation of a continental platform that would serve the need of promoting continental political unity. On account of this imperative, Nigeria played leading roles in the formation of the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U) in 1963. In the period leading to the formation of O.A.U. there were two major ideological blocs: the radical Casablanca Group, that espoused radical Pan-Africanism ideas; and the Monrovia Group, that espoused gradual institutionalization of the pan-Africanism ideas into the continental body politic. Nigeria belonged to the latter group. Perhaps, it is a measure of the success of Nigeria’s vision of Pan-Africanism that her group triumphed in the philosophical and organizational consolidation of the establishment of O.A.U. Nigeria also played very central role in the transformation of O.A.U. into African Union (AU) in 2002.

Nigeria also played a key role in the establishment of the African Development Bank (AfDB). The AfDB was established to foster economic integration and development in Africa. It is in the same spirit of economic integration that in 1975 Nigeria spearheaded the formation of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS). The integration of the sub-region is expected to revolve around transport, industry, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, monetary and financial issues, social and cultural issues amongst others. By virtue of her enormous resources, human and material, Nigeria plays very critical roles in the life of these organization, monetarily, logistically and diplomatically, and these roles have been central in the sustenance of these organizations. In the face of the many crises in the West African region, Nigeria using the instrumentality of ECOWAS formed Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) as a peace-keeping agency. ECOMOG was very crucially decisive in putting to an end the conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Again, economically speaking, in 1979 the Nigerian government proposed the convocation of extraordinary session of Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.) to be held in Lagos in 1980. The fundamental reason behind the extraordinary session was to chart an economic path for Africa that was freed of the encumbrances of economic imperialism. At the end of the summit the Lagos Plan of Action document was produced.

Secondly, is the idea of Afrocentrism. At the time Nigeria became independent in 1960, majority of African countries were struggling to attain political independence. Nigeria never saw her independence as an end in itself, but a means towards ending colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism on the African continent. The Nigerian foreign minister at the time, Hon. Aja Wachukwu expressed this sentiment pithily and poignantly in his postulation that ‘charity begins at home and therefore any Nigerian foreign policy that does not take into consideration the peculiar position of Africa is unrealistic.’ Pursuant to this policy, Nigeria was involved in a lot of peace keeping missions in Africa and ever since then has continued to create the enabling environment for the peaceful resolution of African conflicts.

Nigeria’s political genius in the decolonisation process is emblematised by the moral, logistical, financial and diplomatic support she gave to liberation movements in Africa such as the African National Congress (A.N.C.) in South Africa; Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA); South West Peoples Liberation Organisation (SWAPO) in Namibia. So involved was Nigeria in the liberation process in Southern Africa that even though she was not geographically contiguous to the region she was declared and accorded the status of a frontline state. The spat between Nigeria and Britain which led to the nationalisation of British Petroleum and the eventual granting of independence to Zimbabwe is too well known to be rehearsed here.

Thirdly, and lastly, promotion of cultural nationalism and unity. Nigeria’s national cultural policy and foreign policy objectives draw their intellectual inspiration from Pan-Africanism ideals. They are all concerned with the promotion of humanity especially the promotion of the dignity and personality of the African. In pursuant of this goal, the converse side is that it rubbishes the Caucasian myth that Africa has no culture and history. Nigeria has pursued this in her foreign policy through such large-scale cultural activities and carnivals nationally and internationally, especially the hosting of conferences and workshops to promote African cultures and civilisation.

The height of this cultural diplomacy was in 1977 when Nigeria hosted the famous second Black and African Festival Arts and Culture (FESTAC ’77) in Lagos from January to February. It was well attended by Blacks all over the world with well over two thousand arts exhibitions on display. At the end of the festival, the Federal Government established the Centre for Black African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) to warehouse and coordinate researches relating to the cultures and civilizations of peoples of African descent. Internationally and generally, Nigeria has through the instrumentality the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) been active in the promotion of African cultural heritage.

Generally speaking, Nigeria has mainstreamed the ideals of Pan-Africanism in her foreign policy agenda in more ways than we have presented here. The point we want to stress is that Pan-Africanism is a critical factor in Nigeria’s foreign policy. But in contemporary times the key ideals that Pan-Africanist struggles revolve around have been addressed. For instance, Apartheid, colonialism, racism and many other vestiges of exploitation have been exterminated on face of African continent. These factors are no longer rallying battle songs. Internationally, the trammels of blacks’ civil rights in North America and Europe have been uprooted. The ball is now in the court of Africans and it is up to them to inaugurate authentic national development or continue to cry that the wolf of imperialism, neo-colonialism, underdevelopment and white supremacy lurks in the corner. Imperialism or neo-colonialism is a choice not a physical imposition as radical rhetorics would want to pontificate.

The contemporary global ecology is driven by globalization. Globalization is simply the breaking down of the barriers for the free entry of goods and services across the national frontiers of nation-states. Globalization does not negate the tenets of Pan-Africanism and it is not an imperialist strategy to hold down and underdevelop Africa (Asobie, 2005; Shivji, 2005). To say so is to deny Africa of agency. What African countries need to do is to seamlessly and contemporaneously weld the ideals of Pan-Africanism into their development agenda. And in the context of our argumentation, incorporate same into their foreign policy machineries. This is the sense in which we are urging for contemporary notes in Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives.

Pan-Africanism and Nigeria: Some Contemporary Notes

We will raise and discuss three contemporary notes in the context of contemporary globalization and how it refracts on Nigerian foreign policy. Firstly, Nigeria should revise her foreign policy as it concerns the African diaspora from racial question to how the resources of the African diaspora can be tapped into to address issues of development plaguing the continent. The African diaspora, in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America, Middle East and the Caribbean is massively endowed. A Pan-African diaspora foreign policy should emphasise the creation of an enabling environment that would incentivize Africans in diaspora to bring in their financial, economic and technical resources to reinvigorate the Nigerian economy that is well endowed. For too long, Nigeria has depended on the economic policies and capital of non-Africans as a source for external economic development without commensurate result.

Good enough, the African Union (AU) at its meeting in Addis Ababa Ethiopia in February 2003 recognized the African diaspora as the sixth region of the AU. Nigeria needs to leverage on this recognition in the spirit of what Howard F. Jeter, a former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria posits should ‘emphasis on organized and institutional cooperation between Africa and the diaspora.’ This calls for a pan-African diaspora development diplomacy foreign policy; a policy that puts accent on tapping from the treasure trove of skills, capital, technological know-how and political clout of the African diaspora. Here again, Jeter’s (2003, p.9) words are apt and bears quoting: ‘this nexus must be built on the realization that the social and political status of Africa and its diaspora remain closely intertwined. Many of the economic and social challenges facing one, also face the other….one cannot maximize its place in the world, without the support and cooperation of the other. In short, the third phase of the diaspora should be heralded as: the push for economic and political progress through institutional cooperation—the commonality among us—and working together, consistently, conscientiously, and carefully to achieve it.’

Secondly, globalization is underscored by rapid advances in information and communication technology. The future of the world is premised on rapid economic development underscored by advances in industrial, technological and telecommunication research. One of the reasons the traducers of Africans have historically deployed in the questioning of the mental and intellectual capacity of Africans is their contributions to modern science and technology. They argue that Africans are only consumers of the intellectual labour of Europeans and not producers. As we have demonstrated earlier, the refutation of this fallacy was a major plank of argumentation in nineteenth century Pan-Africanism debates. Now more than anytime else in the history of Africa, is the need to prove the mental and technological capacity of the Blackman. It is no time to see globalization as imperialism or whip the dead colonial horse to wake up and answer the lack of development in Africa.

But on the contrary, the foreign policy of Nigeria must deliberately insert the issue of how Africans can maximally benefit from globalization through making sound contributions to technological development. This would entail the putting in place a globalization diplomacy strategy. This strategy must lay emphasis on fertilising the technological genius of Africans wherever they may be found. Globalization diplomacy would eradicate the current technological inferiority complex that assails blacks, a complex that believes in the superiority of technological and chemical products from the industrialized countries of the North.

The African flora and fauna, her scientists and intellectuals should be encouraged under the framework of this strategy to open up the technology space and compete rather than continue on the path of technological dependence. The extermination of inferiority complex and restoration of self-respect, dignity and integrity is one of the cardinal pillars of Pan-Africanism. This can be done through opening up of technological hubs across Nigeria, Africa, and in the diaspora, and the aggressive mobilization of Africans and peoples of African descent wherever they may be found to jump unto the globalization train by rebuilding Africa’s image. In the bid to technologically contribute to the development of humanity in the contemporary times, African scientists and technologists must not lose sight of their culture. African culture must be incorporated into the technological process to make African contributions more rooted in the experiences of the people, more unique and original. Wherever technology has grown and developed there is a cultural element to it and it is this element that gives it its identity, uniqueness and authenticity.

Thirdly, and lastly, Nigeria should set in motion an African diaspora policy. The emphasis should be on African diaspora and not Nigerian diaspora. Specifically, the accent should be on the African-American diaspora; they should be incorporated as a critical element in Nigeria’s foreign policy. America is the most powerful nation in contemporary international relations. With a very large African-American diaspora, Nigeria can leverage on it as resource for influencing global affairs. at the moment Nigeria has not made use of this strategic demographic resource in her foreign policy pursuits. This scenario is well captured by Olusegun Obasanjo, former Nigeria President who should know in these apt words ( cited in Warisu 1999, p:168-169): ‘the greatest weakness of the foreign policy of African countries is that although the USA has one of the greatest concentration of blacks in the world, this political power has not before now been used to influence its African policy. Though living within a sovereignty, the blacks in the Diaspora could be cultivated to identify with African interests and if possible, constitute a foreign policy resource for Africa within their various systems.’

In the event that this is done, the African-American diaspora can use their clout to make profound contributions not only in the global dissemination of the ideals of Pan-Africanism, but making profound impact on international public policy and the orientations of actions on issues of interest to people of African descent globally. Other diaspora groups have effectively used their social and intellectual capital to push for policies that are of concern to their nationals. Such is the case of Jews, Chinese, Japanese and Irish among many other diaspora groups in America. What the African diaspora needs at the moment is a leadership that can galvanize its talent and energy in the pursuit of global African affairs; and doubtless Nigeria possess what it entails hence our call for an African Diaspora policy. Nigeria has the resources and ability to pursue this policy. What she needs to do is to match words with action. In the event, Mazrui’s (1977, p:78) contention that, ‘this black enclave in the mightiest nation in the world would indeed become a powerful lobby and instrument of counter-penetration, valuable not only for black Africa but for the Third World at large’ would be prophetically fulfilled.


Pan-Africanism is a major philosophical and ideological force in the modern historical development of Africa. It has provided the organising principle and framework to challenge racism, white supremacy, colonialism, imperialism, Apartheid and other social, economic, cultural and political trammels in the path of Africa’s development. However, the collapse of colonialism, Apartheid, official racism and the emergence of globalization as a contemporary social, economic, cultural, technological, scientific and political force necessarily requires that African countries would adjust their pan-Africanist vision to reflect the demands of contemporary times. The most plausible area to reflect this change is in the area of foreign policy. This paper therefore looked at the Nigerian case.

The paper argued that Nigeria must reflect the concerns of contemporary globalization into her foreign policy pursuits. That rather than look at globalization as a phenomenon of imperialism, it should be embraced and incorporated into the foreign policy architecture of Nigeria. To maximally benefit from the co-mixture of foreign policy and globalization in the context of the promotion and propagation of Pan-Africanism ideals, the paper made three recommendations which it dubbed some contemporary notes. These notes are, a.) the use of the knowledge, skills, technical know-how, finances and resources of the African diaspora to reinvigorate the economic development of Nigeria and Africa, b.) there is the need for Nigeria to put in place a globalization diplomacy strategy that would make Nigeria to maximally reap the technological and telecommunication benefits of globalization; under the framework Nigeria should establish technological hubs and create enabling environment for the fertilization of the technological genius of Africans and Africans in the diaspora to contribute to globalization, This would be a veritable way of dispelling the Caucasian myth that Africans are mentally inferior and mere consumers of technology; and lastly, c.) Nigeria should initiate an Africa diaspora policy that purposes to deliberately incorporate the African diaspora especially the African-American diaspora in her foreign policy pursuits. The emphasis is on the African American diaspora because of its domiciliation in America the leading contemporary global power. In the event, Nigeria would be placed in a better stead to make meaningful impact on contemporary African global affairs in the truest spirit of Pan-Africanism.


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