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20.02.2009 Feature Article

New era of Pan Africanism

Pan Africanism which has been cited in many literatures gyrates on the unity of the black race in all over the world. Some scholars have argued that pan Africanism is an art, a philosophy, a concept, and a movement that seeks to bring together Africans in every walks of life under one umbrella of political, economic and social autonomy.

Opponents of this view have also argued that pan Africanism is just a myth and a philosophy that tries to over-empower the black race for global recognition and acceptance in the social, economic and political order.

Other commentaries have also recognized pan Africanism as a "toothless movement" that promotes a disintegrated community and individual's interest against past experiences.

Before treating the issue of pan Africanism, I wish to acknowledge the founding fathers of this movement. The two famous activists are Edward Wilmot Blyden and W. E. B. Du Bois. Others also include George Padmore, Hugo Chavez, Marcus Garvey, Walter Rodney, Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Patrice Lumumba, and Martin Luther king Jnr., In addition to these famous people are Frantz Fanon, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Ahmed Sékou Touré, Thomas Sankara Francis Ohanyido, Kwame Nkrumah, Muammar Al-Gaddafi, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Malcolm X, Bob Marley, C. L. R. James, Cheikh Anta Diop, Haile Selassie and many others.

These activists used a whole range of activities including for instance, music, arts, poetry, writings (literatures), civil disobedience, leadership experiences to promote their ambitions, personal agendas and the common good of society.

That notwithstanding, the new era of pan Africanism is not to disintegrate cultural, historical and normative heritage, or to promote a hidden agenda, or to endorse the autonomy of the black race, or to brainwash the masses to revenge against their past experiences, or support racism and black superiority, but rather to encourage individuals, race, societies, nations and many others to work together towards the general interest of society.

Not only that but also, to motivate those people who are considered the button of the social, political and economic order to create in them a sense of responsibility towards each other.

These people which I chose to call the "civilian overseers" will have self denials of norms, race, values, history, money, prestige, status, power, comfort, class, and many others to promote the common good thus, the experience that individuals derive for being part of a community.

Examples include community development, popular sovereignty, political equality, social justice and liberties, economic impartiality and a culturally diversified environment.

In the new era of pan Africanism both black and white races should seek to ultimately promote equality and equity towards each other. This can be done when people of races can make fundamental information accessible to assist them in making precise decisions which are comprehensive, particular and customized towards potential realization and achievements.

In this new era of pan Africanism, we need people who will build up a mindset of winning and experience the pleasure of accomplishment by exploring the right opportunities for successful livelihood.

We need people who will not only focus on their nationality but will always develop others wherever they find themselves.

We need people who will maintain the principal bond of loyalty and commitment to the community. We need people who will not succumb to the politics of divisiveness and the status quo. We need people who will have total denial of their self interest to proactively serve mankind.

You will concur with me that the world is gradually moving towards a global economy where race, gender, tribe, religion, color and many others will not determine the norm or order of the day. It will rather depend on who can do the job right towards the benefit of the lager group.

For example, if US had taken into consideration race and color, Barack Obama would not have become the first black (African-American) president.

Additionally, if Liberians had played the gender card, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf would not have become the "first African woman president".

Not to forget about my own county -Ghana, the first female speaker of parliament, Joyce Bamford-Addo, and the first female Chief Justice, Georgina Wood.

All in all, I wish to emphasize on this viewpoint; in this new era of pan Africanism even though gender, race and color differentials may exist yet will play a minimal role in transforming the world into a better place. At this point I am calling on all races to organize their choices towards community development and nation building. We can achieve this dream by helping one another and depending less on government.

Each person should make it a responsibility to transmit the fundamental values of love, faith, respect, honesty, hardwork, kindness and a sense of empathy to their children, family and neighbors.

In this way each person will be his or her neighbor's keeper and learn to serve in integrity of heart, uprightness and self denials towards the general good of society.

Life is too short to make enemies; life is too short to make wrong decisions; Life is too short to be lazy and procrastinate, so let us make excellent use of opportunities that comes our way to bring hopes and smiles in the faces of people we meet.

The new era of pan Africanism: -uniting all races for a common task.

Credit: Chris Opoku-Agyeman ([email protected])

Chris Opoku-Agyeman
Chris Opoku-Agyeman, © 2009

This author has authored 6 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: ChrisOpokuAgyeman

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