Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism: Papers from the Namibian conference of 2010

Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism
Papers resulting from a workshop held at the Windhoek Campus of the University of Namibia, December 6-9, 2010

Published in 2011 by The National Youth Council of Namibia (NYCN)
And The Nigerian High Commission in Windhoek
P.O.Box 60956
Windhoek, Namibia

My name is Ibrahim Abou Sall. I was born in Haayre MBaara, in the province of Laaw in the Futa Toro, on the Mauritanian side. I taught history, respectively, in the departments of History at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (1980-1983) and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Nouakchott (1983-1986) in Mauritania.

I have conducted research within teams comprising historians, anthropologists and sociologists from Africa, Europe, the United States of America and Central Asia, on the following issues:
• the relationship between religious leaders, especially Muslim, and European colonial
• the issue of agro-pastoral populations; and
• the territorial inheritance of African States, heirs of European colonialism.

My areas of special interest are the relations between aristocratic Muslim leaders and the French colonial administration; slavery in the countries of the Middle Valley of Senegal and issues of national identity in the neo-colonial states of Africa. The themes on which I have published articles are within these areas of special interest. My recent publication is: Southern Mauritania - conquests and French colonial administrations, 1890-1945, published by Karthala Publishing, Paris (France), June 2007, 815 pages.

The workshop on ‘Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism’ connected two areas in Africa that have been recently in view, namely Southern Africa and the Sahel – two areas affected by colonialism and Apartheid, in the process of decolonisation and opening up to the wider world. The youth workshop in Windhoek, Namibia, brought together young Africans from the Sahel and southwards, as well as from the Western Diaspora, regrettably none from the Eastern Diaspora – from Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa.

Such gatherings, bringing together young Africans in their diversity, are a necessity. I deem it an honour to have been asked to contribute this Avant Propos. May this publication reach the audience it deserves.

Ibrahima Abou SALL, June 2011


Sustaining the new wave of Pan-Africanism Papers resulting from a workshop held at the Windhoek Campus of the University of Namibia, December 6-9, 2010

Page SECTION I: In the beginning – Opening statements 1 1. Mandela Kapere, Executive Chairperson, National Youth Council of Namibia (NYCN) 1 

2. H.E. (Prince) Adegboyega C. Ariyo, Nigerian High Commissioner to Namibia 2 

3. Statement for and on behalf of Freedom Park, South Africa, by Dr Mongane 
Wally Serote 3 

4. Maureen Hinda, Pan-Afrikan Centre of Namibia (PACON) 4 

5. Statement for and on behalf of the Centre for Black and African Arts and 
Civilization (CBAAC), by Dr Tony C. Onwumah 6 

6. Tendai Wenyika, Secretary General, Pan-African Youth Union (PAYU) 8 

7. Advocate Bience Gawanas, Commissioner of Social Affairs, African Union  Commission 9 

8. KEYNOTE ADDRESS – H.E. Dr Sam Nujoma, Founding President of the Republic of Namibia and Father of the Namibian Nation, and Patron of the 
Pan-Afrikan Center of Namibia (PACON) 11 

9. ‘African Voices’ – Panel discussion on the Sahel 16 SECTION II: Namibian perspectives in Pan-Africanism 23
10. Introductory Remarks – Prof. Peter H. Katjavivi, MP 23 

11. Sustaining the new wave of Pan-Africanism – Prof. Mburumba Kerina 25 

12. The impact of Pan-African ideas on Namibian politics – Dr Zed Ngavirue 32 

13. Pan-Africanism in Namibia and the period of liberation struggle – Paul Helmuth (Interview) 35 

14. The African condition as I see it – Job Shipululo Amupanda 39 SECTION III: Philosophical rationale 44

15. Pan-Africanism – some reflections on the way forward – H.E. (Prince) Adegboyega C. Ariyo 44 

16. The concept of African Unity (Cheikh Anta Diop) – Almaz Haile 47 

17. Sisi Kwa sisi – Nsajigwa Isubha-Gwamaka.M 56 

18. Pan-Africanism – rethinking key issues – Chinweizu 62 

19. Did Nyerere apostate Socialism? – Nsajigwa Isubha-Gwamaka.M 96 

20. The Pan-African upwards trajectory – Dr Mongane Wally Serote 99 SECTION IV: Views from the Afro-Arab Borderlands, with particular reference to Sudan 104

21. Mauritania and Sudan, who is better in Arabisation? – Samba Diallo 104

22. The land question: Darfur’s peace nemesis – Sabir Ibrahim 128 

23. The historical origins of the Sudanese civil wars – John G. Nyuot Yoh 134

24. The Sudan conflict as I know it – Paternus Cleophace Niyegira 167

25. Sudan and Pan-Africanism – Hagir Sayed Mohamed 171 

26. The national question in Sudan seen from a Pan-African perspective as a justification for a united new Sudan – Bankie F. Bankie, Cecil Gutzmore and Jalal Hashim Muhammed 180 

27. Left perspectives in African nationalism – Bankie F. Bankie 182 SECTION V: Pan-African issues at home and abroad 192
28. Reclaiming the values and institutions of Africa’s heritage – Paul Tuhafeni Shipale 192 

29. Advancing the new wave of the reparation movement in the Western Diaspora – Morgan Moss Jr. 197 

30. Industrialisation the way forward to make Africa relevant in the world economic architecture in the 21st century – H.E. (Prince) Adegboyega C. Ariyo 200 

31. Africa-China relations: a Pan-Africanist perspective – Himuvi Mbingeneeko 209 

32. Imperialist neo-colonialist moves into Africa – Andile Lungisa 215 SECTION VI: The Pan-African Congresses and FESTAC 77 220

33. Early formations of the Pan-African movement – Bankie F. Bankie 220 

34. The Fifth Pan-African Congress of 1945 – Bankie F. Bankie 224 

35. Much Ado about What? A critique of the 6th and 7th Pan-African Congresses – Sabelo Sibanda 227 

36. FESTAC 77 as a watershed in the Pan-Africanist struggle – Dr Tony C. Onwumah 232 SECTION VII: Reports 238

37. Communiqué issued at the end of the workshop on: Sustaining the Wave of Pan-Africanism, Windhoek, Namibia, December 6-9, 2010 238 

38. Rapporteur’s Workshop Report with focus on education: by C. Ijahnya 241 

39. Workshop attendance register 243

Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism                         1


1. In the beginning – Opening statements
Mandela Kapere
This international workshop on sustaining the new way of Pan-Africanism is organized jointly by the National Youth Council of Namibia (NYCN), with the Nigerian High Commission in Windhoek, Namibia, the Pan-African Strategic and Policy Research Group (PANAFSTRAG) and the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), both in Lagos, as well as the Pan-Afrikan Centre of Namibia (PACON).

Fundamentally, the purpose of this international workshop is to bring young leaders from the African continent and Diaspora together with elders and veterans of the Pan-African Movement, so that together we forge a new way forward for Pan-Africanism in these times. It is obvious to many of us that there is need for something to be done about consolidating the Pan-African vision so that the youth of today can be inspired by the values and history of Africans. That is why the National Youth Council of Namibia, together with the Nigerian High Commission, PANAFSTRAG, CBAAC and PACON felt it important to have this international workshop.

Over the next three days we are going to be engaged in a number of pertinent issues for Africa and its Diaspora, looking forward for the direction of Pan-Africanism. Part of the work that we will be doing as young people, guided by our elders, is to interrogate the resolutions of all the previous Pan-African congresses as well as the resolutions of the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC 77) of 1977 held in Lagos, Nigeria. The idea is that one who thinks forward must be guided by what  those who were there before us have done, what happened in the 1900s, what happened in subsequent Pan-African conferences, so that that becomes the basis of our understanding and then also the foundations from which we move on. I am tasked with the modest responsibility of welcoming all of you both to Namibia and to this occasion. I am hopeful and I am confident that at the end of this workshop we would have achieved our objective of setting the ground for what we hope would be the basis on which we will sustain an emerging Pan-African renaissance.

We are privileged tonight to have this gathering of local Namibian, African and international guests. We have received visitors from, amongst others, as far as the United States of America, from Nigeria, from South Africa, from Tanzania – young people and elders. So, I am delighted that all of you were able to travel to Windhoek for this occasion. I am going to ask my brother, High Commissioner Prince Adegboyega Christopher Ariyo of Nigeria, to also come and share with our colleagues here some of his thoughts on why the Nigerian Government, together with the National Youth Council of Namibia and others, are engaged in this process. Mandela Kapere is the Executive Chairperson, National Youth Council of Namibia (NYCN). He was Director of Ceremonies at the opening session.

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2. H.E. (Prince) Adegboyega Christopher Ariyo
Your Excellency, the Founding Father, the first President of the Republic of Namibia, the Chairperson, Secretary of the National Youth Council of Namibia, fellow Pan-Africanists and all my brothers and sisters that are here. 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. For and on behalf of the Nigerian High Commission, I wish to recognise our partners in this workshop initiative. These are the National Youth Council of Namibia, here present in the person of the Executive Chairperson Mr Mandela Kapere, the Pan-Afrikan Centre of Namibia and the Pan-African Strategic and Policy Research Group (PANAFSTRAG) and the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC). 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).

We are here because of the ancestors who went before us. There are not so many countries in Africa where you witness the type of workshop we are opening here this evening. Namibian, or South West African Pan-Africanists, were by all accounts more active than their counterparts were in many other parts of southern Africa, including South Africa. The genocide that took place here attracted the attention of the Universal Negro Improvement Association of Marcus Garvey. The upshoot of this is that in Namibia Pan- Africanism has a strong root, more so than in other countries. We are here to ensure that Pan-Africanism is alive and well in Namibia and we need to carry that torch to all other constituencies of Pan-Africanism.

This is the challenge for the Pan-Afrikan Centre of Namibia (PACON) which is located in Windhoek and was created as a result of a groundswell emerging from the Africa Day Conference of 1999. The new wave can only be carried by the Youth. We need young people to carry the torch and be passionate and do the thing because we are in an era, we are in the global economic meltdown. Fortunately, Africa has the natural resources to sustain the development of the world and we need the Youth of Africa to move and the Youth in Diaspora to move aggressively in order to achieve our new wave of Pan-Africanism, which is the economic independence for all of Africa and the Diasporan countries.

By way of information, the initiative to convene this workshop has as its Namibian patrons the Founding President as the Chairperson, the Prime Minister Right Honourable Nahas Angula as a patron, Mrs Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, the Minister of Finance, as a patron and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Honourable Utoni Nujoma as a patron. We thank them for their support. The Nigerian High Commission in Namibia is pleased to be associated with this workshop and wishes you all good deliberations. Nigeria is now pushing this idea of Pan-Africanism forward.

H.E. (Prince) Adegboyega Christopher Ariyo is the Nigerian High Commissioner to Namibia.

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3. Statement for and on behalf of Freedom Park, Tshwane, South Africa
Dr Mongane Wally Serote
It is indeed a privilege for me first to see President Nujoma, because when I see him and when I hear the High Commissioner speak about a long time ago, I see many leaders in Southern Africa who had a liberation movement, who singularly allowed us today to be here, because before it was not possible for us to travel or live in our countries. I, therefore, say to Your Excellency, it is important that this occasion today is organised especially for the youth in Southern Africa and in Africa. The Program Director has mentioned an organisation that I am proud to be part of, called the African Renaissance Organization of Southern Africa and that organisation really tried to open a dialogue about two issues in Southern Africa: What we must do as Southern African people to advocate and promote the concept of furthering Pan-Africanism within the global context. But also there is another very important theme which came from the Founding Fathers, such as President Nujoma, who consistently asked us to find a way to return to the source, in other words, to find a way to define ourselves as to who are we and what we are supposed to do with our situation and what it is that we should contribute to the human condition. It is in this context that I suggest what we are doing here today, is to spell out what we need to do.

Our ancestors as far back as the 18th century, the Diasporic community, founded the concept of Pan-Africanism and the leaders of the liberation movement embraced that concept and went into partnership with the Diaspora and I think the High Commissioner already mentioned that people from those communities are here. It is very fortunate that

they are here. The African Union has defined that it has six regions and, of course, the sixth region is the Diaspora wherever Africans are. In terms of this occasion, it is my wish that it should not be a one-off event. We should find a way to honour those who made sacrifices the freedom fighters who put their lives on hold for us, the leaders who sacrificed their freedom to ensure that we can be a free people. The question that we must ask today is, how do we honour them, not just in words but in actions and how are we going to sustain the concept of Pan-Africanism and how are we going to make it real for the ordinary person to voluntarily use that word or educated people whom we call ordinary people? What is it that we should do to embrace them? When we talk about returning to the source, that is what we mean.

Let me close by saying again, that for me it is a moving moment to be in the presence of President Nujoma. I have seen him on many platforms as a freedom fighter. I have listened to him carefully, as his words and actions shaped our future against the greatest odds in the world, when the whole world, which is a world power today, was opposing everything that we were doing.

I suspect, when I say that President Nujoma was also at the Bandung Conference, where the future of our continent was eventually shaped against the greatest odds. If they made progress during that time when there was no freedom, I do not understand why we cannot be able to do it when they actually delivered freedom to our doors and it is in our hands.

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4. Maureen Hinda
Your Excellency, the Founding Father of the Republic of Namibia, Your Excellency the High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Your Excellences Ambassadors, distinguished representatives of Pan-African Cultural Institutions, ladies and gentlemen. Please allow me at the outset to convey our profound gratitude to the Government and people of Namibia, the Nigerian High Commission in Namibia, the National Youth Council of Namibia, the Pan-Afrikan Centre of Namibia, the Pan-African Strategic and Policy Research Group and the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, from Lagos, Nigeria, organisers of this important workshop for the warm hospitality and for deciding to hold this workshop in this beautiful city of Windhoek, a city with an impressive history. It could not have come at a better time to discuss and act in the promotion of our African cultural traditions, when the values and Pan-Africanist spirit are taking centre stage at continental level and in the pursuance of the great initiatives of the Pan-Africanist movement and conferences/congresses of the 1900s as well as the ideals and visions of contemporary Pan-Africanists today.

The Pan-Africanist Movement, which started in the 1900s, won the reputation of being a pacesetter for the decolonisation of Africa and its Diaspora. It made significant advances for the Pan-African cause. It demanded the end of colonial rule and racial discrimination, opposing imperialism and it demanded human rights and equality of economic opportunity. The Manifesto given by the Pan-African Congress, which was the political and economic demands of the congress, was for a new world context for international cooperation. The context of Pan-Africanism in contemporary times stems from the fact that Pan-Africanism includes the intellectual, political and economic cooperation that should lead to the political and economic unity of Africans. The Pan-African alternative provides a framework for African unity and integration. The integration of Africa will be a source of inspiration and pride. It reassures us in our profound conviction that Africans have the capacity and the will to take their destiny in their own hands.

Paradoxically however, our continent is abundantly filled with huge cultural assets and resources, richness and heritage, yet at the same time these values and traditions are not used to their full potential and are also not fully transferred to younger generations. It was through the recognition of the value of African culture as an important social development tool, and the need for revival and renewal of our African culture of identity and cultural renaissance, that the first session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Culture, held in Nairobi, Kenya, in December 2005, adopted the Charter for the African Cultural Renaissance. The Charter for the African Cultural Renaissance is a cultural tool which will empower member states to promote our spirit of Pan-Africanism as well as to strengthen their national policies and other cultural instruments, which will in turn contribute to the achievement of the continent’s socio-economic and cultural integration, build sustainable peace and win the fight against poverty.

Since the adoption of the Charter, only two countries out of the total membership of the African Union have ratified it. These countries are Mali and Nigeria. As a way of accelerating the popularization and ratification process of the Charter, the African Union Commission developed the African Cultural Renaissance Campaign to advocate for the ratification of the Charter and for its implementation to commence at national and

Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism                         5

regional levels as soon as possible. The African Cultural Renaissance Campaign was officially launched during the Third Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Culture, held in Abuja, Nigeria, in October 2010.

May I use this opportunity to advocate for the Government of the Republic of Namibia to accelerate the process of ratifying the Charter. During the just concluded Ministers of Culture Conference (2010) we were informed that significant progress has been realised for Namibia to deposit its Instrument of Ratification.

In the past decades the AU has been working towards the achievement of our continental unity through consolidating the institutional pillars of integration and building the human network of relations for the continent. By 2015 our aim is to have established the Regional Communities and by 2030 we expect to have achieved the integration of the entire continent. Maureen Hinda is a member of the Board of the Pan-Afrikan Centre of Namibia (Pacon).

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5. Statement for and on behalf of the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), Lagos, Nigeria
Dr Tony C. Onwumah
Good evening, distinguished ladies and gentlemen. May I start by paying special tribute to the Founding President of Namibia. A lot of tribute has been paid to him this evening, but yet considering his enormous role in the freedom fight in this country, there has been no tribute paid to him that we consider superfluous or too much. I thus consider him as one of the greatest freedom fighters alive today. It is a privilege and honour to meet you in person and I am also delighted to present the best regards of Professor Tunde Babawale, who is the Director and Chief Executive of the Centre of Back and African Arts and Civilization, based in Lagos, Nigeria. I head the Research and Publications section of CBAAC, which is an acronym for the Centre of Black and African Arts and Civilization.

The question here is: Why is it that my Centre is taking interest in co-sponsoring this international workshop? We recall that Pan-Africanism itself has hosted many conferences and congresses – the 1900 conference, the 1945 Congress, but not too many of us are aware of the 1956 Pan-African Writers Meeting held in Rome and the resolution of that particular conference. One of the later fall-outs of that conference was the First Black and African Arts and Culture Festival, held in Dakar, Senegal, in 1966. The 1966 Festival was a monumental success and it led to a yet greater and more  successful festival, the Second World Black Festival of Arts and Culture, which was hosted by Nigeria in 1977 and then from all conceivable indications the second festival was an unqualified success because it brought Africans from all over the world in numbers that were unimagined, put them together to celebrate the beauty and quality of the Black African cultural heritage. The beauty of that festival was that it was not the kind of limited festival but it was indeed a very comprehensive international gathering of people of Black and African descent, who came to demonstrate pride, to demonstrate the beauty of black African arts and culture. But, more important, it was not limited to the glamour alone, but it had an intellectual dimension, because out of it CBAAC published an encyclopaedic publication on African culture. Since the 1977 festival had both the cultural aspect and an intellectual aspect, it renewed and rekindled interest in Pan-African brotherhood. It renewed and rekindled interest in the need for Black Africans, wherever they are found in this world, to act together as members of one family and at the end of that festival there was this new challenge: Do we allow the gains of such an important festival to be a mere flash in the pan, do we allow it to be a passing experience, or do we consolidate our communities which participated in that meeting? The meeting then resolved to keep all the materials that they brought to it in trust and hand it over to the Nigerian Government, with which I subsequently created CBAAC as a distinguished centre that since the inception of this organisation in 1978, has been holding many conferences, seminars, workshops and symposia, exhibitions, as the case may be, in different parts of the world such as in Brazil, Tobago, Abuja and Lagos.  That is to show that the fire of Pan-Africanism is alive and that we are doing everything that is within our reach to keep it aglow and to keep it burning.

Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism                         7

Now, the question is: What is this new Pan-Africanism we are talking about? My sister spoke so eloquently, emphasizing the need for economic emancipation. Yes, I agree entirely because it was (Kwame) Nkrumah who said we should seek political freedom. That attained, we now seek economic emancipation. Once achieved, our political freedom will become more meaningful. I think we should go beyond that. The new Pan-Africanism we are talking about must have a multi-dimensional approach, because wherever we go the black man is treated as if he has no contribution at all to the pool of world culture and that is not true. We all know why we are where we are today. So, the challenge is that we must explore the economic dimensions, together with the political dimensions because our political independence will remain a mirage if our economy is not under our firm control. So we need a multi-dimensional approach, we need intellectuals, not just politicians, to show interest in the new wave of Pan-Africanism and indeed, one of my greatest joys this evening is that this program is talking about the youth, the leaders of tomorrow whether we like it or not. I was impressed by the talk about the need for the youth to get more involved, because the undesired treatment that Africans all over the world receive must be addressed and we need to reverse such an unfortunate trend. So, in CBAAC we are glad to be here and to say we will do everything in our power to keep the Pan-African fire burning. 

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6. Tendai Wenyika
Your Excellency, the Founding Father of the Namibian Nation, and he is not only the Founding Father of Namibia but is an inspiration for Africa’s independence as a whole and my hero. Comrade Sam Nujoma, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Namibia, the Representative of the African Union, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Comrade Mandela Kapere – congratulations on your recent election – Pan-African revolutionaries and all supporters of Africa’s social progress.

It is an honour for the Pan-African Youth Union to be here at this historic occasion to be part of a program of this nature, because it is a fact that Pan-Africanism has grown, people continue to be challenged between different schools of thought, between Pan-Africanism, nationalism, capitalism, communism, socialism, amongst the numerous "isms" that touch the status quo of Pan-Africanism. The Pan-African Youth Union would like to reaffirm our commitment towards the establishment of a strong Pan-African system that allows for the progress of Africa’s economy, so that the economy of Africa is inherited by Africans, controlled by Africans, not only Africans but young Africans in particular.

As we deliberate and debate and engage throughout the week, we are here to learn from the fortunes and woes from past political experiences, from Pan-Africanists. There are some names that we learn about from our academic books that I never thought I would be given the opportunity to mingle with. So, we are here to learn. Not only are we here to learn, we are also here to acquire information and to disseminate it and take it back to the young people of Africa. For the Pan-African Youth Union this does not come at any better time, because in one week’s time all the young people of the world are going to converge in South Africa under a Socialist banner for the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students (17WFYS), to fight and curb the spirit of capitalism. The fight against capitalism is not a new fight. Pan-Africanism itself is also anti-capitalist, because capitalism threatens the status of Pan-Africanism.

As a result I would like to thank you all for inviting us here. We would like to pay tribute to Comrade Nujoma and all the other Founding Fathers for their commitment – Comrades Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, the Robert Mugabes, the Chris Hanis and also the Nelson Mandelas, Augustino Netos and all the leaders who laid their lives on the line so that we can enjoy this Africa that we claim to be ours today. We are going to take the second phase of the struggle forward, which is the economic empowerment of our people. We cannot remain content with political independence. Political independence does not define or bring meaning to the thousands of African people who perished. Political independence does not justify the lives that were sacrificed through armed struggles. Political independence does not justify the blood that was shed to water our freedom. Comrade Nujoma, your battle was not in vain, you have handed over to the next generation, a generation that wants to carry Africa forward. I thank you all for having us here and I look forward to successful and productive deliberations.

Tendai Wenyika is the Secretary General of the Pan-African Youth Union (PAYU).

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7. Advocate Bience Gawanas
Allow me at the outset to convey our profound gratitude to the Government and people of Namibia, the Nigerian High Commission in Namibia, the National Youth Council of Namibia, the Pan-African Centre of Namibia (PACON), the Pan-African Strategic and Policy Research Group (PANAFSTRAG) from Lagos, Nigeria, organizers of this important workshop for the warm hospitality and for having decided to hold this workshop in this beautiful city of Windhoek, a city with impressive history and rich culture.

The Workshop on Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism could not have come at a better time, as the debate and actions on the promotion of our African cultural traditions, values and the Pan-Africanism spirit are taking centre stage at continental level and in pursuit of the great initiatives of the Pan-Africanist movements and conferences in the 1900s as well as the ideals and visions of contemporary Pan-Africanists today.

The Pan-African movement which started in the 1900s won the reputation of being a pace setter for the decolonisation of Africa. It made significant advances for the Pan-African cause. One of the demands was to end colonial rule as well as racial discrimination. It was against imperialism and it demanded human rights and equality of economic opportunity. The manifesto given by the Pan-African Congress was for a new world context for international cooperation.

The context of Pan-Africanism in contemporary times stems from the fact that Pan-Africanism includes the intellectual, political and economic cooperation that should lead to political and economic unity of Africa. The Pan-African alternative provides a framework for African unity and integration.

The integration of Africa will be a source of inspiration and pride. It reassures us in our profound conviction that our continent has the capacity and the will to take its destiny in its own hands.

Paradoxically our continent is abundantly filled with huge cultural values, richness and heritage, while at the same time these values and resources are not used to their full potential and are also not fully transferred to younger generations.

It was through the recognition of the value of African culture as an important social development tool and the need for revival, rebirth and renewal of our African cultural identity and cultural renaissance that the first Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Culture held in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2005, adopted the Charter for the African Cultural Renaissance.

The Charter for African Cultural Renaissance is a cultural tool which will empower Member States to promote our Pan-Africanism spirit as well as strengthen their national policies and other cultural instruments which will in turn contribute to the achievement of the continent’s socio-economic and cultural integration, build sustainable peace and win the fight against poverty.

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Since the adoption of the Charter, only two countries of the total membership of the African Union have ratified it (Mali and Nigeria). As a way of accelerating the popularisation and ratification process of the Charter, the African Union Commission developed the African Cultural Renaissance Campaign to advocate for the ratification of the Charter and for its implementation to commence at national and regional levels as soon as possible. The African Cultural Renaissance Campaign was officially launched during the 3rd Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Culture held in Abuja, Nigeria, in October 2010.

May I use this opportunity to advocate for the Government of the Republic of Namibia to accelerate the process of ratifying the Charter. During the just concluded Ministers’ of Culture Conference we were informed that significant progress had been achieved for Namibia to deposit its instrument of ratification.

In the past decades, the AU has also been working towards the achievement of our continental unity through consolidating the institutional pillars of integration and building the human network of relations for the continent. By 2015, our aim is to have established virile Regional Communities and by 2030 we expect to have achieved integration of the entire continent. The transformation of the OAU into the AU, the move towards the establishment of the United States of Africa, the establishment of the Pan-African Parliament amongst others are some of the considerable milestones in this process.

Our being here in Windhoek for these three days is to re-affirm our common commitment to pursuing the work started during the Pan-African Conferences, through joint collaboration and by creating a common vision and action to attain our continental integration through cultural promotion and economic self-sufficiency within the framework of Pan- African unity.

Allow me to take this opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of the African Union Commission to spare no effort in backing and supporting this initiative through the African Cultural Renaissance Campaign and other related programmes.

In conclusion, may I once again thank all strategic partners participating at this workshop for the collaboration and technical assistance for the realisation of such an important event.

Advocate Bience Gawanas is the Commissioner for Social Affairs at the African Union Commission.

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8. H.E. Dr Sam Nujoma
This conference comes at the right time, when some African countries celebrated their fiftieth independence anniversaries this year and following the UN General Assembly Declaration on December 18, 2009, proclaiming the year 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent. I am therefore delighted that this workshop is taking place in Windhoek, Namibia, in line with that UN Declaration.

The ideology of Pan-Africanism has taken root on the continent of Africa and the Diaspora following the prominent work undertaken by its earlier proponents in the Diaspora led by William Du Bois, Marcus Garvey and others who resisted the ideology of white supremacy and asserted our rights to dignity, freedom and self-determination from the beginning of the 16th century during the advent of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

It was the slave trade that produced the forced migration of just over 11 million people as slave labourers. Of those, fewer than 9.6 million survived the middle passage across the Atlantic to the Americas and the Caribbean Islands.

This loss of population and potential population was a major factor leading to Africa’s subsequent conquest and economic underdevelopment while the human and other resources that were taken from Africa contributed to the capitalist development and wealth of Europe.

However, I can proudly state that, as early as the 18th century, the African peoples never accepted slavery and oppression and always resisted slavery. For example, people such as Toussaint L’Ouverture, the leader of the successful slave revolution from Saint Dominique, helped to establish the Republic of Haiti, the first country of African descent to gain its own independence as a symbol of the successful liberation and independence of the African people in the Diaspora.

During the 19th century when European colonial activities increased, culminating in the scramble for Africa and the onset of the era of imperialism, some people of African descent in the Diaspora, like Martin Delany and Edward Blyden, were advocating for a physical return to Africa. Blyden particularly inspired the Francophone Négritude movement, while Delany was the first to coin the phrase "Africa for Africans".

The first wave of Pan-Africanism on the African continent was borne out of the various Pan African conferences which were held at the beginning of 1900, with the most important one taking place in London and attended by prominent Pan-Africanists such as lawyer Henry Sylvester Williams of Trinidad and Tobago, George Padmore and W.E.B. Du Bois. After the death of Sylvester Williams in 1911, Du Bois took over from where Williams left and organized a series of Pan-African conferences from 1919 to 1927 in London, Paris, Brussels, Lisbon and in New York.

The 5th Pan-African Congress held in Manchester, England in 1945, was the most important of these meetings and was attended by African scholars such as Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe of Nigeria, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Hasting Kamuzu Banda of Malawi and many others.

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In subsequent years, African nationalists such as Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Ahmed Ben Bella of Algeria, Ahmed Sekou Touré of Guinea, Modibo Keita of Mali, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Patrice Lumumba of Congo, Dr Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Amilcar Cabral of Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Principé, Dr Antonio Augustinho Neto of Angola, Samora Machel of Mozambique among other African leaders of the early 1960s kept the spirit of Pan-Africanism alive on the African continent. 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. When Ghana achieved its independence from colonial rule in 1957, Dr Nkrumah said, "The independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent." It is for this reason that Ghana became a beacon of hope that drew many from the Diaspora to Africa but also played an important role in building a new Pan-Africanism centred on the continent, which, on May 25, 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, culminated in the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

One of the aims and objectives of the OAU was to get rid, from the African continent, of the last vestiges of colonialism and apartheid minority white occupation. For that reason, the OAU established the Coordinating Committee for the Liberation of Africa, which was based in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. The Liberation Committee was to render assistance such as military training and financial support to the national liberation movements fighting colonial rule and minority white regimes on the African continent.

Through the Liberation Committee, the OAU rendered and mobilised political, diplomatic and material support to all the freedom fighters, with training bases for those who were fighting against Portuguese colonialism as well as those who were fighting against the  minority white apartheid colonialism in Namibia and South Africa.

The independence of Zambia in 1964 brought a new dimension to the liberation of Southern Africa. As a result, the white colonial settlers in Angola, Mozambique, Southern Rhodesia and South Africa imposed economic sanctions against Zambia. In the true spirit of Pan-Africanism, when Angola and Mozambique achieved their freedom and independence in 1975, Presidents Kaunda of Zambia, Nyerere of Tanzania, Neto of Angola, Machel of Mozambique and Sir Seretse Khama of Botswana formed the Frontline States later joined by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe upon his country’s independence in 1980; and resisted the machinations of the colonial settlers and apartheid forces.

Equally worth mentioning here, the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the leadership of General Murtala Mohamed became fully involved in the liberation struggle in Southern Africa and as a result, the Frontline States became known as the Frontline States and Nigeria.

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In Namibia, our struggle for freedom and independence was part of the wider process in the total liberation of the African continent from colonialism and foreign occupation. Dr Nkrumah even once said, "Only united Africa ... can give effective material and moral support to our Freedom Fighters in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Angola, Mozambique, South-West Africa (Namibia), Bechuanaland (Botswana), Swaziland, Basutoland (Lesotho), Portuguese Guinea and of course South Africa." Allow me, therefore, to add our Namibian experience and perspective to the liberation struggle of African nationalism and independence and its wider expression of Pan-Africanism.

The Namibian peoples have equally a proud history of resistance to foreign occupation. We have been inspired by our forefathers in the historic mission to liberate our country from foreign occupation. These are Captain Hendrik Witbooi, Jacob Marengo, Chief Kahimemua Nguvauva, Chief Samuel Maharero, Chief Nehale Lja Mpingana, Chief Mandume ja Ndemufayo, Chief Iipumbu ja Tshilongo and others who fought the wars of resistance against German colonialism, Portuguese invasion and South African minority white apartheid colonial occupation. They stood firm for the protection and defence of the motherland from European colonial invaders.

But it was not until a major milestone in the struggle for the liberation of our country in the form of a campaign against the forced removal of inhabitants of Windhoek’s Old Location to Katutura that confrontation issued on December 10, 1959. On that fateful day, the police opened fire on a crowd of protestors, and in the aftermath killing 12 people and injuring 50 others who put up fierce resistance against the forced removal to Katutura, which was clearly an implementation of the apartheid policies of segregation and discrimination on the indigenous people of Namibia.

The events of that day reinvigorated our efforts to seek our freedom and independence by all means at our disposal. In the following years, the Namibian people became more militant and organised themselves better to face the apartheid machinery which was becoming more brutal and systematic in its repression.

SWAPO (the South West African People’s Organization), which became the vanguard of our liberation, was founded on April 19, 1960 and initially started with the politics of resistance emerging out of concrete historical contexts of the migrant labour and the defiance campaign with the core objectives derived from Pan-Africanism, and with the clear purpose to liberate our country and unite all our people in its continued efforts to mobilise all Namibians irrespective of colour, tribe, ethnic origin or race to fight for the total liberation of our country.

In the wake of the shooting on December 10, 1959, many political activists such as the Secretary General of Ovambo Peoples’ Organization (OPO), Comrade Jacob Kuhangua and Nathanael Mbaeva of SWANU (The South West Africa National Union) were deported to Ovamboland and Hereroland, so-called Native Reserves. In February 1960, since I was being arrested on numerous occasions, as the President of the then OPO, and we were spending too much money on bailing me out, before my fifth time of arrest, it was decided by the OPO leadership that I should leave the country to join those Namibians already lobbying at the UN for Namibia’s self-determination. I had already petitioned the United Nations through letters also signed by Herero Chief Hosea Kutako and Nama Chief Samuel Witbooi.

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I left the then South West Africa (Namibia) on February 29, 1960, crossing into the then Bechuanaland and from there, using the false name of David Chipinga, I travelled to Bulawayo, then on to Salisbury, now Harare, and on to Ndola in Northern Rhodesia now Zambia. Finally I arrived at Mbeya on March 21, 1960 in Eastern Tanganyika which was still a British colony. While in Mbeya, Tanzania, I requested oral hearing with the UN Committee on South West Africa in New York.

I arrived in independent Ghana in April 1960 and met President Nkrumah, among other African leaders. From Ghana I travelled to Liberia and arrived in New York in June 1960 and stayed for the rest of the year petitioning the UN for the independence of Namibia.

In early 1961, I returned to Tanzania, from where SWAPO joined with other liberation movements, the Pan-African Freedom Movement of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (PAFMECSA). While in Dar-es-Salaam, we were joined by Comrades Peter Mweshihange, Hifikepunye Pohamba and many others and started to mobilize for support from other African nationalists and received strong backing from Mwalimu Kambarage Julius Nyerere, the President of Tanzania.

We established SWAPO’s Provisional HQ in Dar-es-Salaam and arranged scholarships and military training for SWAPO members who came to join our liberation struggle in exile. We attended numerous Pan-African and international conferences such as the All Pan-African Conference in 1960 in Ghana and the Third All African People’s Conference in Cairo, Egypt, in 1961 followed by the formation of the Organization of African Unity in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on May 25, 1963.

Before the actual commencement of our guerrilla warfare for the total liberation, genuine freedom and independence of our country, the South African legal team led by Legal Team Judge de Villiers, at the International Court of Justice, made a statement claiming that we were in self-imposed exile and the SWAPO Central Committee decided that we challenge that claim. I was accompanied by His Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba to Windhoek, as we decided to challenge the White Apartheid South African Regime’s assertion that we were in self-imposed exile. We flew into Windhoek on March 21, 1966, and were arrested and deported 16 hours later.

The legal proceedings continued at the International Court of Justice and on July 18, when the final vote came, seven judges voted that Ethiopia and Liberia had a legal right  and interest in condemning South Africa’s violation of the mandate, and seven voted against. Judge President Percy C. Spender of Australia cast his vote in favour of South Africa at a tie-break.

The Front National Liberation (FNL) of Algeria, after their independence at the end of 1962, offered SWAPO to open an office in Algiers and when I visited Algiers, the FNL of Algeria under the leadership of His Excellency President Ahmed Ben Bella, offered to SWAPO two pistols and two Pepesa Sub Machine guns, which I carried from Alger to Cairo and from Cairo to Tanzania, as the first weapons with which we launched the armed liberation struggle on August 26, 1966 at Omugulugwombashe in Omusati Region, in Northern Namibia, when the torch of freedom was lit.

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The armed liberation struggle in the mid-1970s and late 1980s with the independence of Angola, led to a number of successive military battles and the intensification of the war by the combined Angola’s FAPLA forces assisted by the Cuban internationalist forces, and the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) combatants, SWAPO’s Military Wing until the decisive battle of Quito Quanavale in Angola, where the South African troops were militarily defeated, and forced to the negotiating table and the signing of the December 22, 1988 agreement in New York.

This agreement eventually led to the separate and subsequent signing of a cease-fire on Namibia, which I had the honour of signing on behalf of SWAPO of Namibia, with Pik Botha signing on behalf of Apartheid Minority White South Africa Regime. This culminated in the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 435 of 1978, when we achieved our genuine Freedom and Independence on March 21, 1990 and the collapse of the white minority apartheid regime in South Africa, in April 1994, when the first democratic elections took place and were won by Comrade Nelson Mandela, President of the African National Congress (ANC), thus completing the total liberation of Africa.

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. That is the challenge facing particularly our youth. Africa holds all known space-age minerals such as natural gas, oil, coal, copper, uranium, diamonds, gold, and platinum, complemented by agriculture. Africa is also blessed with perennial rivers such as the Congo River in the DRC. In terms of economic potential, if the Inga Hydro-electric Scheme on the Congo River is fully harnessed, it can provide affordable electricity to the rest of Africa, with surplus for export to Asia or Europe.

For this reason, it 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, architects, geologists, marine biologists, agriculturalists and scientists in all fields of economic endeavour to accelerate economic development for the benefit of the African people on the continent and those in the Diaspora.

In conclusion, to all those who came from America, the Caribbean Islands, Europe and all over the continent, welcome to Namibia and please feel at home.

With these few words, I declare this Pan-African Workshop officially opened and wish you all successful deliberations as well as a prosperous and happy new year 2011.

Long Live the Spirit of Pan-Africanism!

Long Live PACON!

Long Live the Republic of Namibia!

H.E. Dr Sam Shafishuna Nujoma is the Founding President of the Republic of Namibia and Father of the Namibian Nation, and Patron of the Pan-Afrikan Center of Namibia (PACON).

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9. ‘African Voices’

Panel discussion on the Sahel

The panel discussion took place at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek, after the reception which followed the Opening Statement of His Excellency Dr Sam Nujoma, in the evening of December 6, 2010.
The panellists were constituted as follows:
• Dr John Gai Nyuot Yoh (Southern Sudanese), Head of Southern Africa Liaison Office of the Government of Southern Sudan, Pretoria, South Africa, who chaired the
• Sabir Ibrahim (Darfuri), Financial Officer, Southern Africa Liaison Office of the Gov
ernment of Southern Sudan, Pretoria, South Africa.
• Hagir Sayed Mohamed (Nubian from North Sudan), Khartoum, Sudan.
• Samba Diallo (Mauritanian), Nouakchott, Mauritania.

Dr Yoh:
It is in our conventional understanding that the Pan-African Movement’s struggle was against colonialists who occupied our land and subjugated us in the most brutal way any human being can be subjugated to – but to deal with the issues of Mauritania and Sudan, sometimes people misunderstood or do not understand exactly what the issues involved are. In the coming few minutes we will try to highlight from a Pan-African perspective why we are where we are now in Mauritania and Sudan. The case of Mauritania, I am sure everybody has heard about it, although nobody wants to talk about it, that is why it is one of the silent cases on the continent and that explains why Comrade Samba Diallo from Mauritania is here to share with us his story and I will give him a chance to highlight what the important points are. Meanwhile, let me introduce Samba Diallo from Mauritania, Comrade Sabir Ibrahim from Darfur in Sudan and Ms Hagir Sayed Mohamed, a Nubian originating from Northern Sudan, living in Khartoum, Sudan.

Samba Diallo:
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for allowing me to be part of this great workshop. I am from Mauritania, which few people know where it is located. When I state: "I am from Mauritania", people respond: "where is Mauritania?" So, I have also the same feeling about Namibia, I did not hear about Namibia that much. So, this workshop is not just about Africans meeting but also for us to learn from one another. So, I will be very brief in starting with the case of Mauritania and that Mauritania is a silent and hidden country, but that does not mean that there is only peace and that only right things are going on in that country. In this case, talking about Pan-Africans and Africans themselves meeting and talking about the future of what matters in their lives, this is the kind of discussion that is not welcomed in Mauritania. I will try to give a picture of Mauritania. Mauritania is a mixed race country. It has a minority of white Arabs coming from Yemen and the Middle East in general and others with an African background. So, the majority of course is people with African background, but the system and the government of course is in the hands of the minority Arabs and that makes it quite different and quite unique compared to other African countries. This minority in our country is supported by Arab regimes and by Arab movements in the Middle East or in Egypt, for instance, and that makes it a country which cannot define itself, whether it is an African country or whether it is an Arab country. These white Arab regimes all supported the oppression of Africans in Southern Africa during the time of apartheid.

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They claimed very clearly that they were in support of the apartheid system and that it is a system that has the right to exist and that it is very okay for them to see a portion of the white colour oppressing blacks in that part of the world. Of course, I was a kid at that time and these things were going on. As a student or as a citizen we just had to cope with this, we just had to accept it. In  Mauritania the Negro Africans were divided into two. The first group was the Haritines, the freed slaves and the biggest group is called Abeed, who are considered absolutely as slaves. So, it is an absolute right for a white Mauritanian to own a black African just as you own your phone and just as you own your shoes or whatever and you can treat him/her as you wish and what I am telling you now is not something in the history (books), what I am telling you is something happening right now. It is not 10 years ago; it is not five years ago, it is today. It is happening and the system is supporting this, of course. There is a clause in the Constitution that it is not allowed for a human being to own another human being, but there has never been a person arrested or charged. There has not been a case of a white person that has been arrested by the regime who owns the slaves. It is common for a white Mauritanian to take his slave to another African country and make him, for example, work for him or stand in his shop while this white guy is having fun somewhere. So, for me this is quite horrible, it is just something  that makes me nervous. I cannot even talk about this, I cannot even make you feel how bad I feel when I see this and for me, having the chance to come here and to see Africans talking about themselves, Africans standing up, women and men standing up and talking about their future, it is a new thing for me. For you it might be something normal, but for me it is really something not seen at home. So, the idea of Pan-Africanism is not just something that we should talk about, but we have to think about millions of Mauritanians, black Mauritanians living in slavery, being oppressed every day only because of the colour of their skin, only because of the size of their nose. So, I think it is time to highlight this issue; it is time to say it is enough. It is time to say enough and it is time to say that we deserve better. We deserve more not just from other races or other tribes, but from anyone coming from anywhere. Of course, we have a lot of issues that link us as Africans, but there is little information on what is happening in Mauritania and what is happening to its people. Maybe in Sudan or somewhere else these types of issues are discussed, but in the case of Mauritania I think it is really a bomb actually waiting to explode. So let us take this issue seriously and let us be part of those who liberate this portion of people that are suffering because of what they are, and that is the oppressed in Africa. You have been oppressed in your home, you were oppressed in your continent and it is like that is normal. I think I just wanted to give you the picture of Mauritania and I give the chance to my colleagues from Sudan. I thank you very much.

Dr Yoh:
I think one of the challenges of the Pan-African Movement is actually when the Movement moved home after the 1945 Congress, the questions that were raised by the Pan-Africans were who was African, what does it mean to be African, was it based on colour? We know that originally to be African was based on colour, but a compromise was reached when it became clear that there are areas in the continent populated by mixed races and we also have North Africa which was originally Black and which is now Arab. A consequence is that many Africans did not want to deal with the issue of race, partly because we were pre-occupied with our liberation struggles. So with the founding of the Pan-African Movement, when it comes to the role of the North Africans and the Indian Ocean Islands vis-à-vis the Pan-African Movement, it becomes a sentimental issue, it becomes a subjective matter.

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The history of Sudan is the history of the Blacks. Sudan in different times had different names. At one point in time it was the Kushite Kingdoms that occupied the territory right from Ethiopia to the modern-day Mali. It was a huge land with different nations, with different groups, with different languages. It is this Sudan that brought law reform. We know that the Kushites occupied the territory that is now Ethiopia and Sudan in West Africa and it is the same people who later on occupied the territory that we know as Egypt today. In the later history they were moved into what is called Southern Egypt today and by the Christian era they occupied Sudanic kingdoms. It was those crises that led to what was later called an Islamic African clash. It has created a situation in Sudan where the territory began to shrink as well as the migration trend right from the first to second era  of Christianity. It became regular that those same territories had wars. In the ancient history, the Kushite and the Pharaohs had a distinct history and then the Romans came. After the Romans came the Kushites who ruled for over 700 years, but then round about the 13th century, Amr Ibn Aas one of the generals of the Prophet Mohammed occupied Egypt, resulting in much of what we know today as Southern Egypt, which was occupied by the governments of the Pharaohs. By the 13th century the last Christian church was taken over. By the 16th century much of what is now known as Sudan was occupied by Muslims.

It took about 500 years for integration to take place. In the northern part of Sudan we have clans who were a mixture of this hybrid evolution. In Eastern Sudan there were many kingdoms. In Western Sudan was the Kingdom of Darfur which became part of what we know today as Sudan, in 1916. In 1821 the Ottoman Empire decided to send an expedition from Egypt to go in search of gold and slaves. This was when the Egyptians occupied Sudan from 1821 to 1881, when local leaders, led by a religious person named the Mahdi, decided to send away the Ottomans. The Mahdists ruled the country for about five years, but like the Ottomans, they had interest in slaves and that also led to some regions in the west and the south, the east and in the north of Sudan to collaborate with the British and that is how in 1898 the British and the Egyptians jointly conquered and ruled Sudan. In terms of its demographic profile, for almost four to five thousand years the population of Sudan became an African mix, where you had various tribes from West Africa, from Northern Africa and various tribes from what we know today as Southern Sudan. The different colonial powers in Sudan brought about something that Sudan did not entirely think about, that because of its multi-racial and multi-religious society, with some other remnants, the question of the identity of the country became problematic.

Who are the Sudanese – what does it mean to be a Sudanese? It was, therefore, not surprising that when Sudan became independent on January 1, 1956, nobody noticed it in Africa. The only country people know as the first independent country in Africa is Ghana, but actually the first African country to become independent on January 1, 1956  was Sudan.

But why did Africans and the Pan-Africanists ignore it? Because there was an identity crisis in Sudan. The leadership that took over power in Sudan in 1956 did not accept the notion that Sudan is an African country. To them Sudan was an Arab-African country and that is the core of the problem. It was then that the question was raised – what kind of country do we want if we want to become an independent country? For one, Sudan has very strange statistics – seven per cent of the Sudanese consider themselves African, pure African, and seven per cent of the Sudanese always passed as Muslims. So there was permanent contradiction between Muslim Africans and about 39 per cent of the population who believed strongly that they were Arabs. Although they do not look Arabic, they believe so.

Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism                         19

So, what does this mean? It means that in Sudan you can be a Muslim and Black, but someone will tell you that no, you are a Muslim and also an Arab and then you ask: okay, what does this mean, why should I be an Arab when I am not? That is why in Sudan we have a situation which we regard as hyper-inferiority complex, where you say because I speak Arabic, and the majority of us do, because I believe that one of my descendants was an Arab and because I am a Muslim, therefore Sudan must be Islamic and an Arab country. It is our belief that one can be a Chinese or a Nigerian Muslim but that does not mean he/she is an Arab. Why should it apply to us? So the question of identity crisis became our main problem.

The Constitution of the country, therefore, was drafted and inaugurated in 1955. The first to contest the status quo with weapons were the people of Southern Sudan and they fought from 1955 to 1972 when a peace agreement was signed. By 1983 it became clear that the state which was inherited from Britain and Egypt was actually run by a few people in Khartoum and following the footsteps of the South, the people of Darfur said no, this government does not represent us. The people of Eastern Sudan said this  government does not represent us. The people from these areas were saying no, you are not Arabs and you must accept what you are. This is the crisis we are in in Sudan. Up to this moment we do not know who we are and that question has been with us for almost 180 years. In the south, in 1983 the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) came up with something new that says we believe that conflict in Sudan is no longer between Northern Sudan and Southern Sudan, because the north is no longer the unified north that existed. The real problem of the Sudan is that there is an identity crisis; people are not sure who they are. So what it actually means is a new order had to be negotiated and that is the basis of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which was signed in January 2005.

As a Pan-Africanist you will ask yourself if the majority of Sudanese are Africans, why the people of South Sudan should vote for an independent state. And then they will ask another question – Is the problem of Sudan a colonial problem or an internal problem? I want you to have this context in mind, because if you understand these dynamics, you would then begin to wonder, the final solution we are talking about, is it about colonialism or are we talking about a new kind of dispensation, where the issues relating to the colonialist state are not resolved? What do we need? Do we need to dissolve and destroy the colonialist state, create our own state and, therefore, do what we want or will we continue with the tired, the damaged and old set up?

Sabir Ibrahim:
We have a message for the Pan-Africanists gathered here tonight, because it seems to me that we in Sudan have been the vanguard, in the forefront for too long. If you go to the refugee camps in Darfur and I urge you guys here to create a sort of committee to go to the camps to see how the people are living there, it is a catastrophic situation. Where are the Africans today and what are they doing about this situation in Darfur? In the African Union (AU) we are divided today into two or three groups on the Darfur issue, we live in a state of denial. We claim we do not know what is happening in Darfur. In our media, who talks about Darfur? Do we leave the white people only to talk about Darfur? Some brothers and sisters, our fellow Africans, do not talk about Darfur, they do not have the time to go there and see what’s going on there. The problem lies with the Arabs and their project of Arabisation and Islamisation in Sudan, Mali, Chad and Mauritania, pushing us all southwards, pushing us, taking our land, taking everything and we don’t know when they will reach here in Namibia.

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Hagir Sayed Mohamed:
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Hagir Omer. I am a Nubian from Northern Sudan in Africa. It is an honour for me to be here. It is the first time for me to be in Southern Africa. I have spent almost a day and a half in Windhoek. I am amazed about what I have seen in Namibia. What Dr John Gai Yoh said about the crisis of identity is true. You will find in Sudan young black people, but they are having white minds and they are acting like whites. You see people who are very dark, but they are never proud of their colour, they are proud of their origin, they say they are Arabs but if they go to the Arab countries they will be considered as slaves due to their dark colour. It is very common to hear the word Abeed, which means slave in Southern Arabia, for example, in Dubai. It is easy to hear, "oh, that is ‘Abid’ slave". It is okay to be an African and a Muslim. Islam does not say that you have to be an Arab to be a Muslim; you just have to believe in it. For the radical Muslims, this is their new point of departure. What they are doing now is to support Arab fundamentalist groups coming from other countries which have radical Islamic views and any other radical thinking Muslims. Internally in Sudan, as a result of the separation, our brothers in the south will be African Sudanese, a Sudanese people living in their own land, but the northern part of the country will be a centre for Al Qaeda extremists, simply because of the problem of the loss of identity. Some Arabised Northern Sudanese will do anything to please the Arabs and the Muslims. What I think is that Sudan, especially the Sudanese in the northern part and the centre; they are in need of the Pan-Africanism movement to secure their identity.

We have heard there are three crucial things that any Pan-Africanist must ask himself or herself, otherwise the new way we are talking about will not identify the actual problem. One, if you live in the United States or in Canada or China or in South Africa or Namibia or Sudan and you are a Pan-Africanist, you must ask yourself the following question – in the times of identity crisis internally in an African country, what is the role of the Pan-Africanist? If the Mauritanian African majority decided to fight against the Arab minority who are ruling them and enslaving them in the 21st century, what would be your position? Would you not blink an eye because the bigger picture is that they are pushing for a united state? If Sudanese, who are Africans, Muslims, almost one tribe, can kill themselves for over 20 years and we are not able to give them direction and then you go and tell them that you want to deal with specific issues, how do you deal with that because of the identity crisis? The second problem that we have, the majority of Muslims are in Africa and the majority of Muslims in Africa are truly Muslims. If you go to Darfur, 100 per cent are Muslims. They believe in Islam and they are peaceful Muslims. The problem we have is with political Islam, the Islam which says we run the country because we are Muslim. What do we do with that? It is an African issue. The last one is the dynamics of economic imbalances internally in our countries. Some communities control the economy of their country at the expense of the majority. How do we deal with that? If we define that the next way for Pan-Africanism is for us to consolidate our political independence through economic prosperity, do we compromise our economic vision? Because if you do not do that you will end up in endless civil wars and the ideals and dreams of unity in Africa will never be.

Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism                         21

On the African continent we have come across a concept called the Maghreb ideal and we struggle to institutionalise it. What geographical area does it define, which people does it involve, what is the economic strength of those people, what are the social strengths of those people and what is Sudan and the other affected areas enjoying from that? We pose this question because we have also gone to the north, where we came across the concept of Maghreb civilisation and when we examined the Maghreb civilisation, we were not very sure how it defined itself.

Dr John Gai:
Let me answer this, this is very crucial. I want all of you as Pan-Africanists to know the debate. The debate was – do we as Africans take a bold decision to define who an African is? The decision was taken by the Pan-Africanists Du Bois and Garvey and that is what created the problem, because Du Bois was more of a sophisticated kind of person and an intellectual, he did not mind for the African in the Diaspora to integrate into the societies where they were living, whereas Garvey was encouraging the Africans in the Diaspora to go back to the mainland. It was when the Pan-Africanist Movement was transferred from the West to the mainland that people like Nkrumah began to say that there is the need to redefine what is meant by African and that is where the question of the Arab in the north and the African in the south came forth. Later on they decided to define the continent in terms of sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa, because they wanted to sort out the identity issue and thus in May 1963 at the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the big debate over the identity of Africa took up much of the discussions, although the minutes of these debates were not shared publicly. It was agreed that a Pan-Africanist movement that is geographically defined, includes the north of the continent, the islands and the people of the mainland. If you are a Nigerian, a member of the African Union or an Egyptian, how do you define yourself? From 1993, for example, up to today, the Secretariat of the African Peace and Security Council is always dominated by Algerians or by Egyptians, the reason being that the African people are being blackmailed when it comes to North Africa, because the moment you mention the north African domination of this secretariat, they say, "Oh, you are segregating the Africans." You know the role the Algerian revolution has played in motivating other African liberation struggles and some people wonder why we do not debate these symptoms and resentments. So the debate was not complete and that is why when the Namibians, Angolans and the South Africans took their self-government independence, the debate at the level of the Pan-Africanists was whether Afrikaners and Portuguese residing in these countries are Africans or not. The arguments were that if the Indians in Seychelles and the Comoros are considered African, why should the Portuguese and the Dutch not be?

I am from Namibia. In August I had a conversation with a Chinese diplomat concerning their political involvement in Africa and we came to a point where we argued about their association with the regime in Khartoum. The Chinese diplomat asked me, "But why do you support the Saharoui?" I told him, "Because they are Black brothers and sisters." And he asked me the question: "But what about the Western Sahara people," then I said yes and he said, "But they are not Africans." Then I said I support them based on the fact that my liberation movement that I support here had an association with the Polisario/Saharan Liberation Army, just like Polisario had cooperation with the Peoples Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN). So, I want to hear from you, Western Sahara, as Pan-Africanists, should we support them or are they not Africans?

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Samba Diallo:
I guess it is a very interesting question. Western Sahara is somehow cut out partly from Mauritania and the other part from Morocco, so it is located between Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania. I am supporting the liberation of that area without consideration of issues of colour and race. Likewise the same principle applies with the Palestinian conflict with Israel. The issue has been affecting Mauritania a lot and the Mauritanian regimes have been supporting the Moroccan Army in launching force against the Polisario/Saharoui, but still the Saharoui are hanging on and they are not giving up. From the perspective of Africans, we should have a common view of the Sahara case and for me, from my own point of view; I think we should support them.

Dr Gai Yoh:
If you are a revolutionary, justice and freedom do not have a colour. Supporting the Polisario is a matter of principle, the oppressing of the Saharoui people cannot go on. The colonial legacy of Sahara presupposes that it is unfinished business for Africans. If you are a freedom fighter, definitely you will think along those lines, as long as there are people somewhere in the world, oppressed or suppressed, you must stand with them. Naturally the question of Western Sahara is a legacy and ought to be concluded.

Our media has denied Sudan and failed to address some of the issues we are talking about. The media has a very powerful influence on people’s mind-sets and what people think about on a daily basis. I think to a certain degree the media shapes the minds of people on a daily basis with the news in the morning, the news in the afternoon and in the evenings and it is very difficult, from a media perspective, to form an African perspective, if most of the news that we feed our people comes from Europe, from CNN, from BBC, from Sky News. We are doing a great injustice to our people with regards to that. You even find major networks such as the SABC which one would think would have the capacity to go out there and do their own thing and bring this information over, fail to deliver the African viewpoint. We all know what CNN stands for and we know what they are doing, and yet that is the news that we are feeding our people. Having said that, what I have also realized is that having been in journalism for quite some time, I never knew about Sudan until last year. I did not know about the issues in Sudan, but I can show you news about being an African and some of the issues that the continent has been facing. So, that is the biggest problem that we  have.

I would like to mention John Pangech. When John was at the University of Namibia he was so dynamic that when we were on campus we no longer saw him as a Sudanese, but we were just young students that were working for a common, better Africa. John Pangech made an outstanding contribution to Namibian understanding of Sudan in general.

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Namibian perspective in Pan-Africanism

10. Introductory Remarks
Professor Peter H. Katjavivi, MP
Ladies and gentlemen, we have three distinguished and highly experienced Namibian personalities selected as speakers for this session, and I now have the pleasure of introducing them to you. They are Professor Mburumba Kerina, Dr Zed Ngavirue and Mr Paul Helmut. They are all men of the world who have so much to contribute towards the enrichment of our session and Namibia in general on a subject such as the one before us. However, before calling them one by one, I would like to make the following remarks:

As is commonly known, the history of the Pan-African movement has its origins among black expatriates living in Europe, the USA and the Caribbean. It was these black intellectuals who came together at the turn of the 20th century to give voice to the aspirations of black people around the world.

The key actors who are associated with the early initiatives of the Pan-African Movement are W.E.B. Du Bois; Marcus Garvey; George Padmore, etc. A number of important congresses were held by them to mobilize people in the African Diaspora in Europe and elsewhere in the world behind the banner of Pan-Africanism. In this connection, the 1900 London Congress represented an important milestone in the development of the Pan- African Movement.

The early founding fathers of the Pan-African Movement were later reinforced by newly arrived African students, who were studying in Europe and the USA. Thus, the 1945 Congress of the Pan-African Movement held in Manchester, UK, was attended by many African delegates, including George Padmore, Du Bois; Kwame Nkrumah from Ghana; Nnamdi Azikiwe from Nigeria; Jomo Kenyatta from Kenya, just to mention a few.

There is no doubt that the increasing number of African students in Europe and the USA during those years helped to awaken the attention of the world to the cause of African emancipation. These African students and their associates were able to highlight the plight of black people in Africa.

The campaign slogan: "For Africa’s freedom" gained momentum after the Second World War. However, it must also be acknowledged that the activities of the Pan-African Movement were also assisted by the more liberal political parties, labour, church and youth organizations, who tended to be sympathetic to the cause of freedom in Africa.

Furthermore, it is noteworthy to underline the fact that the history of the Pan-African Movement has a connection to Namibia. Perhaps, we would say that the impact of the Pan-African Movement was felt in Namibia from the 1920s. The man responsible for this was Marcus Garvey and his Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which operated out of New York.

This black king campaigned vigorously for the freedom of black people all over the world and for the Return-to-Africa Movement. His message had tremendous impact in Namibia.

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He had Namibian supporters in Lüderitz and Walvis Bay, who carried his messages to a number of our towns. Soon branches of UNIA were formed with active members in Usakos, Karibib, Okahandja and Windhoek.

Marcus Garvey never made it to Namibia. However, many of his followers were convinced that he would one day come to Namibia. As a result, some of the children who were born during that period – the 1920s – were named after Garvey, to symbolize the connection with this great campaigner.

It must also be stated that several Africans from Liberia, South Africa and elsewhere, who resided in Namibia during this period and thereafter, were involved in the movement for black political emancipation in our country.

It is therefore interesting to note that it was Liberia, together with Ethiopia, who took the issue of Namibia to the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICJ) in 1960, challenging South African rule of this country.

Today we can conclude that the victories of the Pan-African Movement began with Ghana’s independence in 1957. This was followed by independence of many of the African countries in the 1960s.

This, in turn, led to the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), a continental organisation that stood for the unity of Africa and the total liberation of the continent. The OAU’s Liberation Committee, based in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, had a clear mandate to free the rest of Africa from colonial and apartheid rule. Yes, we have moved from a dream to reality! With Namibian Independence in 1990 and the freedom of South Africa in 1994, the dream has come true.

Today Africa is pre-occupied with the drive to promote continental unity through its various institutions, including the African Union, its Commission and the Pan-African Parliament, of which I am proud to be a member, representing Namibia together with four other fellow parliamentarians.

Professor Peter Katjavivi, MP, is the SWAPO Party Chief Whip in the National Assembly of Namibia, diplomat and former Vice Chancellor at the University of Namibia.

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11. Professor Mburumba Kerina
My respect is extended to the facilitator of this historic conference in search of sustaining the new wave of Pan-Africanism and the way forward. I would also like to pay my special respect to Namibia’s former President and Founder Comrade Dr Sam Nujoma.

I understand that our young and promising Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honourable Utoni Nujoma is one of the sponsors of our conference. May I encourage him to follow in the footsteps of his father.

There is no country in Africa today were the subject of gender equality is not a hot issue. The Namibian women have been pleading for a new position and a higher vocation. I am informed that our Minister of Environment, Honourable Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah is also associated with our conference. Your journey from Namibia to Tanzania and back home, and singular contribution in and outside Parliament has touched the majority of Namibians.

The venerated Franz Fanon, in his classical works titled "Black skin, White Masks" said: "… But society, unlike biochemical processes, cannot escape human influences. Man is what brings society into the being. The prognosis is in the hands of those who are willing to get rid of the worm-eaten roots of the structure."

In his selected speeches Vol. II, Nigerian General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida said the following: "Governance is necessarily a design or artifactual project; it proceeds on the basis of some constitutive ideas or principles, their concrete institutionalization in economic, political and cultural structures, and a general commitment to these ideas and institutions by the citizenry."

General Babangida states further that: Governance and development at this conjuncture of Africa’s political and economic history are inseparable. They interact and interface in a dialectical way. Because of their shared concern, with institutions – building, democratization of political processes and structures, enhancement of system capacity, and the expansion through them of the options and choices open to the citizenry as they seek to meet and satisfy their basic needs.

This is the challenge facing Pan-Africanism and the way forward.

To my fellow petitioner, the Founding President of the Republic of Namibia and Father of our Nation, may I say the following: Comrade Dr Sam Nujoma, for your tomorrow you gave up your today for the realization of our freedom and independence. May God bless you.

The theory of Pan-Africanism was originally conceived by a West Indian Barrister, Henry Sylvester Williams. Dr W.E.B. Du Bois, an African-American scholar, developed the vision of the concept of transforming this dream into a reality as a basic ideology of African liberation.

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Africa at that time, as is the case today, was confronted with the problems of colonisation and slavery. Dr Du Bois convened the first Pan-African Conference in London in 1900 to protest against colonialism and to serve as a beacon light in the struggle for African self-determination.

Between the years 1919-1945, Dr Du Bois organised intensively for the broadening of the Pan-African movement idea and its perspective. He formulated the programs and its strategies along the path of positive non-violent action in a strategy adopted by the late Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. in his American civil rights movements with the slogan: "I have a dream" that gave birth to president Barak Obama.

Dr Du Bois was invited to address the World Race Congress of leading anthropologists and sociologists in London whose subject was: "The American Race Problem". It was at the congress where he said: My plans as they developed had in them nothing spectacular or revolutionary. If in decades or a century they resulted in such world organization of black men as would propose a united front to European aggression that certainly would not have been beyond my dream. But on the other hand, in practical reality, I knew the power and guns of Europe and America, and what I wanted to do was in the face of this power was to sit down hand in hand with coloured groups and across the council table to learn of each, our condition, our aspirations, our chance for concerted thought and our dreams and action. Out of this there might come not race war and opposition, but broader cooperation with the white rulers of the world, and a chance for peaceful and accelerated development of black folk.

I think this statement sounds like symphonic music to the ears of Professor Andre Du Pisani. Dr Du Bois later attended the Peace Congress at Versailles in France after the first world war, where his delegation insisted that the Allied Powers should adopt a Charter of Human Rights for Africans – especially to protect Africans who were colonized by Germany, e.g. German South West Africa, Tanganyika, etc., as a reward and recognition of the part they played in the battlefields of Europe.

Dr Du-Bois was accompanied by prominent Africans from many parts of Africa. Their delegation presented an important petition that dealt with the "State". It read: The natives of Africa must have the right to participate in the Government as fast as their development permits, in conformity with the principle that Government exist for the natives, and not natives for the Government.

They shall at once be allowed to participate in local and tribal Government, according to ancient usage, and this participation shall gradually extend, as education and experience proceeds to the higher offices of the State, to end that, in time, Africa is ruled by consent of the Africans… whenever it is proved that the African Natives are not receiving just treatment at the hands of any state or that any state deliberately excludes its civilized citizens or subjects of Negro descent from its body politics and culture, it shall be the duty of the League of Nations to bring the matter to the notice of the civilized world.

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The text and the spirit of this resolution is reflected in the Fourteen Points of President Woodrow Wilson of the United States, which the American delegation presented to the peace conference at Versailles which was adopted by the League of Nations as part of the C-Mandate that included Palestine and South West Africa.

The intervention of the world war made it very difficult for Dr Du-Bois to continue with his mobilization work effectively for lack of funds.

However, by the grace of God, Dr Du Bois managed to convene Pan-African congresses in the following locations:
• 3rd Congress took place in Lisbon and London, 1923;
• 4th Congress took place in New York, 1927; and
• 5th Congress took place in Manchester in the United Kingdom, 1945.

The 5th Pan-African Congress was organised by a British West Indian, George Padmore. It brought together leaders such as Ras Makonen, Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta the Burning Spear of Kenya who was later imprisoned by the British on account of the Mau Mau peasant guerrilla war. Wallace-Johnson of Sierra Leone was present and with others became active members. Thus the Pan-African spirit was rekindled again.

When Ghana became independent under the leadership of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, a Pan- African conference was held in Accra, Ghana, under the name of "All African People’s Conference" in 1958. Dr Nkrumah planted the Pan-African tree on the African Continent with the establishment of the Convention People’s Party in Accra, Gold Coast (now Ghana), to advance the cause of independence and Pan-Africanism in order to mobilise the people of Africa for the realisation of the United States of Africa.

This is the dream bequeathed to our present-day leaders by the leaders of yesterday’s Africa which our Founding President continues to remind us all the time.

On the independence day of Ghana, President Nkrumah declared that: "The destiny of Ghana is bound up with the destiny of Africa." On the founding of the Organization of African Unity, the fire-brand revolutionary of Algeria, Ben Bella called upon Africans to "die a little more so that the remaining Africa can be free".

It is in this spirit that the Founding President of the Republic of Angola, Dr Augustinho Neto offered Angola for our freedom and independence for the benefit of our Namibian youth and learners, the role that Marcus Garvey played in our history, including his association with the late Chief Hosea Kutako’s Chiefs Council and Chief Nikanor Hoveka and others, I reproduce excerpts from a book titled: Herero Heroes by famous scholar Jan Bart-Gewald for your future in-depth research:

United Negro Improvement Association – UNIA and the Otruppe
As the Herero established themselves on the lands of their ancestors, and turned their backs ever more on the missionaries, they did not only turn to the past for inspiration. They also found what they were looking for in the Africanist message being propagated by the Universal Negro Improvement Association of Marcus Garvey. "In the aftermath of, and partly on account of the First World War, the UNIA spread around the world and throughout much of the African continent. Partly on account of the devastation that the Herero had experienced at the hands of the Germans, UNIA found a great deal of support among the Herero of central Namibia. Within two years of the movement’s introduction into the territory by West Indians, the majority of its positions of office as well as all the branches in central Namibia had been taken over by Herero, particularly those who were descended from the former ruling families.

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In part, UNIA was organised as a paramilitary organisation, with its own ranks, uniforms and titles. It was in this aspect that the UNIA found a certain resonance amongst a substantial section of the Herero population, particularly amongst those Herero who had associated with, or served as soldiers and police in the German colonial military. After the collapse of the German military in Namibia, these men had established their own social support network based on the organisational structure of the German army. This supporting network became known as the Truppenspieler (English: play soldiers) to the colonial administration, and as the Otruppe amongst the Herero themselves. Thus, Herero men, as was the case in the UNIA itself, carried rank, held exercises, wore uniforms and sought to form a support system for members of their organisation. As with the UNIA, for certain regions of Hereroland there was an effective twinning between those in leadership positions in the Otruppe and those descended from the former leading families. Thus, for the Okahandja region, Alfred Maharero, one of the sons of the last Herero chief of Okahandja, held the office of Kaiser in the Otruppe.

Effectively thus, when the Herero chief Samuel Maharero died in 1923, the Herero had begun establishing new forms of organisation and governance, and had sought to withdraw from forms of direct dealings with the colonial society. However, this did not mean that Herero society had been forged into a unit. For this to happen a catalyst was necessary, a catalyst which would bring the disparate groupings that had begun developing on the reserves and towns of Hereroland into contact with one office in the UNIA. The funeral of Samuel Maharero, and the surrounding events, proved to be the catalyst for which the Herero had been waiting. Whilst the Herero involvement in the UNIA provided the organisational structures which were necessary for the establishment, for the first time in restoration of patriarchy in Herero society, and it was the first presentation of Herero society as the Herero believed it ought to be. In this representation of Herero society, there was a conscious drawing on the past for inspiration.

Samuel Maharero was a chief who had been installed when the Herero were still paramount over their own lands and destiny. He died in a period of time in which the Herero had lost control over their own lands and destiny. In his life Samuel Maharero carried the extremes of Herero existence: independence and colonial subjugation. His death forced the Herero to rethink and discuss his life and times and thus provided the Herero with the link back into their own past. The period of time, more than four months, that it took to get him buried, provided the Herero with ample time to discuss and anticipate his funeral. The build-up that climaxed in the funeral of Samuel Maharero led to the Herero discussing and analysing the causes of their downfall.

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In early 1922, a rather flustered missionary Kuhlmann explained to his superiors that the following words had appeared emblazoned in indelible tar paint on rocks at the side of a road leading into Omaruru: "Omaruru 5th February 1922. This land belongs to Michael (Tjisiseta). This land is not yours; it is the property of America and the Herero."

As if this was not dramatic enough, one of the rocks was also adorned with a mural which depicted a hand gripping a flaming heart. The Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) had arrived in Namibia. The conflation of historical claims to the land with images and ideas of the UNIA clearly showed that the millenarian ideas engendered by the UNIA elsewhere in Africa had caught on here as well. The missionaries were quick to claim that the Herero were being "communistically manipulated" by outside forces operating from within the Herero reserves. But, though the movement had developed amongst immigrant communities in the south of Namibia, by 1922 UNIA had become the main unifying organisation amongst the African communities of the territory, and would remain as such until the death of Samuel Maharero in 1923.

In October of 1920, the Universal Negro Improvement Association was introduced to Namibia, when a number of West Africans and West Indians, working in Lüderitz, set about establishing Division Number 294 of the UNIA. Initially the movement was confined solely to West Africans and West Indians, and reflected their interests. We are given a better understanding of these matters in an article that appeared in the NegroWorld.

The driving force behind the UNIA, and its spread into Namibia society as a whole, was Fitzherbert Headly, a West Indian employed as a Chief Stevedore in Lüderitz harbour. In December 1921, whilst on a month-long leave, Headly travelled to Windhoek. Here Headly held meetings with Herero, Nama and Damara leaders. He was a charismatic man and extremely successful in his meetings with the Herero leadership of Windhoek.  

Consequently, a branch office of the UNIA was established in Windhoek. Hosea Kutako, who a few months previously had been appointed by Samuel Maharero as his successor and representative in Namibia; John Aaron Simon Mungunda, Hosea’s brother who had fought for the South Africans in German East Africa; Nikanoor Hoveka, the Ovambanderu headman in Windhoek; along with Headly and a number of other men submitted a new year’s greeting to the mayor of Windhoek in January 1922. In it, they announced the establishment of their organisation and demanded that the municipality assign them a stand to "erect a suitable hall for conducting our meetings in an orderly manner".

With its red membership cards, red, green and black rosettes, newspapers, calendars and the promise of far more, the UNIA attracted the attention of the territory’s African inhabitants. The UNIA members believed that their contribution money would be used to purchase land for Africans. This linked up with Fredrick Maharero’s earlier visit to Namibia, during which he had collected money for the purpose of purchasing a farm for his father who wished to return to Namibia. By January 1922, it was claimed that an estimated 500 people had become members of the movement in Windhoek. In April 1922 a branch was opened in Lüderitz, and in October 1922 meetings were held in Karibib and Usakos, with the aim of opening further UNIA offices.

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For the Herero however, UNIA continued to be the vehicle for their ideas and demands. By October of 1922, UNIA in central SWA had become dominated by Herero. When UNIA sought to open offices in Karibib and Usakos, those sent to initiate the movement were Herero, John Hungunda (probably John Mungunda) and Theodor Hanbanue. A month later West Africans, who had initially dominated the movement, lost control of the Windhoek branch of the UNIA to the Herero royals. John Aaron Simon Mungunda, the brother of Hosea Kutako who had fought in Tanganyika, became president, and Clemens Kapuuo, the man who would succeed Kutako as chief of the Herero in Namibia, became secretary of the Windhoek branch.

A network developed that extended from Lüderitz and Keetmanshoop in the south, to Gobabis in the east, Tsumeb, Grootfontein and Otjiwarongo in the north, Swakopmund and Omaruru in the west and Okahandja and Windhoek in the centre of the territory. The regiments formed an organisation which looked after the welfare of its members, a social structure to replace the society which they did not have or were only marginally part of.

Ideas within the administration were divided with regard to the Otruppe and ranged from outright rejection and demands for the outright banning of the movement, to benevolent mocking. Hans Joel, an Otruppe commander in Lüderitz, who had asked if he and his colleagues could be "allowed to play as soldiers, i.e. to drill as soldiers in the military", was informed that his application was refused and that "there are other forms of sport such as football and cricket in which you can indulge without being interfered with".

However, apart from these light-hearted exchanges, the administration was clearly worried by the sight of blacks in uniforms. In 1919 shopkeepers wrote to the administration asking whether they were permitted to sell military-style tunics to Africans. At the time there was a debate raging in the administration as to exactly what constituted resistance or opposition to the administration. After much deliberation it was decided that Africans could wear military tunics as long as they did not sport red flashes on their tunics, red flashes being the symbol of Otjiserandu, the red flag and the colour of the troops of Maharero. Already at this stage the fear of communist-inspired agitation had developed in Namibia; the outright rejection of the administration of the socialist red flag can only have served to legitimate it further in the eyes of the Herero who had returned from the  mines in South Africa where the socialist movement was gaining ground. That is, the power inherent in the symbolism of the socialist revolution was also transferred to the red flag of the Otjiserandu, thereby giving it an even greater appeal to legitimation and universalism.

Be that as it may, the militarism inherent in the Otruppe, its liberal use of universalistic symbols and its creation of a world that operated independently of the colonial administration, mirrored that of the movement created by Marcus Garvey – the Universal Negro Improvement Association, which swept across southern African in the early 1920s.

At this point I refer to the message of Dr Nkrumah to African youth, in which he said: "Today, more than ever before, Africa needs a dynamic youth movement having its own identity and free of the apprehensions and servility which are the price some other youths of Africa still have to pay for remaining in neo-colonial bondage.

If the youth of Africa are to shoulder their future responsibilities with honour, they must themselves prepare the ground for a re-direction of the thinking of the youth from the ignoble necessity of compromise and ad justment to all that enslave them. They must find their own way of eradicating that mal-adjustment which finds expression in cynical attitudes or insolent silence towards the ideals of those who seek to create a new personality for the African. The African youth must learn to shoulder the responsibilities of a people not only struggling to be free, but also making every effort to create and sustain their own institutions and to accelerate economic and social progress. The African people have a common destiny and a vested interest in peace.

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Professor Mburumba Kerina is a Namibian veteran politician who was part of the process of petitioning the United Nations for the liberation of the then South West Africa, as well as naming the country Namibia.

1. Rev. Dr Mojola Agbedi. Inaugural Sermon delivered at the celebration of the African Church
2. J.E. Casely Hayford. Extracts from Gold Coast Native Institutions
3. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. Facing Mount Kenya
4. Bandele Omoniyi. A Defence of the Ethiopian Movement
5. J.E. Casely Hayford. African Nationality from Ethiopian Unbound
6. J.E. Casely Hayford. The future of West Africa
7. Kobina Sekyi. The parting of ways
8. Lamine Senghor. The Negro’s fight for Freedom
9. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. The Future of Pan-Africanism
10. Haile Selassie. Towards African Unity
11. Julius Nyerere. The Dilemma of a Pan-Africanist
12. Marcus Garvey. The Philosophy and Opinion
Youth and politics
13. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. Renascent Africa
14. Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Conscientism
15. Amilcar Cabral. National Liberation and Culture
16. Address to the Nations of the World by the Pan-African Conference in London, 1900 
17. Resolution of the Pan-African Congress, Paris, 1919
18. London Manifesto of the Pan-African Congress, 1921
19. Resolutions of the Pan-African Congress, Manchester, 1945
20. P. Olisanwuche Esedebe. The Idea and Movement, 1776-1991. (Second Edition)

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12. The impact of Pan-African ideas on Namibian politics
Dr Zed Ngavirue
This brief contribution serves to highlight a few Pan-African ideas and events which have had a direct bearing on Namibian politics.

As a point of departure, it is important to recognise the fact that the roots of Pan-Africanism itself can be traced back to several sources such as the struggle for freedom among the Blacks of the Diaspora as well as African primary resistance against colonisation.

The successful Haitian revolution (early 1790s), followed by the resettlement of freed slaves by the British (at Freetown, 1787), the Americans (in Liberia, 1821) and the French (at Libreville in the early 1840s) on the west coast of Africa, could not have been without influence on the Back-to-Africa movement and the idea of Africa for the Africans.

It is therefore remarkable that events and ideas in scattered, faraway places should have congealed into a force that made a lasting impact on an otherwise isolated, small country hemmed in by two deserts at the south-western tip of the African continent.

The following account bears testimony:
1. It has been pointed out that apart from the many reasons that compelled Hendrik Witbooi to declare war against the Germans in 1904, he was also encouraged by Stuurman, an Africanist from the Cape, who had successfully sold him the idea of "Africa for the Africans".

1.2. One of the facts that are rarely mentioned in the history of the League of Nations is that the Pan-African Conference of 1919 was the first to propose the idea of a "Permanent Mandates Bureau" for the international supervision of the former German colonies. The Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations which resulted from this initiative is generally attributed to President Woodrow Wilson’s stance against the annexation of the former German colonies by the victorious powers. President Woodrow’s stand led to the creation of the mandate system as a compromise.

2 General Jan Smuts, whose plan to annex South West Africa (Namibia) to South Africa was thwarted by Wilson’s opposition, came up with the architecture which others used to classify the mandates into categories of A, B and C. However, Smuts ensured that South West Africa fell into the C category that permitted the Mandatory Power to rule the Mandate as an integral part of her own territory.

Nevertheless, it was the Mandates Commission, a body that resulted from an initiative of the Pan-Africanists, which checked South Africa’s excesses in the South West Africa (Namibia) Mandate throughout the inter-war period.

3.3. Of all the Pan-African initiatives that have had a direct bearing on Namibia, the establishment of branches of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), first in Lüderitz and Windhoek, but later also in other towns, was the one that had the greatest impact on Namibian politics at the grassroots level.

4 First founded by Marcus Garvey in Jamaica in 1914, for the purpose of returning Negroes to Africa to form an empire there, UNIA became a significant movement when its founder established himself in New York in 1917.

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The founders of the Namibian chapter of UNIA in 1921 were Africans from Liberia, the Cameroons, Sierra Leone and the Gold Coast (Ghana).

However, UNIA’s membership cut across different ethnic groups and it is also noteworthy that a man such as Hosea Kutako, who rose to prominence and others of his ilk became disciples of Marcus Garvey. The popularity of UNIA among ordinary Namibians at the time is borne out by the possession of the name Garvey by quite a few people born in the 1920s.

5 As could be expected, the rise of such an influential African movement drew the attention of the colonial government as well as the German community and their newspaper, the Allgemeine Zeitung.

According to UNIA, the Germans criticized the movement, discouraging the link between Namibians and Liberia, to which UNIA’s chief representative, Fritz H. Headly, replied: "... the Negroes that are domiciled in the Protectorate [SWA], have as much interest at stake into the Financial and Industrial development of the Republic of Liberia ... just as those Germans that are domiciled in different parts of the Universe, are interested in the development of the German Empire ...."

6 It was with an obvious measure of relief that Government reports recorded the decline of UNIA, claiming that by 1925 the movement was "only kept alive by newspapers received from the Union [i.e. South Africa] and America which contained inflammatory articles".

7 The head of the German mission church, Dr Heinrich Vedder’s explanation for UNIA’s decline was that the movement made false and fantastic promises, "... it gradually dawned upon them [the Namibians] that they had been deceived".

8 What none of the above commentators mentioned, a fact which UNIA’s followers in Namibia might not have been aware of, is that Marcus Garvey was imprisoned in New York in 1925 and later (1927) deported to Jamaica. These developments undoubtedly stymied Garvey’s program, even though it stands to reason that in light of the balance of world power that existed at the time, UNIA’s success would have in my case been limited.

On the other hand, it can be concluded that UNIA’s activities can be counted among the precursors to the resurgence of African nationalism in Namibia.

Besides, Fritz Headly’s position concerning the link between Namibia and Liberia has been vindicated – in 1960 Liberia and Ethiopia sued South Africa at the International Court of Justice on behalf of the people of Namibia.

4. After the Second World War, Pan-African solidarity with Namibia was first demonstrated by the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa and the Botswana chiefs when Jan Smuts introduced yet anew his plan for annexing Namibia at the United Nations. Both the ANC and the Botswana chiefs petitioned the UN against annexation.9

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5. However, it is fair to argue that the independence of Ghana and the role of 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.

More importantly, Dr Nkrumah’s declaration that the independence of Ghana would be meaningless unless it was followed by the liberation of the rest of Africa, and his role henceforward, began to conscientise not only the Namibians from where UNIA left off,10 but all the people of Africa. It is true that Nkrumah’s declaration might be considered as a refrain of earlier Pan-African pronouncements by the founding fathers. For instance, closer to home his fellow West African, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, whose own education and Pan-African background is quite similar to that of Nkrumah, once declared that: "If he who strikes the first blow [for political autonomy] does so sincerely for the benefit of the many, then the many, must rally round him, especially in time of distress." This is a practical way of demonstrating mutual aid as a factor of political evolution.11 Namibia, whose modern struggle for self-determination and independence must have been one of the longest to involve Africa and the entire international community, puts a premium on Pan-Africanism, rallying round the African Union (AU), with a firm commitment to the objective of continental unity. Her acknowledged contribution to peace-keeping efforts, among others, bears testimony to Namibia’s abiding commitment.

Dr Zed Ngavirue is a veteran in Namibian politics, former diplomat and was the first Director General of the National Planning Commission of Namibia.

1. H. Drechsler. Südwest-Afrika unter Deutcher Kolonialherrschaft, Berlin, 1966, p. 70
2. Gail-Maryse Cockram, who gives one of the most detailed accounts of the negotiations on the creation of mandates, makes no mention of this important point (see C-M. Cockram.
South West African Mandate, Cape Town, 1976
3. See Ibid, particularly chapters IV and V, pp. 104-163
4. Z. Ngavirue.
Political Parties and Interest Groups in South West Africa (Namibia), Basel, 1997, (first submitted as thesis for the D. Phil in Oxford in 1972), pp. 189-191
5. Ibid, p. 190; Tony Emmet’s PhD thesis gives more details on the history and activities on UNIA,
Popular Resistance and the roots of Nationalism in Namibia, 1915- 1966, Basel,1999, Chapter 6, pp.139-154
6. Z. Ngavirue. op.cit. p. 191
7. Ibid, p. 190
8. Ibid, p. 190
9. Mary Benson.
The African Patriots, London, 1963, pp.138-140; Z. Ngavirue. op.cit. p.138
10. Nkrumah’s autobiography as well as other literature from Ghana was read widely in Namibia
11. Nnamdi Azikiwe quoted in Martin Minogue & Judith Melloy.
African Aims and Attitudes, Cambridge, 1974, p. 35

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13. Pan-Africanism in Namibia and the period of the liberation struggle
Paul Helmuth
First, I want to thank the High Commissioner of Nigeria to Namibia, Prince Adegboyega Christopher Ariyo for the work he has been doing in Namibia and for Nigeria. Nigeria has many connections with Namibia. Persons such as Professor Peter Katjavivi and Dr Iyambo Indongo, personal physician to the Founding President (Dr Sam Nujoma), were trained in Nigeria, as well as many others. There are a host of things that Prince Ariyo has done here, which of course Namibians do not know. There are nurses coming to Namibia to assist us, there are teachers, I think they are 32 in number, who are in Namibia.

Coming to our Pan-African Movement and congresses, specifically in Namibia we did not know much about congresses, especially myself, until I left Namibia. For one, I have to say, that our first guerrilla fighter was Hosea Kutako. This gentleman, who later was appointed as the Chief of the Hereros, was the first guerrilla fighter in Namibia, whom I call the Father of the Revolution here. Hosea Kutako fought the Germans and then he was arrested. He escaped and went to the Erongo Mountains. He spent most of his time there until the war ended and then he was appointed as the Chief of the Hereros. I want to underline that he was the first guerrilla fighter in Namibia before we took up the second guerrilla war in Namibia.

In 1947, Chief Hosea Kutako hired a lawyer, Oliver Tambo, to prepare a petition for the international organisation in New York. I was a soldier in the Second World War, as was Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo. Herman ya Toivo is one of the founders of our movement SWAPO of today. OPC meant Ovambo People’s Congress. That is a congress. It was started in South Africa, Cape Town, on, I think, August 2, 1957. This was a movement by young Namibians who were working in South Africa.

We got encouragement from the first and sole Namibian student who was studying in the United States in those times – Mburumba Kerina. Professor Mburumba Kerina was introduced to the two ambassadors to the United Nations, the Ambassador of Liberia and the one of Abyssinia then, what we now call Ethiopia. They were the ones who encouraged Kerina through their document. They were the ambassadors of the only independent African states then, during the League of Nations. They introduced him to this document, which he took up. He was supposed to study Medicine, but then he switched over to politics. He was at Lincoln University.

I am talking about Pan-Africanism here, though Pan-Africanism was now a movement which was formed in 1900. Please read Facing Mount Kenya by Jomo Kenyatta. That is the book where I first encountered the name W. E. B. Du Bois and others such as the former President of Malawi Dr Kamuzu Banda, the first President of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah and then you have others who were then also studying in the United Kingdom. These are the people who met Du Bois and they were inspired by him. When they came to Africa, they started this movement to free this continent. That is the mandate they got from Du Bois.

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It is very important now to go back to our own movement, the OPC, the Ovambo People’s Congress. In 1957 the political leaders of the people in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC), suffered harassment from the authorities there, the South African Apartheid Government, and being arrested. So, we young Namibians with our new organisation thought we had to change the name to OPO – Ovambo Peoples Organisation. Then later we thought no, this is only talking about the Ovambos. Where are the other people? It changed again in 1960 to SWAPO, the South West Africa People’s Organisation.

We were inspired by the ANC, the first movement in this part of the world, an African nationalist movement, which had branches all over Southern Africa. It was formed in 1912. This is something that the youth have to learn – that the ANC was in South Africa and then also in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and also in Tanganyika (Tanzania). People of the world should know that we were inspired by the Africans in the Diaspora, through our own students who were studying in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. They met these people, such as Sylvester Williams, convener of the first Pan- African Conference in 1900. He was a barrister.

These are the people who inspired Africans to come and put up their liberation movements within the continent and one of them, who was the most active, was Kwame Nkrumah who liberated Ghana which used to be called the Gold Coast. Kwame Nkrumah was also one of the people who inspired the formation of the Organisation of African Union (OAU) in 1963. Our own former President, or the Father of the Namibian Nation Dr Sam Nujoma, was also part of this process. Kwame Nkrumah’s proposal was shot down by some of the participants because they wanted to have a bank first, but Nkrumah wanted to set up a continental army. He was supported by the Prime Minister of Algeria, Ahmed Ben Bella.

Ahmed Ben Bella was a former North African soldier in the Second World War; hence he also supported Nkrumah, to say: "I am going to give Algerian soldiers to go and free South Africa, to fight and liberate the Africans from the Afrikaner, who they call Boers."

There was also the Egyptian President Abdul Nasser, who together with Syria had formed what they called the United Arab Republic. Because of his work with Africans, Nasser was not liked by the West.

But we still had very strong support in North Africa from the Algerians. The SWAPO Secretary General, Ismail Fortune, studied leadership in the Soviet Union with the former vice president. The vice president was also taught leadership in the Soviet Union. When they were on their way to finish, they came to Egypt. Ismail Fortune, the Secretary General, went to the Algerian Embassy – he went to join the army in Algeria. He was fighting physically. When he came to Dar-Es-Salaam he found that the people in the office had become racial, because he was coloured. That is why he went to Algeria.

When he came back to Namibia, he was arrested. He was taken to South Africa where they gave him the choice of going to prison, or being a free man and work for them. He changed and started working for the South Africans.

Louis Nelegani was the vice president of SWAPO. The three were elected here in Windhoek in 1959, together with the Father of the Nation. The Father of the Nation was the first president and the vice president was Louis Nelegani. The secretary general was Ismail Fortune and there were others.

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The Pan-African movement itself originated from the United States from Mburumba Kerina, in correspondence with Herman ya Toivo. He encouraged Ya Toivo to form a party or a movement to cater for the Namibians who were working in South Africa, in Cape Town, one of those being me. Yes, we are the founders of this movement called SWAPO, which liberated this country and of course, Ya Toivo formed this movement but there were many things that happened. Ya Toivo was told to send (an audio) cassette with all the names of Namibians who were working in South Africa, which he did and then, of course, he bought a book and he cut the inside part and then put the cassette in there to be played at the United Nations. When the South Africans saw the book, they just looked at the title of the book and let it go. South Africa was saying Kerina cannot petition, that they were the authority and that they were the representatives of the people of South West Africa. When the cassette was played in the United Nations, Kerina was allowed to petition. He was petitioning now for Namibia.  Then also he tried to get the United Nations to give us some scholarships.

I studied in the Soviet Union. Dr Indongo studied there as well. These were scholarships of UNESCO, but the Western countries did not want these scholarships to be given out until 1961 when the Soviet Union, through the Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee and what we call now Serbia (Yugoslavia), gave these scholarships. Ten scholarships were given. When they were announced, the United States opened up its door to Namibians to go and study through what they called the Afro-American Institute, which was formed to cater for Namibians. All these people you will find are our leaders, who studied in the United States – Dr Hage Geingob and the rest, our Speaker Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab, they went to this movement. That was the reaction to the scholarships which were given to Namibians by then. We are a product of the Pan-African Movement then, which was changed into a congress later.

This is something that I have to say – Nigeria has played a role and continues to play a role until today through its High Commissioner to Namibia, Prince Ariyo. A lot of obstacles were in our way, but the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which is now known as the African Union (AU), helped us. Though we did not get military support, we got the weapons and food and all other things – which made Namibia a free country today. The guerrillas could not eat grass, they could not fight with knives, they had to get weapons and through the Frontline States, that is now Zambia and then later Angola and then also Botswana – do not cut out those countries – they all helped us to come to where we are today, to be a free nation through an African movement. We have to thank these people for their effort and the money they spent. For instance, Zambia was bombed several times by South Africa. So we should acknowledge that we owe Africa and the African people for what we are today, otherwise we would not have been free if Angola was not free, because we had to go through Zambia and then come to Namibia  through Caprivi and then go back into Angola again. Once we were in Angola, we could cross back into our territory at Caprivi or Kavango or wherever and we were assisted by civilians in both Angola and Caprivi. These are people who supported us by giving us information on the movement of the enemy.

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These are things that have to be appreciated. The people of Africa and even our own people within the territory, who were neither armed nor trained, should be appreciated for their courage in helping the sons and daughters who were fighting for this country’s independence.

But as I said, we have to thank Prince Ariyo for his contribution – he is a Pan-Africanist. He is one of those activists. For the High Commissioner of Nigeria to Namibia, I want to say this: what Prince Ariyo does for Namibia is rare for an Ambassador or a High Commissioner to go out of his way to do what Prince Ariyo has done for this country.

We also have to thank the Government of Nigeria for their contribution in support of the Pan-African workshop. This is something to be appreciated by all Pan-Africanists. When we are talking of Pan-Africanists, we are talking of all Africans wherever they may be, and Namibians especially should appreciate what the Government of Nigeria is doing in this country.

I have not heard of many countries that made a contribution as the one made by Nigeria. Paul Helmuth, who is now blind, opened the Office of the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1961 and also opened the SWAPO office in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1969.

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14. The African condition as I see it
Job Shipululo Kanandjembo Amupanda
I remember well my days of taking care of the goats at Omaalala village (Northern Namibia). I would write on the sand and on my body with sticks – often these would be stories of things I was not content with. This is to say that writing has always been part of who I am – so it will be.

That said this commentary – ‘The African condition as I see it’ – is best presented in four categories:

African history – Exploitation
Decolonisation – Africa on auction
Capitalist Africa – Deplorable human conditions
Securing the future – Towards African Socialism

African history – Exploitation
We know very well that the history of Africa has been that of systematic exploitation of both human and natural resources of the African soil. This was done, with a clear motive, to attain profit and material accumulation by enemies of the African people. We are all aware that Mother Africa has always been a subject of exploitation, desire, interest and conquest even before the Europeans met in 1885 to decide on how they would partition it among themselves. We also know that even before the dishing up of Africa among the Europeans, Africa experienced invasion by the likes of Christopher Columbus and many others who robbed us of our true history and undermined the very existence of our forefathers.

When the enemy brutally ruled the continent, our people were subjected to undignified treatment that robbed them of their very own definition of self, as well as the status of equality. They were clearly conditioned, taught, cornered and forced to reinforce the idea that they are inferior to their oppressors. This settler project (inferiority complex) was entrenched in Africans and operated across social, economic and political life. With their shattered concept of self, Africans were reduced to nothing but human resources (labour) which was essential for the settler’s projects in his parent country. Anything that was given to them during those times was to ensure that they remain able to work for the settler and his children the following day. He had, at his disposal, religious leaders whose task was to ensure that the natives were properly regulated, indoctrinated to avoid revolts and vengeance against their capitalist merciless handlers. They mostly did not disappoint on their assigned duty, to ensure that the natives were made to understand that all is well, nothing is wrong with their society for God knows their condition. All they had to do was keep praying.

Be that as it may, Africans broke these colonial burdens and mobilised themselves towards dooming the bug. Such mobility and decisions to confront the exploitative political order took place not only on the mainland but also in the Diaspora. The praiseworthy

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Marcus Garvey, speaking at Liberty Hall in New York, at the International Convention of Negroes in August 1921, said: "… we desire a freedom that will lift us to the common standard of all men … therefore, in our desire to lift ourselves to that standard, we shall stop at nothing until there is a free and redeemed Africa."

That history aside, let Independence take over. We know very well that independence did little to emancipate Africans from continued exploitation. For example, Africans working on African diamond mines continued to pay with their sweat and blood, just so that the rich aristocrats of London can fix countless diamonds onto their hats. The relationship between the coloniser and the colony continued unhindered. Groups such as the Commonwealth were formed.

We also know that African history has been and is still misrepresented to a point where it does not encourage and attract our children who are mentally exploited by the enemy. Horace Campbell, in 2008, argued that: Today, African school children are no longer familiar with the stories of the struggles for independence. Instead, the Anglo American and other imperial media sources bombard our youths with stories that stimulate individualism, greed, insecurity and a longing for the glitz and glamour of western countries. This psychological bombardment has reached such proportions that most of our youth dream of leaving Africa instead of fighting to transform the conditions of exploitation.

I am afraid that Africa’s history of exploitation is the history of today, dear friends. We are yet to emancipate ourselves. Africa is characterised by an inferiority complex that is both visible and invisible. We are trapped under exploitation still. After Independence, for example, it has been made clear to us that "white" is right and "black" is bad. The colour white represents peace and goodwill; black represents everything from evil, bad, illegitimate to unwanted. We know that being "blacklisted" is a bad thing; that the devil is always clothed in "black"; that angels are always clothed in "white". We have a lot to do if we are to undo the past that is manifest in the present.

Decolonisation – Africa on auction
At Independence, African expectation was that with self-determination, we were set towards achieving the blue sky. Legitimate expectation it was. The liberating generation, of the 1960s, was clear and understood these hopes and expectations. They worked very hard to deliver on the expectations of the citizens. They 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. Yes, those who raped Africa want to maintain their grip on her.

The subsequent generation became intimate with greed, corruption and constant looting of state resources. They, indeed, established the bourgeoisie class around the modes and means of production, thus castrating the African state both materially and ideologically. They have, as we know, unashamedly become bedfellows with the enemy.

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Social ills continue in decolonised Africa, pandemics such as HIV/AIDS kill the African nation on a daily basis, with the African child seen wallowing in the mire with real prospects of growing and living in poverty. The succeeding generation failed in moral leadership. They failed to lead the African nation towards regaining the lost opportunities as well as their self-esteem. Therefore, new leadership must re-emerge to assume control and regain that which has sustained us over the years – yes, Pan Africanism and African Socialism.

Capitalist Africa – Deplorable human conditions
We need no sophistication in order to understand what capitalism is. For the purposes of simplification, we can look at what capitalism has done to African society. Capitalism has made the African nation a society of whiners and losers – a society deprived of love, care and compassion. The African nation has been changed into a society with clear and sharp differences between "us" and "them". A society under which, for example, a person wearing their hair in dreadlocks faces difficulty in securing a job because dreadlocks have no place in corporate identity and culture. What we see housing the African nation is a society without a dear soul and a society of exclusivity and every man for himself and God for the rest of us. Yes, Capitalist Africa.

Recently (late 2010), Hafeni Dioma Nashoonga, Henry Homateni Shimutwikeni and myself discussed the case of Namibia, the following is an extract from the discussion: Our economy cared very little for a common man on the street, men at an informal settlement and women at remote villages. Our political leadership cared very little for its polity, more so the youth that are in the majority. The leadership prioritised the Chinese and whites and elevated them above us just in the same way a sick person would prioritise and elevate taking tablets. The youth, led by the ungifted amongst them, have seen their condition worsen in all forms imaginable. Not only did unemployment rise from 36% to 51.2%, but the youth, majority of them black, were further exposed to thieving national leaders who moved the country from one scandal to another, always involving millions. The hopeless and unprotected youth, many of whom cannot afford education, were unfortunately role modelled by thieving national leaders and started stealing from society in the absence of alternatives. Do we blame them from learning from the best? This is what you get under capitalism and neoliberal economic policy which is what the country has been following. Our economy is dominated by large foreign enterprises, making it extremely difficult for new local entrepreneurs to break into the lines of production. The interest of these enterprises is to integrate us into the western economy for they know and understand the benefits better than we do. We have observed the growth of a small class of indigenous capitalists, protected by the leadership, who have common interests with their foreign counterparts. Leadership got drunk with money that is brought by power. Money, in capitalist Namibia, has been elevated above all principles, human dignity included, of our society and created contradictions in our society. There was/is little consideration of the human condition for the focus is to encourage capital accumulation for the individual few and the foreign investors. It would appear that leadership serves money and those that have it, giving practical meaning to every man for himself and God for the rest of us. Leadership fell in love with thoughts of miscarried economists such as Adam Smith, whose outlook is that the state must have a minimal role in the economy and let the market forces determine rewards (Smith called it ‘the invisible hand of the market’).

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While leadership is passed out by a vodka called Smith’s Neo-liberal Economic Policy, the initiated Namibians such as ourselves know very well that the ‘invisible hand’ does not exist, hence they call it ‘invisible’. What do we mean? Dear readers, the theory of our leaders and Smith means that the Government we have voted for must only get involved in the economy to build roads and infrastructures for the so-called ‘private sector’, fantasised to be responsible for development. FRIENDS, the private sector is not those in the villages or us students who need tuition fees; the private sector is those rich few with a profit motive for capital accumulation – we matter not. Leadership, at most, is on record for believing and subscribing to this thought. As is characteristic of global capitalistic failure, the private sector is unable and unwilling to provide for the socio-economic needs of Namibians, hence our call for an interventionist state which actively participates in the economy. So friends, our economic policy, neo-liberal, is really about whiners and losers and those that have money. Those of us that are never going to be part of the stock exchange are never thought about by the capitalists in charge of our economy. They plan for DeBeers, Rio Tinto, the Chinese and many other foreigners who are the so-called investors. Neo-liberal economic policy cannot address our problems; for all we know, it promoted greed, carelessness, thieving, patronage and brought contradictions in social relations relating to the modes of production. As such, we dream of equal society with limited institutions and scope for the oppression of one by another as far as the economic order is concerned.

Securing the Future - Towards African Socialism
The question of the ideological way forward for the African nation is probably the easiest question for us, given the general failure of the global capitalist project, as manifested in the recent crisis they are covering up as a "global financial crisis", while those of us that are thinking members of the African nation know very well that it is, indeed, the Global Capitalist Crisis. In the Alternative to Neo-liberalism in Southern Africa (ANSA) publication of October 2007, it is eloquently put that: Mainstream economists and most governments believed that neo-liberal policies based on market forces and international competitiveness would be the only way to solve this problem (development). However, such policies have failed as more people are sliding into poverty, unable to improve their livelihoods. There is thus an urgent need for an alternative development strategy, which can take various forms … from auto-centric capitalist development to socialist development paths.

The urgency is further expressed by Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez in his address to the International Encounter of Left Parties held in Caracas, Venezuela (November 27, 2009) that the capitalist crisis is jeopardising the future of humanity, "the people are clamouring" for greater unity of those willing to fight for socialism. I have written at length about African Socialism. In one of my essays, "African Socialism – a Nyerere Perspective", I stated that "socialism works in theory but not in practice", a commonly-held notion that remains to be scientifically proven, and a by-product of Social Darwinists’ false consciousness. As Robert Cox (Critical theorists) submits, all theories  exist to fulfil a purpose. The purpose of the Social Darwinists is "every man for himself and God for us all".

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To help and assist fellow youths who expressed that, I must write in an accessible language, Social Darwinism is a theory that very much underpins Capitalism, it maintains that the rich get what they deserve and the poor also get what they deserve, therefore no one must be blamed – survival of the fittest – natural selection. Adam Smith and the  likes have successfully harvested these thoughts with his "invisible hand of the market" rhetoric. He teaches the world to surrender the lives of the human person to the market. Theories of Capitalism and the like seek to suppress and eradicate Socialism in its totality. Capitalism has abducted, raped, impregnated and married Democracy to an extent where we no longer see the difference between the two.

"African Socialism," Julius Nyerere holds "is an attitude of mind … In a socialist society it is the socialist attitude of mind which is needed to ensure that the people care for each other’s welfare." For him, this attitude distinguishes a socialist from a non-socialist and has nothing to do with the position of wealth. Further, we can have, albeit a rare phenomenon, millionaires in Socialist society – those who value their wealth only because it can be used in the service of fellow humans as distinguished from Capitalist millionaires who use wealth for the purpose of dominating fellow humans. Where do millionaires come from? Hard work, knowledge and good enterprise abilities? Mwalimu Nyerere holds that "while, therefore, a millionaire could be a good socialist, he could hardly be the product of a socialist society".

He further explains that "even when you have an exceptionally intelligent and hard-working millionaire, the difference between his intelligence, his enterprise, his hard work, and those of other members of society, cannot possibly be proportionate to the difference between their rewards. There must be something wrong in a society where one man however hardworking or clever he may be, can acquire as great a reward as a thousand of his fellows can acquire them."

Nyerere traces African Socialism from not anywhere else but African traditional society, where we took care of the community and the community took care of us in return. He refuted the commonly-held notion that Socialism makes people lazy as everything is provided for you. This is just another invention the Social Darwinist invented to de-bush for Capitalism. In African traditional society everyone was/is a worker. All members were/are required to work. Lazy people (idlers or loiterers) are highly condemned, as he asserts: "Loitering was an unthinkable disgrace." In Swahili, there is an old saying: "Mgeni siku mbili; siku ya tatu mpe jembe", the translation in English is: "treat your guest for two days; on the third day give him a hoe". In any case, your guest was in actual fact likely to ask for a hoe on the third day of their visit.

Philosopher Nyerere lectures: "For when a society is so organised that it cares about its individual, then, provided he is willing to work, no individual within that society should worry about what will happen to him tomorrow if he does not hoard wealth today. Society itself should look after him, or his widow, or his orphans. This is exactly what traditional African society succeeded in doing. Both the ‘rich’ and the ‘poor’ individual were completely secure in African society. Natural catastrophe brought famine, but it brought famine to everybody – ‘poor’ or ‘rich’. Nobody starved, either for food or for human dignity, because he lacked personal wealth. He could depend on the  wealth possessed by the community of which he is a member. That was Socialism. That is Socialism!" Capitalist Africa must therefore be advised to regain our former attitude of mind – our traditional African Socialism – and apply it to the new societies we are building for the African Nation."

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Philosophical rationale
15. Pan-Africanism – some reflections on the way forward
H.E. (Prince) Adegboyega C. Ariyo

With the exception of Western Sahara, virtually all the countries in Africa today boast their own flag of sovereignty and independent political structures that represent their political independence. All the countries have systems of governance through which they are in position to shape the future of their people as expected by the Founding Fathers of Pan Africanism. However, the lot of many Africans has not improved. Indeed the economies of African countries are not controlled by Africans for Africans, despite the political independence attained in the last 50 years.

Since 2008, the media world has been awash with headlines about the state of hopelessness in Africa, the result of the calamitous events created by our self-centred activities. The cacophony of the headlines has been deafening lately because the cradle of self-centeredness is feeling the effects of the failure of a political system that has not placed correct value on common humanity. The bad press Africa has received has added on to our own failures to evolve a political and economic system in tune with our realities. Africa had been sucked into the vortex of the world development trajectory through colonialism. Africa had been exploited and looted to cover up the failings of this political/economic model. There are many compradors amongst us. They are the new millionaires, the upper classes of our societies. The African middle class has been reduced in size and 80% Africans in Africa and its Diaspora today live below the poverty line because we have allowed too many millionaires. African resources are being depleted every day to enrich a few Africans and many non- Africans.

All this calls for a change of the social contract amongst the people of Africa and their Governments.

Yes! There are many social systems in the world. Many have been tested and failed. The late 1980s saw the collapse of the Socialist system in Eastern Europe. We saw the Asian Tiger economic crisis of 1997, as well as financial crisis in USA in 2000, when the  Clintonian economic bubble burst. Today (2010) there is the on-going world economic crisis which started in 2008. These suggest that both the capitalist and socialist economic systems have fundamental flaws in their conceptualisation and implementation, as social vehicles to ensure development.

Capitalism talks about competition bringing out the best with minimal use of resources. The advancement of a man depends on the uncontrolled use or deployment of human and natural resources by entrepreneurs. The resultant fruits of such activities are meant to be used according to the desires of the entrepreneur. Socialism proposed socialisation of the processes of human existence. You cannot compete without undercutting your competitor, so that you have advantage. Whether your method is fair belongs to the realm of morals. This was coded into the capitalist motion of might is right.

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The wealthy and the so-called successful capitalist economies of the West were built with the sweat and labour of Africans, our fore parents. The exploited mineral wealth of Africans and the unfair prices for African agricultural products worked to our disadvantage. African raw materials are turned into finished products, and then sold to Africans at exorbitant prices to keep Africa down perpetually. Furthermore, the Africa network of transportation indicates that it has been developed largely to ensure that we do not trade with ourselves, so we do not create jobs for ourselves. We continue to create jobs for others through buying mostly goods made by them – products of their cultural  development and social progress. Thereby strengthening their capacities to overpower us, in any engagement with them.

African leaders and youths have very serious questions to answer in order to chart a better future for Africa. Certainly we know that there are many hungry lions probing the world for means to sustain their self-centred sybaritic economy. Because of the current architecture of the world economy and the limitedness of what it is intended to accommodate and for who, there is need for Africa to chart a new "Africonomy" based on our historical evolution as a people. The African economy of old cared for all members of the community. African development should be based on our historical experience.

African Development must be based on a holistic understanding of what development means. It is used to denote what is new.

For this work, the New Concise Oxford Dictionary 2006 (Ed) p.392 suggested that Development is a noun which means:

(i) the process of developing or being developed;
(ii) a specified state of growth or advancement;
(iii) an event constituting a new stage in a changing situation.
Whereas the word "develops" is the verb that gave birth to the word development, meaning:
(i) grow or cause to grow and become larger or more advanced; and
(ii) start to exist, experience or possess, etc.
It seems that when we examine the meaning of the words develop and development and relate them to how they have been used in development studies, as they relate to Africa, there has been a deliberate attempt to impose a new process of development on Africa, which rejects the African past.

The understanding of what our past was is acquired with different lenses and wisdom, not with African lenses and wisdom. We study African history and social engineering from the perspective of the Western world. We look at our civilisation and assess the state of our being from other people’s understanding of their civilisation and state of being. We tend to forget that there was a period in our history when we existed without any interaction with the Western world. What constituted our state of being then should have been what we should be developing, though mindful that there are new things, to which we are now exposed and must relate to, for us to develop.

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Indeed before the destructive engagement with the Western world, which led to colonialisation and the brutal imperialist exploitation of Africa for Western economic development, African development had reached such a level that many of our cultural relics that are now being displayed in museums in Africa and elsewhere in the world suggest pro-tanto African cultural superiorities.

There were many civilisations in Africa. These could not have been achieved without social, economic and political systems. Definitely these systems must have been at variance with the colonialists systems. Therefore the process of obliterating the African developed systems, and imposing new ways, then began. During the sad interlude that exposed Africa to the Western ways of doing things, Africa lost the kernel of her development and its humanity, as well as the sense of what development should be.

Whatever we do in the four paradigms of any organisational development (political, social, economic and cultural) the more humane our motives are, the more positive will be our development.

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16. The Concept of African Unity – Cheikh Anta Diop
Almaz Haile

Today, I feel honoured and privileged to present a paper on the Concepts of African Unity in Cheikh Anta Diop’s writings.

First, we should pay homage and respect to the Founding Fathers and Mothers whose determination and courage enabled the attainment of African political independence. Their revolutionary ideals to unify Africans were hijacked by renegade reactionaries and mainstream nationals.

In the 60s, when most African countries attained their independence, some unfortunate countries like South Africa, Namibia, and Eritrea had to struggle for more than three decades to achieve their political independence.

The Organization of African Unity (OAU), founded in 1963, took a stand to defend the interest of ex-colonizers and their boundaries rather than reinforce the Pan-Africanist vision. Due to 50 years of neo-colonialism installed by foreign forces, Sub-Saharan African countries continue to bleed in order to nourish the North and their multinational  companies. Post-independent Black African history is loaded with annexations, violations of human rights, wars, starvation and genocide.

Today, Sub-Saharan African countries are facing additional problems, those of ethnic purity, genocide, AIDS, the dismantling of families, the frustration of the younger generation and failed states. Some minority ethnic groups are being pushed out from their home lands, deported and killed, in favour of new settlers like in the Sudan (e.g. Darfur) and some suffer in silence like the southern parts of Mauritania, Niger and Mali. 

It is our responsibility to educate and instruct our younger generation on the true history of Africa in order to preserve our identity. Diop’s Nations Negres et Culture and his other writings are 55 years old and yet his predictions on African independence and post-independence era is unmistakable. Yet, C. A. Diop’s writings are not well known in some parts of Africa. We believe that this brief introduction on C.A. Diop’s writings and his vision on how to unite Black Africa will inspire African Youth, in all aspects of life.

Who was Cheikh Anta Diop?
Professor Cheikh Anta Diop was born on December 29, 1923 in Diourbel, Senegal. Diop belonged to a culturally and religiously strong Wolof family. He had a sound upbringing in his mother tongue Valaf, culture and tradition. As a child he went to a French primary and secondary school in Dakar. Like most young people of his age, Diop had to go to Paris, France, to pursue his higher education, as there were no universities in the French-speaking countries in West Africa. In 1945 he went to Paris in order to study Mathematics and Physics.

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Diop arrived in Paris in 1946 when African students from the Diaspora and the con tinent were actively fighting against French colonialism. In 1947, a publishing house, the Presence Africaine was founded by Alioune Diop. This was a great achievement for the African intellectuals living in Paris. Presence African would play a major role in the publication of Diop’s writings. Diop joined the African student’s movement advocating for independence. In 1950-1953, he became the Secretary General of the organization "Le Rassemblement Democratique Africain".

In the 1950s, African intellectuals in Paris were divided in two groups. On the one hand, those who were alienated mainstream Africans, who imitated their colonizers, and on the other hand those who strongly opposed foreign occupation in Africa, and Diop belonged to the latter group. These minority African activists were a culturally, historically and politically conscious group, and fought bravely against all odds. Diop wrote extensively in the journal, La voix de L’Afrique Noire, published by Presence Africaine, and in 1951 he was one of the organizers of the first Pan-African Student’s Political Congress held in Paris. His political, philosophical and cultural ideas brought him closer to writers like Aime Cesaire from the Caribbean, Richard Wright, W.E.B Du Bois from the United States, etc.

Professor Diop studied Mathematics, Physics, Pre-history, History, Linguistics, Egyptology, Philosophy, Sociology and Anthropology. He accumulated an encyclopaedic knowledge of the natural and social sciences. His multi-disciplinary formation and rigor enabled him to demystify falsified African history. But his dissertation on the African origin of ancient Egypt was rejected by the Sorbonne.

In 1954 Nations Negres et Culture, Volume I and II, were first published by Presence Africaine, in Paris. In 1956, he participated actively in the "First International Congress of Black Writers and Artists", "Apport et perspectives culturels de l’ Afrique Noire" held in Paris. In 1959, he as well participated in the "Second Congress of Black Writers and Artists" held in Rome. C.A. Diop categorically rejected Senghor’s literary writings of Negritude, saying, "Senghor is a pure product of colonialism." Leopold Sedar Senghor was famous for his Nazi-type sayings, such as: "Emotion is Negro and reason Greek."

Diop scientifically proved that the origin of Ancient Egyptians – the Kemits were Black Africans. None of the so-called Africanists or Eurocentric scholars had enough knowledge of modern African languages and culture to oppose him. His multi-disciplinary background, knowledge and perseverance enabled him to demystify the falsified Black African history by Eurocentric scholars. Diop’s relentless researches on Egyptology and Pre-history proved that Egyptian mummies had melanin and that the founders of Ancient Egypt – Kemits were Black Africans. His researches and knowledge restored Ancient Black African history to the level of world history.

In 1960, Diop defended his doctoral thesis at the Sorbonne. In Chris Gray’s Concepts of History: C.A. Diop and Theophile Obenga (1989): "… Diop carried with him an overwhelming knowledge of Africa, Europe and Asian history, so that when he began his ‘defence’ all the black supporters were confident that Cheikh Anta would emerge victoriously, but the French jury at the Sorbonne was not prepared to give in without a fight. For some time they simply engaged in a ‘dialogue of the deaf’, hearing none of Diop’s arguments but yet retreating all the while. The debates were long and animated. When the adversaries’ counter-arguments ceased to come forth Cheikh Anta stood with pride and dignity. He had defeated Europe’s prized intellectuals, ‘The French intelligentsia’, on their own ground … The Sorbonne". (16, 17) Nations Negres et Culture, de l’antiquite negre egyptienne aux problemes culturels de l’Afrique Noire d’aujourd’hui, Tome I et II, (1948-1954) were written during the intensive struggle against colonialism. In the 1954’s preface, Professor C.A. Diop depicts the objectives of falsifying ancient African history.

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"Pourtant toutes ces théories « scientifiques » sur le passe africain sont éminemment conséquentes: elles sont utilitaires, pragmatistes. Le bout est d’arriver en se couvrant du manteau de la science, a faire croire au Negre qu’il na jamais été responsable. La vérité, c’est ce qui sert et, ici, ce qui sert le colonialisme: » 14

The first chapter starts by questioning "Who were the Egyptians? Diop refers to different ancient scholars and philosophers including the Bible in order to highlight the Black African origin of ancient Egyptians or the Kemits. These two volumes depict the cultural, linguistic, historical, religious, philosophical and social ties of Kemet, with the rest of present-day Black Africa. His multi-disciplinary approach towards history on the one hand, and his knowledge of different African languages on the other hand, enabled him to analyse the genetic relationship between the Kemetic language and modern African languages. The last chapter is a dedicated research on comparative studies of Ancient Egyptian grammar and, comparative vocabulary of Ancient Egyptian and Valaf, his mother tongue. Diop’s thorough research proves the genetic relationships between Egyptian hieroglyphic and African languages, the Valaf, Serer, and Soninke, etc. Diop, in Nations Negres et Culture depicts how ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs could be easily deciphered by using modern African languages. He firmly believed that comparative linguistic studies can be an important factor for the Unification and Re-construction of Modern African states.

"I realized that the cultural personality of a people, of any people, was made up of three interrelated factors. The Psychic factor. The Linguistic factor. The Historical factor.

I did not invent that notion. Others had outlined it before; I merely saw it to be a fact. Hence, my efforts were geared towards the restoration of Linguistic and Historical personality of Black Africans."9

In the words of Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (1987), Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature: "Languages of Africa refused to die. They would not simply go the way of Latin to become fossils for linguistic archaeology to dig up, classify, and argue about [in] international conferences. These languages, the national heritage of Africa, were kept alive by the peasantry … During the anti-colonial struggle, they showed unlimited capacity to unite around whatever leader or party best and most consistently articulated an anti-imperialist position. The petty bourgeoisie (African) spoke Portuguese, French, English and (German to a degree) encouraging vertical divisions to the point of war at times." (23)

Professor Diop in his writings affirms the importance of the Cultural, Historical and Lin guistic consciousness in order to elevate Ancient African history.

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In the second volume of Nations Negres et Culture, chapter V and VI, Diop highlights the origin of African peoples from the Nile Valley to the western parts of Africa. His insistence on the teaching of African national languages is convincing. By transcribing his mother tongue, the Valaf, Diop proved that scientific theories and concepts of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and literary writings can be translated easily into any modern African language. Professor Diop took as an example M. Einstein’s The Principles of Relativity, and translated it into Valaf, (from page 447 to 457) to prove that education in African national languages is possible in post-independence Africa. Diop wanted to spare post-independence African children from the pains of being educated in a foreign language. And yet, in 50 years of political independence, very few African countries have realized his prophecy. Diop had two major objectives: the restoration of African history and languages in order to advance our struggle to unite post-independence Africa.

In 1960, Diop returned back to his home country, the Senegal. L.S. Senghor had become the president of Senegal. Immediately after his return, Diop founded a new political party – "Bloc des Masses Senegalais". Diop was considered a dangerous person and in 1962, his political party was banned, and he was imprisoned for two months by Senghor’s regime. Once out of prison Diop criticised Senghor’s policies and founded another opposition party – "le Front National Senegalais", and was banned by the same regime. In 1963, the indefatigable Diop founded the radiocarbon laboratory, the IFAN, first of its kind in Black Africa.

In 1966’s first Festival of Black Art, Diop was recognized as the most influential intel lectual of the 20th century. In 1976 he founded another party – the RND, which was banned immediately. For two decades, Diop was persecuted by Senghor’s regime. He could neither travel outside his country, nor teach inside his country. He continued his political opposition by firmly supporting the masses. Under Senghor’s regime, Diop, an outstanding African genius, was banned from giving lectures at the University of Dakar for 21 years. In spite of the mainstream Western conspiracies, Diop amassed world-wide popularity and respect, both in the Anglophone and Francophone countries. With  the arrival of Abdou Diouf in 1981, Diop’s political party was legalized, and he was entitled to teach as Professor at the University of Dakar.

Professor Theophile Obenga, Diop’s early disciple and comrade, is a Linguist, Historian, Egyptologist, Educationalist and Paleontologist. Professor Obenga wrote several books on Africa’s pre-history, L’Afrique dans l’Antiquite, on Ancient Egyptians and the Bantu language (mainly the Mbochi) and philosophy. Like Diop, Obenga is a researcher, scholar and specialist of Black African origin of Ancient Egypt. In the 70’s Diop and Obenga participated actively in a UNESCO project to write a general history of Africa held in Paris in 1971, Cairo in 1974, and Dakar in 1976. Both professors rejected the mainstream linguistic theories and successfully proved their research on the connection between modern African languages and Ancient Egypt.

In Concepts of History: C.A. Diop and Theophile Obenga, C. Gray highlights that Professor Obenga, Diop’s life-time disciple and comrade, believed that "if there is to be  profound and effective continental unity, a truly African history coming from African historians must be written first. He also agrees that by looking to ancient Egypt, Africa will find its true heritage." (16, 17)

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In Unité Culturelle de l’Afrique Noire, (1960), Diop, analyses the origins of Black African and Indo-European family structures; (the domain of Patriarchy and Matriarchy in antiquity). His writing is known by the Two Cradle Theories. Diop emphasized the traditional South; Black African is matriarchal, sedentary, peaceful and tolerant with its ideological structure, success, weaknesses, and technical regression of a nation. In the matriarchal system, the man leaves his family to join his wife’s family. In this system women are the owners of the house and sedentary agriculturalists and men are mostly hunters.

The Indo-European North is culturally nomadic. Nomadic culture is characterized by war, violence, conquest, individualism and xenophobia. In the patriarchal family structure the woman leaves her family and joins her husband’s family and clan. In the Indo-European nomadic tradition women used to pay the dowry to the husband, as they do not have an economic role to play in society. In matriarchal society it is men who pay the dowry: "If the Indo-European woman who pays her dowry does not buy her husband, the African man who pays the dowry does not buy his wife either."

Due to the intrusion of external factors like Christianity, Islam and permanent European presence in Black Africa, matriarchal societies are gradually giving away to patriarchal culture. In his well-documented and researched works, Professor Diop, without hate and any sense of superiority, re-established the cultural, linguistic and historical past of Ancient Black Africa.

J.H. Carruthers, in Intellectual War Fare says: "Diop’s insistence on strictly scientific method should not obscure the overriding utilitarian use of that method. In other words, Diop’s devotion to science was not for the sake of science. Much more important is the practice of taking the scientifically supported arguments into the arenas of politics, education and scholarly debate." (277)

Pre-Colonial Black Africa is Diop’s most detailed book on historical African sociology. He analyses the traditional caste system, economies, and the notion of traditional nation state, state organizations, sciences, technology, education and medicine in Ancient Africa. "L’ancienne organisation politique, économique et social de Afrique noire depuis 2000 ans, l’organisation militaire, administrative, judiciaire, l’organisation de l’enseignement, le niveau universitaire et technique, les usages et les fastes de la vie du cour, les moeurs et les coutumes tant de faits que l’on croyait a jamais perdus dans la nuit des temps, nous avons pu les ressusciter de façon saisissante, scientifique dans l’Afrique Noire Pre-colonial, pour tout l’oust Africain en particulier".

In Black Africa: Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated States, Diop insists on the historical consciousness and linguistic unity of Black Africa. He relentlessly wrote in order to awaken the African consciousness on our common historical and linguistic origin. He highlights that Ancient African Empire languages like Sarakolle in Ghana, Mandingue in Mali, Songhai in Kaoa (GAO), etc. were used for administrative and commercial purposes, until the arrival of European occupiers.

Geographical and economic unity becomes evident once the African is conscious of his/ her historical and linguistic common origin.

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"Nous pouvons construire un Etat Fédéral africain a l’échelle du continent noire sur la base de note unité historique, physique, économique et géographique, nous sommes obliges, pour parfaire cette unité national pour la fonder sur une base culturel autochtone modern."

Professor Diop criticises severely the post-independence policies in Africa, as the people cannot chose their own political and social systems, local political parties obedient to the west were imposed on the people. He continues by saying that except the Guinean leader, most African leaders succumbed to the level of servitude, to international financial, industrial intrigues. We should not forget that this book was written in the late 50s, and after 55 years African political system still remains the same.

In part III of Black Africa: Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated States, Diop’s vision on how to industrialise Black Africa and demystify the knowledge of chemistry is fascinating. Africa being one of the richest continents in terms of raw materials, he proposes to re-group the sources of energy in eight industrial zones. Diop exhausted his scientific knowledge on how to use Africa’s richest zones and industrialize Black Africa. He takes as an example ex-Zaire, Angola, Zambia and their abundant sources of hydro-electric power, minerals and metals of all types used for the fabrication of heavy industry. In a very clear and convincing manner, Diop depicts how to install electro-metallurgy in general to treat minerals and sub-products. That the Atlantic coast could be used to install important centres of naval, automobile, aeronautic and agricultural machines, etc. He considers Guinea, Sierra Leon, Liberia as a "metallurgic region par excellence", as it is gifted with all necessary minerals to develop another centre for the construction of heavy industry. His detailed description on how to develop other zones like Mali, Senegal, Niger on the one hand and the Nilotic Sudan, the Great lakes, Ethiopia on the other, one could only conclude by saying that Diop was not only a visionary but had the mind of an African genius.

Diop goes beyond industrialisation, and proposes how to re-forest our desert and semi-desert areas and protect our tropical forests, which are constantly destroyed by avid multi-national companies, to install a re-cycling system from the very beginning of our industrialisation processes.

If the process of industrialisation is to work without hindrance, technically trained young Africans should take the responsibility. Diop had an enormous trust and confidence in the younger generation to industrialise and unite Black Africa. He concludes by saying that "first there should be cultural, historical and political unity of Black Africa".

In the words of J.H. Carruthers in Intellectual War Fare, (1999): Diop’s persistent use of Kemetic worldview, language, social organization, and concepts of governance to explicate the culture of Africa has convinced us that Kemet is indeed the classical African civilization. Further more, his arguments about the prospects for viable African future, articulately puts forth in Black Africa: the economic and cultural basis for a Federated State, have caused us to lower our buckets into deep wells to find wisdom models for the reconstruction of a new African Civilization. 227, 229

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Chancellor Williams, in The Rebirth of African Civilization, (1993) advises the younger generation: The problems they will face will be as complex and as baffling as any other ever faced by mankind in all of its long history. They will call for heroes of a new dimension, daring in thought, fearless in action, yet calm, patient and unyielding as they steadily, step by step, overcome the obstacles that can seem insurmountable, obstacles the weak and timid would not dare to attack. (249)

Finally, Diop asserts that successful participation of the state and the people will enable to industrialise Sub-Saharan Africa. He proposes the following 15 essential programmes as basic principles for a concrete action:

1. Restaurer la conscience de notre unité historique.

2. Travailler a l’unification linguistique a l’échelle territoriale et continentale, une seule langue africaine de culture et de gouvernement devant coiffer toutes les autres; les langues européennes, quelles qu’elles soient, restant ou retombant au niveau de langue vivantes de l’enseignement secondaire.

3. Elever officiellement nos langues nationales au rang de langues de gouvernement servant d’expression au Parlement et pour la rédaction des lois. La langue ne serait plus un obstacle a l’élection d’un député ou d’un mandataire analphabète de souche populaire.

4. Etudier une forme de représentation efficace de l’élément féminin de la nation.

5. Vivre l’unité fédérale africaine. L’unification immédiate de l’Afrique francophone et anglophone, seule pouvant servir de test. C’est l’unique moyen de faire basculer l’Afrique Noire sur la pente de son destin historique, une fois pour toutes. Attendre en alléguant des motifs secondaires, c’est laissé aux Etats les tempes de s’ossifier pour devenir inapte à la Fédération, comme en Amérique latine.

6. Opposer une fin de non-recevoir à toute idée de création d’Etats blancs, d’où qu’elle vienne et où que ce soit en Afrique Noire.

7. Prendre dans la Constitution les dispositions nécessaires pour qu’il ne puisse pas exister une bourgeoisie industrielle. Prouver ainsi qu’on est reellemet socialiste en prévenant l’un des maux fondamentaux du capitalisme. Qui pourrait, aujourd’hui, s’opposer décemment à une mesure préventive contre une classe encore inexistante en Afrique?

8. Créer une puissante industrie d’Etat. Donner le primate a l’industrialisation, au développement et a la mécanisation, de l’agriculture.

9. Créer une puissante armée moderne, dotée d’une aviation et d’une forte éducation civique, inapte aux putchs de type latino-américaine.

10. Créer les instituts techniques indispensables a un Etat moderne: physique et chimie nucléaires, électronique, aéronautique, chimie appliquée, etc.

11. Réduire les trains de vie et niveler judicieusement les salaires afin de transformer les postes politiques en postes de travail.

12. Organiser en coopératives de production les volontaires possédant des champs contigus, en vue de la mécanisation et de la modernisation de l’agriculture, et de la production sur une grande échelle.

13. Créer des fermes modèles d’Etat, pour élargir l’expérience technique et sociale des paysans non encore groupes. La collectivisation a la campagne rencontrera mille fois moins de difficultés chez nous que dans les pays européens, pour toutes les raisons indiquées dans L’Afrique noire pre coloniale.

14. Repeupler l’Afrique a temps.

15. Poursuivre avec conviction une politique de plein emploi afin d’éliminer progressivement la dépendance matérielle de certaines catégories social.

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1. Restore the historic unity of our consciousness.

2. Work for the linguistic and territorial unity of the African mainland: the aim is to create on African language for the culture and government of Africa. The European languages should be relegated to the level of living languages of secondary education. 

3. Elevate our national languages the official languages of the government, in the parliament and in the drafting of laws. The absence of a foreign language would no longer be an obstacle for election and an illiterate from the masses of the people will qualify for election.

4. Look into an effective way of enhancing the representation of women in the public institutions.

5. Long live African unity within a federal form of government. The immediate unification of the Francophone and Anglophone Africa can serve as an indicator for this federated unity. This is the only way to put Black Africa on the right track towards its historical destiny, once and for all. Waiting too long would just generate a pretext that will permit the states to ossify and become rigid and unfit to be united in an African federation, as in Latin America.

6. Oppose any and all attempts at creating white states anywhere in Black Africa.

7. Take all necessary measures inscribing this in the constitution in order to prevent the development of an industrial bourgeoisie in the nation. This will prove us to be true socialists, who are opposed to the fundamental evils of capitalism. Who can today reasonably oppose a preventive measure against a class (capitalist) which is still non-existent in Africa?

8. Create a powerful state industry. Give priority to industrialisation, development and mechanization of the agriculture.

9. Build a powerful, modern army, with an air force and a strong civic education, in order to mitigate tendency of military coups like in Latin America.

10. Create special technical institutes that are fit for a modern state: nuclear physics and chemistry, electronics, aeronautics, applied chemistry, etc.

11. Reduce the cost of living and make wages more equal so as to transform political employment into work employment.

12. Organize production into cooperatives on voluntary basis with neighbouring fields for the purpose of the mechanisation and modernisation of agriculture toward large-scale production.

13. Establish model state farms in order to broaden the technical and social experience of farmers to other peasant groups who are not yet organised. The campaign to organise farmers into cooperatives will meet thousand times less trouble here than in European countries, for all the reasons stated in the pre-colonial Black Africa.

14. Repopulate Africa gradually.

15. Continue with determination the policy of full employment in view of phasing out the material dependence of certain social categories.
(Translated by B.F. Bankie and G. Diallo)

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Diop’s commitment to the rebuilding of cultural, historical and linguistic unity of Black Africa from the African-centred worldview is a dominant theme in all his works. In his 40 years of activism, he persistently depicted the Black African origins of ancient Egypt or Kemet. His insistence on reforming African educational systems, that Africans should be educated in their mother tongues and from the African point of view is not yet accomplished.

Above all, Diop will be remembered and admired for his uncompromising principles. In all his works, he insisted on the importance of a culturally, politically and historically conscious younger generation to rebuild a strong Federal Black African State.

1. Chris Gray. Concepts of History: C.A. Diop & Theophile Obenga, London, Karnak House, 1989, (pp. 16, 17)
2. Cheikh Anta Diop. Nations Negres et Culture, de l’antiquité negre égyptienne aux problèmes culturels de l’Afrique Noire d’aujourd’hui, Tome I et II, (1948-1954) (9,14)
3. L’Afrique Noire précolonial, Paris Présence Africaines, 1960
4. In Unité Culturelle de l’Afrique Noire, Paris, Présence Africaine, 1960
5. Les Fondement économiques et culturelles d’un Etat fédéral de l’Afrique noire, Paris, Présence Africaine, 1960, 1974, (18, 49)
6. Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature, London, England,  Currey; Nairobi, Kenya and Port mouth, New Hampshire Heinemann, 1987, (23)
7. Chancellor Williams. The Rebirth of African Civilization, Chicago, Third World Press, 1961, 1993, (p. 249) 8. J.H. Carruthers. Intellectual War Fare, Chicago, the Third World Press, 1999, (pp. 227, 229)

Source: B.F.Bankie
Sudan Sensitisation Project (SSP)

Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism                     


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Antumi Toasijé

Antumi Toasijé
Doctor en Historia, Cultura y Pensamiento