In his 1975 publication titled “Pan Africanism or Neo-colonialism?” Elenga M’buyinga offered students of Africa, African History and Pan-Africanism a great service when he delivered a work that answers the fundamental questions of Neo-colonialism and Pan-Africanism in juxtaposition to Africa’s reoccurring challenges.
He notes that what gives certain importance to the ever-present study of the aforementioned fundamentals are the current situations that do not only focus on the present Neo-colonial activities in Africa; but, on the contrary, deals with neo-colonialism in itself. He points out that attention must also be paid to how neo-colonialism affects our continent as a whole, especially in finding its fundamental roots being imple¬mented by the present ruling classes in Africa.
As an unrepentant student of one of the greatest Africans that ever lived - Kwame Nkrumah, it is the most difficult task – one which I cannot accomplish, to write about Neo-colonialism and Pan-Africanism without making reference to the words of the great leader.
Kwame Nkrumah - a leader ahead of his time, in 1965 answered the questions of today and provided a blueprint to solving Africa’s Neo-colonial challenges when he said; ‘Really to understand what goes on in the world today, it is necessary to understand the economic influences and pressures that stand behind the political events.’ It is difficult to ignore his advice, especially when one considers the actions – and in-actions of the crop of leaders scattered across the continent and how the world continues to downbeat Africa’s unity and development.
Pan-Africanism was conceived between 1900 and 1963, but it was the unexpected results of African democracies that rocked the world between 1960 and 1963 that caught the colonial masters unawares. This prompted them to take actions against this ‘unity’ and they sought to kill the vision before it succeeded in liberating the whole of Africa - one country at a time. Nkrumah’s influence and ideologies grew across the continent – raising die-hard disciples like Patrice Lumumba, Sekou Toure, David Dakou, Thomas Sankara and a host of others.
The colonial masters knew it was time to act or loose Africa completely when Kwame Nkrumah led a May 1963 conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that founded the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.). The name said it all and it showed that Africa had solved the puzzle to understand that the continent was only defeated because of the resolution at the Berlin 1884-85 treaty that divided Africa into regions and countries.
An organization established to unite Africa again will harness its hidden strengths and achieve the success of standing up against colonialism in whatever form it chose to re-surface.
To achieve their ill purpose of fast-tracking the introduction of Neo-colonialism which will be propagated through corrupt leaders and Neo-colonial comprador bourgeoisie – which African has in abundance, the colonial masters did two things.
First, they orchestrated a coup in 1966 (three years after the formation of O.A.U) in Ghana to overthrew Kwame Nkrumah’s regime.
Secondly, they moved to destroy the foundational ethos of the O.A.U. In his book, Elenga M’buyinga states that the African revolutionary militants considered that the Pan-African Revolutionary Movement, of which the O.A.U. was a party, to include three inseparable components: (1) the progressive independent African states, (2) the liberation movements fighting old-style colonialism, and (3) those revolutionary organizations struggling against African Neo-colonial puppet regimes.
It is needless to say that the present body, the African Union (A.U.) – whose name was changed for no other reason but to falsify the legacy of Kwame Nkrumah and re-define the purpose and aims of the organization, does not have these components as key parts of its mandate(s).
In essence, what we have today as the A.U. is a crippled toothless bulldog of what was once a formidable threat to the colonial masters in the O.A.U.
Does the A.U. represent the tenants of the O.A.U? Does it still fight to achieve the purpose of its founding fathers that were present at the May 1963 conference in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia? I dare to say I have my doubt.
Neo-Colonialism remains the greatest tool against Nkrumah’s ideology of Pan-Africanism and African unity; it is disheartening that our leaders are ever so blind and they allow themselves to be continuously used as workmen through which the slave traders carry out their enterprise.
For Africa to become great again, we must retrace our steps towards Pan-Africanism.
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