The early 1950s to the late 1970s saw a period when the emancipation of the African continent took its toll and came to fruition in many African states. The desire for self-governance for many African states gave birth to the idea of Pan-Africanism. The Pan-African idea is one that states that peoples of African descent have common interests and should be unified.
This Pan-African movement gave birth to the Organization of African Unity in 1963 in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The charter to usher this organization into effect was signed with the main focus being African Unity.
The Organization of African Unity (O.A.U) now African Union was a Pan-Africanist political idea and that is why it was founded on the premises of
Dedication to the total liberation of African territories
Respect for the territorial integrity of every state and it’s right to independent existence.
Non-interference in the internal affairs of the states.
Peaceful settlement of disputes by negotiation, mediation, reconciliation, and arbitration
Sovereign equality between all member states
These principles based on which the African Bloc was formed should always remind every African of the sacrifices and ideologies the earliest Pan-Africanist had envisioned for the continent. They advocated for the unity of the continent not to be detached from the globe but for the betterment of the African continent and its people.
Former Mozambique President the late Field Marshall Samora Machel once said that
” International Solidarity is not an act of charity: it is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objective. The foremost of these objectives is to aid the development of humanity to the highest level possible.” Machel was echoing other Pan-Africanists on the need for solidarity in the fight for the total emancipation of the African continent. Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania the late Mwalimu Julius K Nyerere also emphasizes the need for unity. He said
” Unity will not make us rich, but it can make it difficult for Africa and the African peoples to disregarded and humiliated.”
The idea of Pan-Africanism was born out of the need for Africa to be and remain a unified continent for the betterment of humanity of the continent.
As Africa gears to celebrate the Africa Freedom Day on May 25, the clarion call for all should be A UNITED AFRICA in the face of Adversity.
By John Moono