Re-Thinking Pan-Africanism: Evaluation of Impacts, Delimmas and Efforts towards African Intergration
The history of pan-Africanism is a subject that has attracted considerable interest among scholars and practitioners in African development issues. Pan-Africanism is associated with the quest for political independence by the early African leaders and freedom fighters alike. Kwame Nkrumah had warned the African continent soon after his own country, Ghana, achieved independence in 1958:the third to do so after the second World War, Nkrumah observed that without a serious commitment to a people-centered development process and collective reliance that he believed socialism was all about, and without political unity at the continental level, neo-colonialism will continue to balkanize and under-develop Africa and poverty will be perpetuated. The focus of this paper is not simply to give coherence to a shared ideology of Nkrumah and other African frontline leaders but to permanently critique the Pan-Africanism ideology, revealing its myths, falsifications and lacunae, reinforcing its strong points and identifying its new sources of energy and new challenges facing the African continent in dealing with integration and other common issues. Links are made between the notions of nationalism, ethnicity and other related issues that impact on Africa’s efforts towards achieving the much-needed economic integration. Conclusions are drawn on the premise of the new pan-Africnism ideology and its quest for African socio-economic growth and development. The paper argues that the African Union’s NEPAD strategies if well applied would result to realization of the pan-African ideological goals and objectives in the new millennium.
Keywords: A Pan-Africanism Concept, An African Intergration, An African Socio-Economic Development, The Ethnic and Cultural Influences, Ethno-Political Cleavages, A Pan-African Ideology, Globalization of African Values
Dr. Edwin Ijeoma
Researcher/Lecturer, College of Economics and Management Sciences, University of South Africa