artist rendering of a Pan-Afrikan flag
Pan-Africanism is the systematic implementation of an intellectual, political and economic ideology that will lead to the political unity of Afrika. The Pan-African approach provides a framework for Afrikan unity. It also fosters radical change in the colonial structures of the Afrikan economies, and the creation of an inward-looking strategy of production and development. It calls for the unification of Afrikan financial markets, economic integration, a new strategy for initial capital accumulation and the design of a new political map for Africa. A Map not made for the benefit of foreigners.
Etymology and Origin
The word Pan-African is broken down into two parts. Pan and African. The the word Pan, in relation to peoples, refers to an entire group. Transcending ethnicity, culture, religion, and other superficial differences. In specific relation to men and women of Afrikan descent, it it covers the vast expanse of Afrikans around the world. From Afrikans in America to Afrikans in Argentina From Afrikans in Angola, to those remaining in the Nile Valley Whether the Afrikan follows Islam in Indonesia or Yoruba Spirituality in Nigeria, this system applies to them. If one considers themselves descendants of mother Afrika, Black, Moor or any of the other identities that Afrikan peoples consider themselves, they can adopt Pan-Africanism.
As originally conceived by Henry Sylvester-Williams (note: some history books credit this idea to Edward Wilmot Blyden) Pan-Africanism referrers to the unity of all continental Africa, the Caribbean islands, and all other population centers Afrikans find themselves in.
Key figures in Pan-Africanism
- Edward Wilmot Blyden has been called the Father of Pan-Africanism.
- Francis Ohanyido notably has been referred to as the Father of Afrisecal Movement (Afrisecaism). In 1990, he convened the Afriquest Initiative in the North-Central city of Jos.
- W. E. B. Du Bois has also been called the Father of Pan-Africanism. Du Bois hosted the highly influential 5th Pan-African Conference in Manchester, UK.
- Marcus Garvey, was a Caribbean-born Pan-Africanist, stern advocate for the Back-to-Africa movement, and has also been labeled as a Father of Pan-Africanism. Garvey led the largest organization with Pan-African goals in history.
- Jomo Kenyatta was a Pan-African activist who became the first president of Kenya.
- Bob Marley was a Jamaican born musician who's music reflected Pan Africanist thought, music and philosophy.
- Julius Kambarage Nyerere: Key figure for Pan Africanism and SADC
- Ahmed Sékou Touré was a Pan-African activist, who became the first President of Guinea, West Africa, the first french sub-Saharan African colony to gain independence from France on October 2, 1958 following its rejection of the famous 1958 Referendum that was proposed by President Charles De Gaulle of France. President Toure, along with President William Tubman of neighboring Liberia and President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, was the vanguard behind the creation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which has been transformed into the African Union (AU), at a Special Head of States Meeting held in the northern Liberian city of Sanniquelle, Nimba County, which is often referred to as the "birth place" of the OAU (now the AU).
- Fela Anikulapo Kuti: The founder of Afrobeat music, and political/human rights activist. Promoted Pan-Africanism through his music.
- Gamal Abd El Nasser was a Pan-African activist and the president of Egypt. Alongside Nkrumah, he endorsed the African countries who were fighting for independence and placed Egyptian culture and civilization within an African framework.
- Kwame Nkrumah was a Pan-African activist who became the first president of Ghana
- Kenneth Kaunda was a Pan-African activist who became the first president of Zambia
- Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia, was a key figure in Pan-Africanism due to his call for greater unity among African Nations.
- Molefi Kete Asante strongly influenced by Kaiwada philosophy wrote his treatise on Afrocentricity. This greatly influenced Pan-Africanists in the late seventies and eighties. Another contemporary Afrocentric movement leader was Prof. Chinweizu Ibekwe (known simply as Chinweizu), a scholarly Nigerian anthropologist and a beacon of Africanism.
- Muammar al-Gaddafi, also known as Colonel Gaddafi has been the de facto leader of Libya since a 1969 coup, has in recent years been the most dominant/active organizer of African unity and has proposed the formation, based on Gamal Abd El Nasser and Kwame Nkrumah's dream, of a United States of AfricaReport
- Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe who has ruled for more than 28 years. Mugabe is allied with Muammar al-Gaddafi.
- Malcolm X planned to link the Organization of Afro-American Unity through Pan-Africanism to internationalize the human struggle of African people.
- Robert Sobukwe was a South African political dissident, who founded the Pan Africanist Congress in opposition to the apartheid regime.
- John Garang De Mabior SPLA leader, First President Of South Sudan.