Pan Africanism - Self determination
Self-determination which is basically a peoples right to choose their destiny without any form of external influence, is another core element of Pan-Africanism. Africa, in it's current state- with colonial borders still in place, is largely not self determining when one considers things such as neo-liberal policies that are very detrimental to the progress of the continent. This is, arguably, only a reflection of how 'weak' individual nation states are, in the face of so-called global superpowers. At meetings and gatherings where major decisions that affect the lives of African people, African nations often have 'weaker' and thus, easily subdued voices compared to those of other continents. This results in representatives of African nations often subscribing to policies that are detrimental to, and therefore, not in the interest of the people of Africa. A united, Pan-African body would have a stronger voice on such platforms to demand for instance, fair prices for the continents resources etc.
I could go on and on trying to justify my chosen position on whether Pan-Africanism is relevant to the progress of Africa but suffice to say that Africa should evolve into a more united continent which, having learnt from it's own history and from the history of others like the Americas who united and formed the United States of America, will not deviate from the imperative of unity and co-operation in economic, social and political dimensions.
As stated earlier in the introduction, it is argued by some that Pan-Africanism is not a prerequisite for the development of Africa and it's people and that individual African states can develop on their own and see to the well-bing of their citizens. This is true, but only when development on the continent is viewed with a very narrow lens. Looking at development and progress on the continent of Africa with a wider lens will reveal that there are some levels and aspects of development that cannot be attained by many of the current African countries alone, without Pan-Africanism, and that for the thorough progress of the continent and all African people, Pan-Africanism is very relevant.
This series was written by Moshood. Find more of his work here:
Pic by Mederic Turay - Ivory Coast artist making art from coffee.