Pan Africanism - Collaborative progress
At the very heart of the ideology of Pan-Africanism is the call for African unity (unity among all African people on the continent and in the other, much truer type of Pan-Africanism, unity among all people of African descent in the continent and in the diaspora.) This call for unity arguably begins with ridding the continent of the numerous borders that were drawn and imposed by Europeans at the Berlin Conference of 1844. These borders that exist all over the continent till date, are as divisive as they are an impediment to the progress of the continent. History teaches us that almost all pre-colonial African empires and nations had trade as the basis of their socio-political development. Ease of movement is key to trade and massive intra-African trade, in turn, key to the development of Africa and it's people. Current colonial borders coupled with visa and travel requirements from one African state to the other, however make it extremely difficult and almost impossible in some cases for Africans to move freely within their continent: a situation which clearly does nor augur well for trade and, in effect, progress.
One other way by which much more progress could be attained in Africa would be when African countries collaborate more with each other, instead of competing, sometimes rather destructively, against each other; as seen in cases such as Nigeria's tussle with Cameroon over ownership of the Bakassi peninsula, and more recently, Ghana's with the Ivory Coast. A Pan-African reality would have African states collaborating with each other for the goodwill of Africans, rather than competing against each other for the benefits of factional nation states. At a recent event, the acting director of export at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr. Nyarko Mensah made the following remarks "If Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire with their cocoa, collaborate with Kenya's diary industry, we should be controlling the [global] chocolate market, not the Swiss." This, I believe, is one one the several examples of how African countries, if they worked together, could easily see an Africa immensely and successfully developed by itself. The Inga Dam of Congo reportedly has the capacity to cater for the hydro-electrical needs of the whole of Africa. This means that Congo area could single-handedly solve the crisis that Professor P.L.O Lumumba calls the "dumsorisation of Africa states." Examples abound as to the possibilities of what a progressive continent Africa would be were it to collaborate with its resources under a Pan-African union.
This series was written by Moshood. Find more of his work here:
Picture - beautiful art by Ethopia's Julie Mehretu.