In 60 years as the principal African organization, both as the OAU and the AU, the African Union has been tasked with managing a wide range of conflicts on the continent. The AU has made great strides in diverging from the position of the OAU on peacekeeping intervention. But efforts are all it will remain if the AU does not deal with the holdbacks that hindered the OAU.
Leading up to the founding of the Organization of African Unity in 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia emerged as an unlikely progenitor of the unprecedented moment. Ethiopia’s rise to the forefront of pan-Africanism was sustained by the influence of Black consciousness in the African diaspora, culminating with the far-reaching activism of Jamaica’s Marcus Garvey.
Over the last few weeks, France has seen unrest at the death of Nahel Merzouk, a 17-year-old boy of Moroccan and Algerian origin shot and killed by police officers in a Paris suburb. The events dawn on the 98th birthday of Frantz Fanon, the Martinican psychiatrist who, educated in Paris, spent a critical part of his life in Algeria supporting its nationalist liberation movement against France, seeing the revolution as a ‘bridgehead’ of a pan-African vision.
Nigerian politics matter at home and abroad, particularly for West Africa. Likewise, West Africa’s stability or otherwise matters and has real implications for Nigeria. Unlike the Muhammadu Buhari administration, Nigeria’s next president cannot afford to neglect foreign policy in favour of an overemphasis on domestic issues.
Colonization was an enterprise that not only administratively dominated the colonized territories by having exploited its resources illegitimately and illegally. In Guinea-Bissau as in other formerly colonized regions, colonization was, above all, also an act of cultural alienation of the natives, who saw their traditions belittled and ridiculed, their history suspended, and their languages the preserve of the most uneducated.
For Kenneth Onwuka Dike, history was a tool not only useful for discovering the past but also for planning the future. Dike is recognized for countering the Western claim that Africa lacked history because African societies relied on oral tradition as opposed to written records.
In 1972, pan-Africanist and Marxist thinker from Guyana, Walter Rodney, warned of ‘Wildlife Republics’, calling attention to wildlife conservation in Africa as a new form of imperialist and capitalist exploitation. Today, conservation is still a pretext to dispossess local communities for imperialist expansion and capitalist development.
Twenty-five when she became queen, Queen Elizabeth II’s reign saw a declining, brutal British Empire and declarations of independence that have continued till date in former British colonies across Africa and the African diaspora. Read more.
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