By 1962 Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904-1996) was a well-known independence leader in Nigeria. As President of the Nigerian Senate he was one of the most powerful individuals in the government of the young nation. Azikiwe, like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Leopold Senghor of Senegal, and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, was also a leader in the Pan African Movement. In the 1962 address reprinted below he gives his views on the subject which he defined as the unity of newly independent African states.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, events in the continent of Africa loom high on the horizon of world affairs, that one can rightly claim Africa to hold the balance between two extremes of Western civilization. As the cradle of itself this continent has had the bad luck to be over-run soldiers of fortune who had neither the moral fibre nor humanity to appreciate the possibilities of this sleeping who is now awake.
Slavery played its shameful role in depopulating Africa; capitalism denuded it of its wealth; colonialism deprived it of birthright, and imperialism emasculated its will to live as a human being and to enjoy its fair share of the bounties of the good earth.
Twenty years ago there were in Africa three sovereign States namely: Liberia, Egypt and the Union of South Africa; the other territories were colonies of European States. Ten years ago, there were five African sovereign States, Ethiopia and Libya having joined the select circle. Five years ago, there were eight African States, Sudan, Morocco and Tunisia having gained their independence. Today, there are twenty-eight African States, and by December this year, Tanganyika will join the comity of African nations to bring the total to twenty-nine. It is my considered opinion that these African States can play a constructive role in the international community and, in the light of their bondage under European imperialism they can bring sanity to a world torn by greed, self-interest, and inhumanity.
To enable the despoiled continent of Africa to come into its own, it must restore the pristine dignity of the Africans themselves, before attempting to revive the stature of man in the councils of the nations. That is one main reason why, on their countries attaining independence, African nationalists have sought to create an image of the African personality which will undertake this sacred mission. But it should not be forgotten that under the most grinding oppression of slavery, Africans themselves also thought of the African personality. When the slaves sang their sorrow songs either in the plantations of America or of the Caribbean, they remembered Africa, their home. For example:
Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home.
These African slaves did not accept slavery as their lot; they were not supine. There were sporadic insurrections. Nat Turner unsuccessfully led his fellow-slaves against the plantation owners of Virginia, just as Spartacus did in the days of Rome. Toussaint Louverture, from Dahomey, successfully led the slaves of San Domingo against Spain, Britain and France; he founded the Republic of Haiti. After the betrayal of Toussaint to Napoleon, Dessalines, from the Congo, took the command and guaranteed their newly-won freedom. The Maroons of Jamaica made history by their gallantry, even in slavery, and when the West Indies Federation becomes independent in May 1962, the heroism of the Maroons will be appreciated in its true perspective.
After the abolition of Slavery and the partition of Africa, the idea of Pan-Africanism began to germinate. Paul Cuffe, a manumitted slave in Boston, who was a wealthy ship-owner, fired the imagination of freed American slaves to return to the homeland and build a great nation. His vessel shipped some of them to what is now known as Sierra Leone. His real name may have been Cofie, in which case, he must have come from what is now known as Ghana. That was before the Congress of Vienna of 1812, which created a Concert of Europe in the attempt to build European unity.
SUMMARY OF LECTURE
In the course of this discourse, I will mention names of other persons who helped to crystallize the idea of Pan-Africanism long before the contemporary nationalists of Africa, who are working hard to make it a living reality. I propose, therefore, to define what I mean by Pan-Africanism, with due deference to what may be the views of others, and I will proceed to trace its development; after which, I will show that individuals, as well as groups, have tried to crystallize it. Then, I will prove that there have been conscious and unconscious efforts to bring about unity among the peoples and countries of Africa, since the abolition of the Slave trade, and these efforts have not recognized geographical barriers.
British West Africa was formerly a quasi-federation, but this was dissolved when the people themselves clamoured for autonomy and separate existence. The possessions of France in western and equatorial Africa were also federated, but were subsequently dissolved. Apart from these historical examples, I intend to spotlight some of the problems which have made the realization of Pan-Africanism very difficult. In this connection, I will adduce facts to show what concrete efforts have been made to resolve these problems. The existence of a common market and customs union among certain French-speaking African States is one effort. The formation of the Ghana-Guinea- Mali union is another. The Charter of the Casablanca Powers and the Conakry Decisions are other examples. The Principles of Monrovia and the Dakar Recommendations are also other examples of sincere attempts to bring about African unity.
As to the future of Pan-Africanism, I will enumerate some of the measures already taken by African States which can be fairly surmised to mean their belief in Pan-Africanism. Then I propose to make concrete suggestions which, in the light of existing problems, can facilitate better understanding among African States and pave the way towards lasting unity. This, I will submit, may be in the form of a federation or a confederation. Here I will ask the indulgence of the audience to allow my imagination to run riot. I do so, with a sense of responsibility, knowing that the ideas of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne are no longer figments of the imagination but realities of our nuclear society and space age.
I think that Pan-Africanism should be concretized either in the form of regional States or one continental State, whichever is feasible, allowing this to be done voluntarily without upsetting the total sovereignty of the States concerned. If this barrier is hurdled, I suggest that the African States concerned should sign and ratify conventions, among others which I shall dilate upon, guaranteeing fundamental human rights among their citizens, social security among their workers, and collective security among their populations.
Above all, I will suggest that African States should now, as an earnest of their sincere belief in Pan-Africanism, declare a doctrine of non-intervention in the continent of Africa, making it clear that the establishment of the continued existence of any colonial territory in Africa, by any non-African State, shall be regarded as an unfriendly act and an act of aggression against the African States collectively.
Mr. Chairman, having given you an idea of the gist of what was at the back of my mind before I accepted the invitation to speak, I shall now proceed with the lecture.
ANALYSIS OF PAN-AFRICANISM
When we speak of Pan-Africanism, what do we exactly mean? To envisage its future, we must appreciate its meaning. To some people, Pan-Africanism denotes the search for an African personality. To others, it implies negritude. Whilst to many it connotes a situation which finds the whole continent of Africa free from the shackles of foreign domination with its leaders free to plan for the orderly progress and welfare of its inhabitants. In order not to be misleading, we must also explain what we mean by the term ‘African’. Is he a member of the black race or is he a hybrid of the black and white races inhabiting Africa? It is necessary to say, too, whether an inhabitant of Africa, irrespective of his race and language, qualifies to become an African within the context of the use of this terminology.
I would prefer to be very broad in m use of the words ‘Africa’ and ‘African’. For reasons which will emerge by the time I have finished analysing the problems of Pan-Africanism, it should be obvious that unless we accept a broad definition of terms, there can be no worthy future for Africanism. That being the case, I would like to speak of the peoples of Africa in general terms to include all the races inhabiting that continent and embracing all the linguistic and cultural groups who are domiciled therein.
In other words, I am using the term strictly in its political context so that whatever solutions are offered by me would, in the final analysis, be political. This approach simplifies my problem because it would enable me to formulate policies which
can be implemented, bearing in mind the empirical history of human beings in other continents of the earth. It would be useless to define ‘Pan-Africanism’ exclusively in racial or linguistic terms, since the obvious solution would be parochial. And chauvinism, by whatever name it is identified, has always been a disintegrating factor in human society at all known times of human history.
It is true that the roots of Pan-Africanism are, to a large extent, racial, but the evolution of the idea itself took different forms in the last four centuries so that today Africanism cannot be restricted to racial factors. What are these roots? Mainly individual actions and group pressure. Take the individual prophets of Pan-Africanism and it will be found that in all cases they were ethnocentric in their ideas and concepts of Pan-Africanism. For example, Paul Cuffe of Boston was more concerned in the repatriation of freed black slaves to Africa. When Edward Wilmot Blyden of Danish West Indies preached the projection of the African personality he had at the back of his mind the black inhabitants of Africa. The same may be said of Casely Hayford of Ghana, Marcus Aurelius Garvey of Jamaica, Burghhardt Du Bois of America, Mojola Agbebi of Nigeria, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Javabu of South Africa, George Padmore of Trinidad, Nwafor Orizu of Nigeria, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Leopold Senghor of Senegal.
HISTORY OF PAN-AFRICANISM
But when we consider the role of organizations, as distinct from individuals, no rigid line of distinction on the basis of race appears to be drawn, generally speaking. The Anti-Slavery Society and the American Colonization Society, for example, were actuated by humanitarian motives to plan for the emigration of freed black slaves from America and the Caribbean to Africa for permanent settlement. The International Conference on Africa which was held in Berlin in 1885 partitioned that continent without taking into consideration racial, cultural or linguistic factors. The United Native African Church in Nigeria revolted against ecclesiastical control of African churches from outside Africa, but it did not preclude non-Africans from joining its communion and fellowship. The United Negro Improvement Association was ethnocentric in the sense that it preached the doctrine of ‘Africa for the Africans’ on the basis of race. The National Congress of British West Africa sought for political reforms in the former British territories in West Africa without attaching much importance to race or language or culture.
The history of the continent of Africa in ancient, medieval and modern times has followed a pattern which ignores the factor of race in its evolution. Whilst the white races of Assyria, Syria, Phoenicia and Israel developed their civilization, the brown races of Egypt and the black races of Ethiopia proceeded to develop their civilization contemporaneously. In medieval times, the Arab did not distinguish between the black or brown or white Hamitic, Semitic, Sudanic or Bantu-speaking converts of Islam. All that has come down to us shows that the civilizations which flourished in Africa at that time attached little attention, if any, to such an extraneous factor as race.
When the so-called Barbary States flourished in Algeria, Morocco, Tunis, and Tripoli, race was a minor factor in their p cal evolution. The British West Africa Settlements were originally a sort of concert of territories consisting of Gambia, Leone, Gold Coast and later Lagos. In fact, all these count were governed by one Governor at various times from 1826, 1866, 1874 until 1886. French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa were each governed as a federation until 1958 when the French Community was organized and the right of each member to separate autonomous existence was recognized. Even the Union of South Africa (much as we hate it) is a federation of various racial, linguistic and cultural groups. The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was a condominium which held two culturally-opposed groups together until independence was attained by Sudan in 1956. The East Africa High Commission was a quasi-federal instrument which bound Uganda, Kenya, Tanganyika and Zanzibar together, and efforts are being made not to dissolve it with the dawn of the independence of Tanganyika. The High Commission of the Protectorates of South Africa, the Central Air Federation, the Federation of Nigeria, the Ghana-Guinea-Mali Union—these are efforts to weld together political entities comprising various races, languages and cultures.
In other words, in spite of racial, linguistic and cultural differences, conscious efforts have been made at all known times of African history to form a political union either on a regional or continental basis. From the evidence at our disposal, it would appear that whilst European nations may be rightly accused of Balkanising Africa in the nineteenth century, yet they atoned for it by federating many African territories, which a now being Balkanised by African nationalists on the attainment of the independence of their countries. British West Africa, French West Africa, and French Equatorial Africa are examples of Balkanisation by African nationalists, and the Central Afri Federation is an example of Balkanisation in process brought about by the racial segregation and discrimination practised a small minority of European settlers against the African majority, who are owners of their countries.
FACTORS AFFECTING AFRICAN UNITY
Two factors which may be said to have intensified the problem of African unity are the vestigial attachments of African States with their former colonial rulers. These attachments are so deep- rooted that they affect the whole personalities of these budding political personalities. Since imperialism is all-pervading in its operations it envelops in its totality the very atmosphere of these former colonies. Consequently, their political, economic, social, educational, spiritual, cultural and religious institutions have been subjected to a terrific impact from which they may never recover.
One saving grace in this relationship is that such cultural contacts have some advantages as well as disadvantages. If we go by the testimony of leaders of the African States, it would appear that the connection between the Africans and their European colonialists has enabled them, like true human beings, to be in position to be selective as to what aspect of alien culture can be adapted to the way of life of the African. Both English- speaking and French-speaking Africans have made this admission and their subsequent behaviour on the attainment of independence is an honest confession of faith in the efficacy of British and French cultures in Africa.
The instrument used for implementing this kulturkreise is the Commonwealth, in the case of the British, and the Community, in the case of the French. The Commonwealth and the Community are, therefore, important factors to be reckoned with in the realization of African unity. To overlook their importance is to over-simplify the problem of African unity. Therefore, it is germane at this stage for me to explain the effect of the existence of these political leviathans on the future of Pan-Africanism.
The Commonwealth, unlike the Community, has no written constitution. The relationship between its members is defined partly by legislation, principally the Statute of Westminster, 1931, and by constitutional conventions. The imperial Conference of 1926 described the Commonwealth as ‘autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs’. The Commonwealth is bound by a complex system of consultation and co-operation in political, economic, educational, scientific, and cultural fields, working through many Commonwealth organizations and through personal contacts, like the Prime Ministers’ Conferences.
Commonwealth Preference is a system of tariff preferences which came into being at Ottawa, as a result of the decision of the Imperial Conference which was held there in 1932. Through this system, Commonwealth countries grant preferences by levying a customs duty on all imports from non-Commonwealth countries and a lower rate or none at all on imports from the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Trade and Economic Conference held at Montreal in 1958 declared in favour of continuing to maintain Commonwealth preferences. In practice, it would appear that some of these have been unilaterally modified, if not repudiated because, under the United Nations General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, the United Kingdom has obtained waivers to help certain colonial products and on the other hand has increased some of its domestic tariffs. The recent application of Britain to join the European Common Market may be the final knock-out blow to Commonwealth preferences, if the European Economic Community insists that Britain should comply with the Common Market Code (that is, Articles 85-94 of the Treaty of Rome) which stipulates obedience to the rules of free competition and tests of restrictive practices.
Other organizations which are of economic value to Commonwealth countries are the Commonwealth Economic Committee, the Commonwealth Development Finance Company Limited, the Federation of Commonwealth and British Empire Chambers of Commerce, the British Commonwealth Producers’ Organization, and the Empire and Commonwealth Industries’ Association.
The Sterling Area is an important Commonwealth unifying process. It consists of those countries whose currency exchange rates are fixed in relation to the pound sterling and who finance the bulk of their foreign trade in sterling. Since December 1958, sterling has been freely transferable and convertible into dollars, and since 1961 it has become fully convertible under the terms of the International Monetary Fund. Ghana, (I’m reading this alphabetically) Libya, Nigeria, Rhodesia and Nyasaland, South Africa and Sierra Leone are African States which belong to the Sterling Area.
The French Community, which was set up on October 6, 1958, is a counterpart of the British Commonwealth in certain respects, although there are material differences in many other respects. It comprises the French Republic, six independent African States and six African States who are non-members but having agreements with France. The six African independent members are Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, Madagascar and Senegal. The non-members are Cameroun, Dahomey, Ivory Coast, Niger, Togo and Upper Volta.
According to the French Constitution, all members are recognized as sovereign States. They have a common defence policy and permit France to establish bases in their territories. There is a customs union but each State reserves the right to create its own currency and bank of issue and to conduct its own trade and tariff policies. Members remain in the franc zone.
Under Article 78 of the Constitution, the Community has jurisdiction over foreign policy, defence, monetary system, common economic and financial policy, justice, higher education, transport and telecommunication. Article 86 is flexible enough to release a member State of the Community, on attaining independence, to cease to belong to the Community. Under the same article, ‘A member State of the Community may also, by means of agreement, become independent without thereby ceasing to belong to the Community’. Also, ‘An independent State which is not a member of the Community may, by agreement, adhere to the Community without ceasing to be independent.’ Article 88 vests the Republic of France or the Community with power to ‘make agreements with States that wish to associate themselves with the Community in order to develop their own civilizations.’
It is necessary to explain the Franc Zone because it affects the economic and financial life of French-speaking African States. All members of the non-European Zone belong to a general customs union. The African members include Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Dahomey, Gaboñ, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Upper Volta. Morocco and Mali are members but they retain national control over financial transfers. Cameroun and Togo are defacto members not having legal agreement with France.
It is significant to note that African States which are member of the Franc Zone are associated members of the European Common Market. They are also members of the Europe Economic Community Development Fund, which was established to promote the economic and social development of non-European countries or territories administered or, in certain cases, formerly administered by the member States of the European Economic Community.
As for Guinea, it rejected the new French Constitution after the referendum held in Metropolitan France and the overseas territories on September 2, 1958. As a result, Guinea was separated from France on September 28 and on October 2, it became an independent republic. On March 1, 1960, Guinea withdrew from the Franc Zone and established its own currency.
In May 1959, a political and economic association of sovereign States, which were formerly part of French West Africa, was formed by the Republics of Dahomey, Ivory Coast and Upper Volta. It was christened Conseil de L ‘Entente. Under this association there is complete freedom of trade and a unified system of external tariffs and fiscal schedules. There is also a single system of administration for ports and harbours, railways and road traffic and a unified quarantine organization.
The functions of the Entente include the following: an identical constitutional and electoral procedure in each State; in fact, elections are held simultaneously under uniform electoral regulations in all the territories of the Entente members. Each State agrees to have an identical organization of its armed forces, identical administrative organization, identical taxation and tariff policies, common bank of amortization, and a common diplomatic corps. There is also a Central Development Fund for economic development and each State contributes ten per cent of its total revenue. In April 1961, the members of the Entente, without prejudice to their independent status, adhered to the French Community with particular reference to defence, economic affairs, judicial matters, higher education, cultural relations, civil aviation, postal and telecommunications. Whilst Upper Volta adhered to the Community, it did not sign the defence agreement.
In June 1959, a regional organization within the French Community was founded by the Republics of Chad, Congo (Brazzaville) and the Central African Republic. It was called Union des Republiques d’Afrique Centrale. This is an economic union designed to encourage free movement of trade and capital, common legislation on customs, common tariff on imports, consultations on modifications to tariffs, one tax on goods produced in one country and sold in another member country. The Union has a fund (‘Fonds de Solidarité’) for development of projects of benefit to all members and a fixed annual quota is subscribed by each member.
The Republic of Gäbon attends the conferences of the Union and is a member of the affiliated organizations but does not belong to the customs union. So far, there are three affiliated organizations of this union: Trans-Equatorial Agency for Communications, Equatorial Institute for Geological and Mining Research, and Equatorial Office for Posts and Telecommunications. The Agency operates at Pointe Noire to develop the ports of Brazzaville, Pointe Noire and Bangui; the Institute is situated at Brazzaville as well as the Office, which co-ordinates postal and telecommunication facilities between the four republics.
Whilst British colonial policy (with all its faults) did emphasize the rule of law and the development of parliamentary democracy, the French colonial policy (with all its faults) was based on the doctrine of assimilation. The ideals of liberty imbued by the British and the French in their long history and transplanted to their African colonies are identical in theory, but in practice it would appear that the parliamentary institutions, whilst comparable, have not succeeded in creating a stable government in France as they have done in Britain. These ideals have influenced the political evolution of the English-speaking and French-speaking African States, so that to-day, the tendency in the former is to encourage the two-party system of government, whilst the latter tends to foster the one-party system. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages in each of these, but the fact is that it has arrested the growth of Pan-Africanism and made some African leaders wonder what guarantees of individual freedom would accrue and what role their people would play individually in the event that sovereignty is surrendered to a federal government of a regional or continental African leviathan.
The association of English-speaking Africans in the Sterling Area and the French-speaking Africans in the Franc Zone may present financial problems, but Guinea has shown that it can have its own currency and survive, although the problems confronting Guinea are well-known to those who have studied carefully the contemporary history of that republic.
The entanglement of African States in military alliances with the Commonwealth and the Community is another issue which must be resolved by the Pan-Africanists in order to allay the fears which made such alignments necessary in the first place. Most of the African States which are now independent are small, either in area or in population or in both. In the modern world, no independent State can afford to stand alone simply by trusting the United Nations (I mean no disrespect to the United Nations). Ethiopia trusted the League of Nations, but it took World War II to restore its lost sovereignty. We have seen that Commonwealth connection does not necessarily imply a military alliance; and we have seen that it does in the French Community, except in the case of associate members by special agreement. If, therefore, Pan-Africanism would imply the severing of these military alliances then it would j be necessary to replace them by equally strong attachments which would be m position to safeguard the territorial integrity of these small African States.
In some cases, the military alliances have been made public, as in the case of certain members of the French Community and the Commonwealth. But there is reason to believe that even in the case of the Commonwealth countries in Africa, there are certain accords and understandings, apart from written defence agreements, which obligate a Commonwealth country to call upon the United Kingdom for assistance in case of aggression or invasion. And it is well known that all Commonwealth States in Africa, without exception, rely on Britain and other countries for technical assistance in the administration and organization of their armed forces, the training of their soldiers, the selection and purchase of their weapons, and the commanding of their defence forces. When Pan-Africanism is realized, it will be up to our leaders to disentangle themselves from these written and unwritten defence pacts, and also from the open and secret military alliances which may exist but are generally unknown and unheralded.
In the light of the above facts of past and recent history, my considered views are that Pan-Africanism has come to stay, and in spite of anthropological, sociological and ideological problems, it will yet be a shining example to the rest of the world how people of different races, divergent cultures and diversity of languages can live together in political unity in one continent with their territory safeguarded from aggression and their civil liberties guaranteed by the entrenchment of fundamental human rights in their constitutions. Not being a seer, I can only prophesy that the nature of this political union may be continental or regional, but the fact remains that Pan-Africanism is destined to be feasible either in the immediate or distant future.
PROBLEMS OF PAN-AFRICANISM
Whether the unity of African States is possible or not depends upon the ability of African leaders to resolve the problems created by the social intercourse of the inhabitants of Africa. As I said earlier on, these are mainly anthropological, sociological, and ideological, and they affect not only the individual Africans themselves but also their societies. It is my candid opinion that if pursued in the right spirit, most of these problems can be effectively adjusted for the emergence of a fertile soil that will be favourable for the evolution of some sort of association of African States.
Pan-Africanism in action has proved the existence of deep- seated fears which exist in the minds of certain African leaders in some African States. The Principles of Monrovia demonstrate the nature of these fears, to wit: the right of African States to equality of sovereignty irrespective of size and population; the right of each African State to self-determination and existence; the right of any African State to federate or confederate with another African State; respect for the principle of non-interference in the internal and domestic affairs of African States inter se and the inviolability of the territorial integrity of each African State. These are well-known accepted principles of International Law.
The proposal to integrate Togo and Ghana has been a source of anxiety to the Ghanaian, Togolese and other friends of Pan-Africanism. The claim of Morocco to sovereignty over Mauritania is a denial of the right to self-determination to the Mauritanians according to those who believe in Mauritania. The refusal of Sudan to attend the Monrovia Conference because Mauritania was invited shows the nature of the cleavage between the Casablanca and Monrovia Powers. The walking-out of the Moroccan delegation from the International Labour Conference, when the Republic of Mauritania was admitted into its membership, is another pointer. The fact that the Casablanca Powers support the claim of Algeria to self-determination, on the one hand, and, on the other, deny the right of Mauritania of self- determination, indicates the gravity of these problems.
If the issues mentioned in the preceding paragraphs are secondary, it is essential that we also examine the primary ones. First, the inhabitants of the African continent are not racially homogeneous. In North Africa, the majority of the population belong to the Mediterranean group of the Caucasoid race. In Africa south of the Sahara, the majority are Negroid, with the exception of a small minority of European settlers in southern Africa who are either members of the Alpine or Nordic groups of the Caucasoids. The coexistence of these racial groups has created a social problem in Africa as apartheid and Mau Mau have shown.
Secondly, the existence of various linguistic groups in Africa has intensified the problem of communication and human understanding. Whilst those who live on the fringe of the Mediterranean are Hamitic-speaking, the Africans of the west are mainly Sudanic-speaking. The indigenous central and southern Africans are Bantu-speaking. The inhabitants of eastern Africa are partially Sudanic, Bantu, Hamitic and Semitic. The small European elements in southern Africa speak either English or Afrikaans. Emerging out of this milieu is the fact that to millions of Africans either English or Arabic or Swahili or Hausa is the lingua franca, whilst the rest have to manage as best they can.
Thirdly, the impact of various cultures on African society has created basic problems of social unity. One example is the activities of the Pan-Arab League which seeks to unite under one fold all the Arabic-speaking peoples not only of Africa but also of the Middle East. Another example is the attempt being made in certain quarters to create an Islamic Confederation which will cut across racial, linguistic and cultural lines. Then there is the move to interpret Pan-Africanism purely in terms of race and to restrict its membership and activities to the Negroids and thereby exclude other races who live in Africa who are not black.
These three problems are real. The practice of racial segregation and discrimination is a disturbing factor in society, as the examples of the United States, the Union of South Africa and the Central African Federation have shown. The official use or recognition of any particular language to the detriment of others has not made for harmonious human relations and the experiences of India, Pakistan, Ceylon, and the U.S.S.R. are a great lesson. My conclusion is that parochialism in the realms of race, language, culture or religion has often led to social disintegration. Therefore, it constitutes a social and psychological barrier which must be hurdled if Pan-Africanism is to become a reality.
If the anthropological problems are basic, then the sociological are complex since they affect the economic, political and constitutional aspects of the lives of those concerned. Economically, the existence of tariff walls and barriers has tended to alienate rather than draw closer the relations of those who should be good neighbours. High competitive markets have led to cut-throat methods of bargaining and distribution. The use of separate currencies as legal tender has accentuated social differences. With separate road, railway, aviation and communications systems, Africans have become estranged to one another.
The political issues are even more confounding. Granted that political union is desirable, the question arises whether it should be in the form of a federation or a confederation. If the former, should it be a tight or a loose one? In any case sovereignty must be surrendered in part or in whole, in which case it will be desirable to know whether it is intended to surrender internal or external sovereignty or both? In this context, we cannot overlook the struggle for hegemony as indeed has been the case in the last few years. Hand in glove with the struggle for hegemony goes the manoeuvre for the control of the armed forces for the effective implementation of policy.
The constitutional implications of Pan-Africanism present to its builders a challenge to create a heaven on earth for African humanity. Therefore, the powers of the executive must be clearly defined, bearing in mind that in most of the progressive States of the world, Heads of States exercise powers formally and Heads of Governments formulate policy and do the actual governing. Nevertheless, the vogue is to accept the supremacy of the legislature, as a forum for airing the views of the electorate and strengthening the hand of the executive.
Pan-Africanists must also guarantee the independence of the judiciary, not necessarily by stratifying judges as a select and privileged elite but by ensuring that they shall perform their functions without fear or favour and at the same time be responsible to the people for their actions and behaviour. To obtain maximum efficiency in the machinery of administration, the civil service must be insulated from partisan politics. As for the people themselves, their fundamental rights must be guaranteed and entrenched in any document or instrument creating any association of African States.
With such a background, the future of Pan-Africanism can be tackled optimistically. I have never disguised my belief that African States can unite for the achievement of certain political objectives; but in spite of my optimism, I have never hidden my fears that the barriers to be overcome are many and variegated. As I see it, there is bound to arise an African leviathan in the form of a political organization or association or union or concert of States. Such a leviathan may be formed on a continental basis, in which case, we may have, say, an association of African States. It may be formed also on a regionalized basis, in which case we may have the emergence of a union of North African States or West African States or Central African States or East African States or South African States. It is not impossible for such a leviathan to be formed on any other basis that may be distinct from a continental or regional pattern.
Once such a leviathan has become a reality, it will be necessary for the nature or form of its government to be known. Three main forms are known to students of government; unitary, federal and confederate. If it is to be unitarian, then it will be highly centralized with some devolution of its internal sovereignty to its local government units. If it is to be federal, then it will be necessary to decide whether the internal sovereignty of the federal government shall be explicitly defined, whilst allocating to it the exclusive exercise of external sovereignty, but reserving residuary powers to its co-ordinate units, as is the case of Nigeria, or vice-versa, as is the case of Canada, or a mixture of both systems, as is the case of India. If it is to be a confederate form of government, then both the external and internal sovereignties of the individual members of the confederation shall remain intact, subject to whatever aspect of same may be surrendered for the smooth operation of the confederated States. Ghana-Guinea-Mali Union is an example of this.
Howbeit, such a leviathan on becoming a fait accompli must be accepted as a concert of African States. In the light of what has happened in Europe and America, I am of the opinion that a concert of African States, as envisaged, must be properly organized and must have organs of administration. It should be organized to enable top level decisions to be made probably by Heads of States or Heads of Governments or their representatives. A Parliament of African States will have to meet periodically for general discussion of the problems confronting the African concert. Naturally, it should be organized on the basis of the United Nations Assembly. To settle disputes amicably, among African States, a Pan-African Court of International Justice will necessarily be set up and it should interpret the laws of members of the concert in addition to the accepted principles of International Law. A Pan-African Secretariat, manned cooperatively by nationals of the concert will be responsible for the administration of the day-to-day affairs of this African leviathan.
Having established what, for want of a definite name, I have preferred to term a concert of African States, the need to safeguard its unity and to guarantee the fundamental rights of the citizens of the States forming the concert becomes apparent. It is essential that the unity of the concert should be safeguarded because of the problems of Pan-Africanism which hitherto have been discussed in extenso. Not only that, each State-Member of the concert must seriously devise ways and means of raising living standards of their inhabitants, to make the union worthwhile. Whilst doing this, they must realize that the continent of Africa, which has suffered degradation for centuries, can also set an example of how to restore the dignity of man in Africa.
CONVENTION ON ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION
In the case of the former, I suggest that members of the concert should promulgate a Convention on Economic Co-operation which should be signed, ratified and enforced by all its signatories and accessories. This convention should declare a customs union between all its signatories to enable their inhabitants to break down all tariff walls and barriers which had separated them. When the Republics of Ghana and Upper Volta removed customs barriers between the two countries recently, it was a forward step towards African unity. Economic integration of this nature is destined to crystallize a spirit of oneness and thus quicken the pace towards political integration.
Another economic factor which can bring political unity nearer is the establishment of a common market. It is my considered view that this should be one of the stipulations in a convention designed to encourage economic co-operation among African States. A common currency should be used as legal tender in any concert of African States. Both Ghana and Nigeria made inexcusable mistakes when they virtually destroyed the uniting influence of the West African currency on their attainment of independence; but this mistake can be rectified now and thus help to revamp the economies of not only Sierra Leone and the Gambia, but those of other countries which may be willing to join such a concert.
The Convention on Economic Co-operation should not only enforce a common currency in its territories of jurisdiction but it should ensure the creation of regimes which should make possible a regional road authority, a trans-African railway system, a Pan-African airways, and a telecommunications authority. If the West African States would establish a regional road authority, movement of individuals and goods in their respective countries would quicken and solidarity of views would be cemented. If their railway, aviation and telecommunication systems are organized on a uniform basis, the economic integration of these territories would be a foregone conclusion.
CONVENTION ON COLLECTIVE SECURITY
In order to make secure the safety of the properties and persons who live in the territories of this concert of African States, I suggest that the members of the concert should also promulgate an African Convention on Collective Security. This should make provision for the following: a multi-lateral pact of mutual defence which shall stipulate that an attack on any member of the concert shall be construed to be an attack on the concert jointly and severally; an African High Command, consisting of the General Staff of each member of the concert, whose function shall be to determine military strategy, tactics and logistics so as to safeguard the territorial integrity of the concert.
In connection with this Convention on Collective Security in Africa, the concert should postulate a doctrine of non-intervention in Africa, on the same lines as the Monroe Doctrine in the Western Hemisphere. This doctrine should make it clear that the establishment or the continued existence of any colonial territory in the continent of Africa, by any European or American or Asian or Australian power shall be regarded not only as an unfriendly act, but as an act of aggression against the concert of African States. This is one concrete way of making it impossible for certain nations who have been forced to surrender their colonial swag in Africa, to seek by devious methods to continue their insidious game.
Then, there should be incorporated in such a convention a Pan-African Declaration of Neutralism. This declaration should define what neutralism means. It should explain that it is coterminous with non-alignment and that it means an independent policy which should not oblige members of the concert either to inherit the prejudices of other nations or to join forces directly or indirectly with any bloc of nations against any other bloc in any war, or to act in such a way and manner as to give the impression that any particular bloc or group of nations is right or wrong in its approach to the solution of international problems.
CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Finally, the concert of African States should promulgate an African Convention on Human Rights as an earnest of their belief in the rule of law, democracy as a way of life, respect for individual freedom, and respect for human dignity. This convention on human rights should declare categorically the faith of the States-Members of the concert of Africa in freedom under the law. It should be unequivocal in declaring the right of Africans to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It should define in detail all the fundamental liberties of the citizen which shall neither be abridged nor denied to the African, except under due process of law; and it should make it clear that the African has an inalienable right to free speech, free press, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of movement, freedom from discrimination, freedom from want, freedom from inhuman treatment, freedom from slavery or forced labour, and freedom of conscience and worship.
That is how I see the future of this African leviathan. From its roots which take us to the days of the Anti-Slavery Society and the American Colonization Society to the partition of Africa by the Berlin Conference of 1885, Africa has been evolving from a so-called ‘dark continent’ to a continent of light. From the days when Edward Wilmot Blyden dreamt of an African personality to the time when Marcus Aurelius Garvey preached his sermons on ‘back to Africa,’ and Casely Hayford, DuBois, Affrey, Kenyatta, Javabu, Padmore and other prophets of PanAfricanism dreamt dreams and saw visions of a new Africa, the continent has experienced a great awakening.
If we recall the days of the so-called Barbary States and the British West Africa Settlements, who knew that freedom would, today, transform certain parts of North and West Africa into strongholds of democracy? French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa were federations which disintegrated on their manumission; the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was a condominium and the East Africa High Commission united the peoples in their respective areas. In this connection, who knows whether statesmen with vision, like Dr. Julius Nyerere and Dr. Tom Mboya, Dr. Kamuzu Banda, Mr. Joshua Nkomo and Mr. Kenneth Kaunda, will not ultimately preserve the unity of East Africa? The Federation of Nigeria has proved that racially homogeneous African peoples with heterogeneous languages and cultures can be united, thanks to the far-sighted leadership of the Nigerians. The Ghana-Guinea-Mali Union is an experiment with great possibilities. All that we can do now is to develop an optimism that these examples of unity can be a pointer to greater unity for Africa.
UNITY IS POSSIBLE
The Accra Conference of African States demonstrated that African States are amenable to reasoned appeals for unity. The All-African Peoples’ Conference showed that African politicians can sink their individual differences. The Saniquelli Conference vindicated African statesmanship. The conferences of the Brazzaville States-Members of the French Community are examples of realism in tackling the problems of African unity. The Casablanca Conference shamed those who thought that African leaders were mainly moderates and tongue-tied marionettes. The Monrovia Conference presaged the emergence of reasonable and statesmanlike leadership on a wider scale in Africa. The Tananarive and Coquilhatville Conferences depict the African as a corn- peer of his European and American comrades when it comes to hard bargaining and power politics. The All-Africa Trades Union Conference advertised to the world the role which African labour may play in the solution of African problems.
If this evidence of a sincere attempt to resolve the problems created by the interplay of social forces can be a guide, then it is patent that no matter what may be the difficulties in the way, African unity is possible in the foreseeable future. Deep- seated fears exist, it is true, but they are being gradually replaced by mutual confidence. Granted that complex problems rear their heads and often confuse the honest efforts of those who believe in African unity, nevertheless solutions have been suggested and analyses are being conducted to discover the best methods of resolving these human problems.
PRELUDE TO RESURRECTION
Two great events which inspire one with optimism are the Conakry and the Dakar Recommendations. These are landmarks in the history of the African continent, because for the first time all the sovereign States of Africa but two have agreed to co-operate in order that a greater Africa might emerge as a world force. The implementations of the Conakry and the Dakar Recommendations are destined to serve as a prelude to the resurrection of Africa from the debris of the past.
The Casablanca Powers, comprising the United Arab Republic, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Morocco and the Algerian Provisional Government, will now seek ways and means of implementing the recommendations made by the experts of the member States at Conakry, which call for the establishment of a common market to accompany a growing political union.
The Conakry Recommendations include the ending of customs barriers between the Casablanca countries o’er five years from January 1, 1962, the ending of quota systems and preferential treatment from the same date, the creation of a Council of African Economic Unity, and the establishment of an African Economic Development Bank. Formation of a joint air and shipping company will be considered later.
The Monrovia Powers, comprising Cameroun, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Léopoldville), Dahomey, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Togo, Tunisia and Upper Volta, called for the promotion of trade among African countries through a regional customs union, a common external tariff, harmonized development policies, proposals for a connecting network of national roads and other communications, an investment and guarantee fund, exchange of economic information, and an African development bank.
It is believed that if the sixteen resolutions which form the Dakar Recommendations are implemented it would certainly lead to closer union between the twenty members of the Monrovia group. Both the Conakry and Dakar Recommendations are so similar that it is fervently hoped that these would break down the unfortunate misunderstanding between the Casablanca and the Monrovia groups.
LESSON TO AFRICA
The problem confronting the two groups of African States are almost identical with what faces Britain in connection with the European Common Market, as Mr. Harold Macmillan pointed out in his speech in the House of Commons on Monday, July 31 when he made a statement on the policy of his government towards the European Economic Community. He said:
‘The future relations between the European Economic Community, the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the rest of Europe are clearly matters of capital importance in the life of our country, and indeed of all the countries of the Free World.
This is a political as well as an economic issue. Although the Treaty of Rome is concerned with economic matters it has an important political objective—namely, to promote unity and stability in Europe, which is so essential a factor in the struggle for freedom and progress throughout the world.
In this modern world the tendency towards larger groups of nations acting together in the common interest leads to greater unity, and this adds to our strength in the struggle for freedom’.
For a British Prime Minister to admit that economic unity would foster political unity, even if it means the surrendering of a portion of the sovereignty of the United Kingdom in order to attain unity in Europe, is an admission which must teach the emerging States of Africa a lesson in statesmanship.
If the Casablanca and the Monrovia groups of African States would implement the recommendations of their experts, made respectively, at Conakry and Dakar, Pan-Africanism would have been realized, without further fuss on the Surrender of sovereignty and on the jockeying for leadership entailed thereby. But the main task is to reconcile the two groups.
An African federation or confederation, either on a regional or continental basis, has many blessings for the continent of Africa and its inhabitants. Politically, it will raise the prestige of African States in the councils of the world; it will make Africa a bastion of democracy, and it will revive the stature of man by guaranteeing to African citizens the fundamental rights of man. From a military point of view, such a concert of States will protect the people of Africa not only from external aggression and internal commotion, but also it would safeguard the whole of Africa by a system of collective security. Economically, by abrogating discriminatory tariffs, we create a free trade area over the entire continent and thereby expand the economy of all African countries involved, thereby raising living standards and ensuring economic security for African workers. Socially, it will restore the dignity of the human being in Africa.
In conclusion, it is my firm belief that an African leviathan must emerge ultimately: it may be in the form of an association of African States or in the form of a concert of African States; but my main point is that so long as the form of government is clearly understood and an efficient machinery for organization and administration is devised, backed by multi-lateral conventions which would enhance the standard of living of Africans, safeguard their existence by collective security and guarantee to them freedom under the law in addition to the fundamental human rights, the dream of Pan-Africanism is destined to come true.
Finally, one of the leading Africanists of all times, Edward Wilmot Blyden, said: ‘It is really high time that a unity of spirit should pervade the people of the world for the regeneration of a continent so long despoiled, by the unity or consent of these same people. Thinking Negroes should ask themselves what part they will take in this magnificent work of reclaiming a continent—their own continent. In what way will they illustrate their participation in the unity of spirit which pervades the people for their fatherland?’
That was Dr. Blyden preaching Pan-Africanism in the nineteenth century. For our part, what shall we do? History will chronicle the choice made by us in the twentieth century.