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Book review by Etuna Joshua 'SUSTAINING THE NEW WAVE OF PAN-AFRICANISM' 20/10/11

By Etuna Josua
The recently launched book titled 'Sustaining the New Wave of Pan-Africanism', edited by Bankie Foster Bankie and Viola C. Zimunya is a collection of papers presented at a workshop under the theme of the same title as the book.

The workshop was held over several days during December, 2010 at the University of Namibia. The workshop was organized by the National Youth Council of Namibia and the Nigerian High Commission in Namibia.

The workshop was well-attended by many Africans of all generations, similarly presented papers with compelling arguments and conviction. All discernable geographical regions where Africans find themselves in the world were represented at the workshop, and indeed, in contributions to the book. One of the highlights of the workshop is the keynote address by the founding President of the Republic of Namibia, His Excellency Dr. Sam Nujoma - in his address, he gave an overview of the idea of Pan-Africanism and gave credit to the first President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who stated that the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked to the total liberation of the entire African continent.

The paper by Nigerian writer Chinweizu Chinweizu should not be missed, for he attempts to, with as much precision as a 30- odd page paper can allow, to diagnose the reasons why Africans are still in a miserable state despite nearly a century of Pan- Africanist activism, and then he tries to make suggestions on the way forward out of this status quo. Other notable contributors include young people such as Andile Lungisa (former Deputy President of the South African ANC Youth League), Job Shipululo Amupanda, and Mandela Kapere.

Throughout the book, the reader will find snippets of arguments that constitute a debate regarding the desired constituency of a united Africa, that is a Continentalist approach, on the one hand, and a cultural approach, on the other hand. Of course, the issues of the continuing confrontation between Africans and Arabs in the borderlands of North Africa are engaged in the contributions too, especially by Bankie F. Bankie and Jalal Hashim Muhammed. The reader of this book would find himself at times having to pause and ponder the ideas and assessments discussed in the book.

I urge all Africans the world over to obtain and read a copy of this book, and several copies of this book should be placed in all school public libraries in Namibia and Africa. The idea of Pan-Africanism should be prescribed in school curricula in Africa too. Happy reading !

By Etuna Josua, Windhoek, Namibia.


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