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Which way Africa?

By B.F.Bankie
The sharp division which is in the process of emerging as to how best to bring about unity of the Africans, comes at a time when most of the conflicts in Africa are caused, in my view,by Arab expansion under the guise of Islamic fundamentalism, reaching a higher level of activity.

We know that imperialism uses fundamentalism for its own purposes. So, as in Syria today, it is uncertain 'who is who', behind organizations such as Boko Haram.

In my observation the main users of Islamic fundamentalism are the reactionary oil Kingdoms in the Middle East, acting as proxies for Western imperialism.

Be that as it may - the meeting in Johannesburg in January of the 8PAC resolved that we are unable to construct meaningful unity of the Africans, by including Arabian North Africa in our unity project. We re-affirmed Cheik Anta Diop's thesis that the unity should be based, amongst others, on cultural attributes, such as language, religion etc, rather than geographic factors (ie cohabitation on the same continent, which we call Continentalism - which is the project of the AUC).

This position which was taken in Johannesburg was formulated over two preparatory meetings, with a two year break between them. I have supported the Diop approach for many years and I have been researching Pan-Africanism for two decades and more. I am also aware that there are some who would wish to push the Arabs into the Mediterrean Sea.

Rather a civilization dialogue is called for between Arabia and Black Africa, for many reasons, one being - to end racism. The main champion of Continentalism was the Late Nkrumah.

Prior to him the PAC Congress series had supported the Diop approach to unity. It was Nkrumah who brough Arabia into Pan-Africanism, most probably because he saw Gamal Abdul Nasser in Egypt as his Brother in Socialism. Can we Africans South of the Sahara and in the Diaspora stand on our own and build our own Nation?

The Accra initiative, supported by the AUC, for September this year, coming so soon after the meeting in Johannesburg and also using the nomenclature, 8th Pan-African Congress, raises a host of questions. I am very comfortable with the decisions we took in Johannesburg. I have no personal animosity/ hostility towards Arabs and Arabia.

I do have some admiration for Dr Z. Zuma Chairperson of the AUC. She is trying to push forward the unity. Her adoption of Swahili as the lingua franca is courageous BUT it is wrong. She is farely new to Pan-Africanism. The issue of how best to construct unity puts us at the cross roads.

It is bigger than east/west contestation and related matters. It will not be resolved by quick solutions. Its an issue which is reflected in the Afro-Arab interaction in the Borderlands. Most likely blood will the spilt on this matter, the solution to which, in my view, comes from history.

It is not a matter of shouting and violence, but for research and good sense. It is an issue that only Africans can resolve. Best regards and stay strong.

B.F.Bankie Sudan Sensitisation Project (SSP)


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