A. A. Ogbu
For over One hundred and sixty years now, Pan-Africanism has surfaced in different forms as a political force to unite Africans globally. It allowed Africans to resist the socio-economic and political impact of slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, exploitation and oppression. During this epoch, differing circumstances dictated varied political actions in different parts of the world, but the goals were the same.
Many African visionaries, both continental and Diaspora, from across the socio-political divide have collaborated across forums to establish a workable framework of Pan-Africanism. These thinkers, scholars, activists, politicians and leaders were African intelligentsias, who felt uncomfortable with the diffused worldview that encapsulated them with the advent of colonialism and imperialism.
Today, the minds of African youths are corrosively eroded from the thought and ideas of Pan-Africanism as a philosophy of emancipatm, freedom and liberation. The youths, in their active years, are in large numbers herded to ruin and obscurity due to increasing pressure of imperialism in all its ramifications. They lack the capacity to think or discern their roles and place in their various societies. Rather, the encumbering social economic and political instability made worse by religious intolerance have combined to undermine their collective will power to mobilize for struggle and self-actualization.
These plethora of factors have, over time, undermined and reduced them to a vulnerable segment of the society. They remain vulnerable to all forms of social malaise beyond their emotional, psychological and social abilities to handle. Gradually, their yesterday, today and tomorrow slipped through their hands in a society where they ought to have been the leaders of tomorrow. The African youths of post- independence generations are increasingly loosing grip of their past, today and tomorrow. This ugly situation paints a lamentable and graphic scenario of a wasted generation now and in the future.
It is against this background of her ugly and pitiable exploitation through centuries of slavery, colonization and imperialism that we set forth to reactivate the philosophy of Pan-Africanism. The past was a great loss to Africa and today is a continuum through vicious trade imbalance and dependency syndrome. It is on this premise that Generation for Change Africa Initiative comes to provide the needed and desired platform for Africa Renaissance. The African continent must first rebrand her global image. This can be done through raising and building new consciousness in Pan-Africanism. Mentoring and nurturing new breed of leaders across the broad spectrum of all human endeavours.
We arrived at this position flowing from; The International Conference on; “Global Africans, Pan- Africa-Past, Present and Future” organized by Centre for Black African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), Federal Ministry of Tourism Culture and National Orientation Nigeria on the 21st -24th September 2010 in Abuja.
We are in the vanguard of reactivating, promoting and sustaining the philosophy of Pan-Africanism. This is predicated on the premise that Africa and Africans globally are still portrayed as unequal to other nations and racial groups. That we are still in the perpetual struggle to shake off the mantles of perceived inferiority and take our rightful place among the nations of the world on an equal footing.
Recently in this 21st Century, some young Africans on the second slavery precarious journey to Europe were enslaved enmass in a hostile African country of (Libya). Many died across the desert and the Mediterranean fleeing from poverty, violent conflicts and war. Above all, lack of enabling economic opportunities to actualize their dreams.
Our mission is an interventionist vision for the emancipation and liberation of the continent and her teeming youths. No society, nation or continent survives without her active youths actively engaging in the productive process for economic development.
The specter of global capitalism today has cast a monstrous unemployment quagmire across the globe, but the worst hit is the African continent. It is so terrible and deplorable due to multi-layered socio-economic and political instabilities occasioned by corrupt inept political leadership over the years.
Therefore, Africans must be vigilant and collaborative in a common purpose to move Africa and Africans interests forward. The philosophy of Pan-Africanism, once again, could be the tool to accelerate Africa and African agenda in the world stage today.
Comrade Ogbu; National Convener Generation for Change Africa initiative writes from Owukpa Akatekwe Kingdom of Ogbadibo LGA in Benue State.