Revitalize Pan-Africanism to Realize Critical AU Aspirations: American University Senior Fellow

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January 29/2022/ENA It is high time for Africans to revive the bright pan-Africanism spirit to enhance continental connection, collaborate for mutual development and contribute to the achievement of the important African Union Agenda 2063, Matthew Ehret, Senior Fellow of American University in Moscow said.

The scholar told ENA that the AU summit which will be held next week should focus on revitalizing pan-Africanism to accelerate regional and ideally continental collaboration for mutual development.

Ehret believes that strong constitutional law, financial institution and overall infrastructure connectivity for mutual benefits of African countries are instrumental in realizing the plan to unite, integrate and transform Africa based on pan-Africanism.

According to him, the AU summit, the meltdown of Western finance, the emergence of the China-Russia-Iran relationship are good opportunities at present to realize the development aspiration and execute big projects that are mutually beneficial to the continent.

“In the upcoming summit regarding the African Union Agenda 2063, there is a focus on the revival of pan-Africanism. That’s a very important idea that we have seen shine very brightly with the grand strategy of people like Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Kenyatta and others in the 1960s and 50s who had envisioned a continent as a whole which is more than the sum of its parts.”  

He further noted that the imperialist strategy has always been divide and rule policy by creating discord and quarrel and keeping countries dependent and poor.

“So, individually, I would say that in Africa you don’t have a power available to any particular nation to properly and sustainably resist. Regional or ideally continental cooperation amongst people who together realize that we need to stand together; we need big projects to be created that can have a transformative power both on individual participants within the projects and also on the collective.”

The senior fellow cited as an example the Transaqua project that transfers water over 200 miles from Congo water basins and replenishes Lake Chad, involving many countries that must work together for common benefit.

Moreover, building infrastructures such as rail, road, and other ways of transportations and services connecting African countries to facilitate socio-economic activities and unite Africans is of paramount importance that Africans “need to work together now, because this is the time to do it as the financial system of the West is in a state of a meltdown.”

The financial meltdown and collapse of the West and the emerging of China-Russia-Iran friendship is transformative that will create opportunities for cooperation with Africa, he added.

Ehret stressed that China will be a very important partner to Africa as a reliable collaborator which demonstrated a different way of doing banking and business with Africa with investments in infrastructures that transform the knowledge of generations to do things themselves and benefit Africans, which was not the case with the Anglo-Americans who controlled finance and aid to Africa through their financial institutions.

Africans ought to learn creating unity and strengthening finance and development from the Americans who created a strong constitution in 1787 and a bank in 1791 to strengthen states unity and economy. “Learning from the American revolution is useful and ironic,” he stated.

So, continental collaboration based on pan-Africanism would be a pathway to a brighter future if the African people can work together and make mutual collaboration. “That would be a pathway to a brighter future if people can work together to make it happen.”

The senior fellow underscored that the imperialists divide and conquer policy has destroyed ancient cultural traditions and civilizations of Africans by creating division, discord and quarrel among Africans to exploit resources.

Hence Africans definitely require regional cooperation between countries, regions and ideally in the continent as a whole to revive with something more than individual nations.

“No single country in this world has the power to resist and combat with the type of centralized imperial power structures that occupied positions of hegemony in London and USA for many decades. It’s an international mafia, in a very real way, which is working very hard to use their power to keep Africa and many countries underdeveloped in debt slavery, in a state of constant dependence and poverty, discord and division; and that has been always the strategy of the empire. It’s a divide and conquer strategy and keep people in a state of quarrel to better exploit their resources. That’s been happening now for many decades.” 

One of the seven aspirations of AU Agenda 2063 is seeing “Integrated Continent Politically united and based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the Vision of African Renaissance.”

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