|NOTABLE REMARKS ON AFRICAN UNIFICATION
On Propsals for an African Union, London, 1961
Dr. M.I. Okpara [Premier of Nigeria's Eastern Region]
"My contacts during my journeys through Asia and Europe have confirmed my view that the Union of African States will make for rapid economic advance on this continent. Its political advantages will be enormous, as the continent will be completely liberated, and a source of constant temptation to the Imperialist will be removed...To hasten this change africans must band themselves together into a Union..."
On the Sanniquellie Declaration, 1959
Ako Adjei [Ghana's Foreign Minister]
"It is clear from this declaration of principles that the
Union of African States which the three leaders discussed
and agreed upon is intended to be a political Union. Such
a political Union in their view, will provide the framework
within which any plans for economic, social and cultural
cooperation can, in fact, operate to the best advantage
of all. ...We sincerely believe that the Independent African
States can, and may some day, form a real political Union -
the Union of African States..."
On African Unification
Abdel Nasser [In his 'The Philosophy of the Revolution']
"...We cannot under any condition, even if we wanted to, stand
aloof from the terrible and terrifying battle now raging in the
heart of that continent between five million whites and two
hundred million Africans. We cannot stand aloof for one important
and obvious reason - we ourselves are in Africa. Surely the
people of Africa will continue to look to us - we who are the
guardians of the Continent's northern gate, we who constitute
the connecting link between the continent and the outer world.
We cannot, under any condition, relinquish our responsibility..."
On African Unification
Kwame Nkrumah [At the OAU Cairo's Conference of 1964].
"In the year that has passed since we established the Organization
of African Unity, I have had no reason to change my mind about the
concrete proposal which I made to you then, or about the reasons I
gave for my conviction that only a Union Government can guarantee
our survival. On the contrary, every hour since then, both in the
world at large and on our own Continent, has brought events to
prove that our problems as individual states are insoluble except
in the context of African Unity.."
Passing on the Torch
Mwalimu Julius Nyerere [On 40th anniversary of Ghana's independence]
"Africa must unite. This was the title of one of Kwame Nkrumah's books. That call is more urgent today than ever before. Together, we the peoples of Africa will be incomparably stronger internationally than we are now with our multiplicity of unviable states. The needs of our separate countries can be, and are being ignored by the rich and powerful. The result is that Africa is marginalised. ... Unity will not make us rich, but it can make it difficult for Africa and the African peoples to be disregarded and humiliated. ... My generation led Africa to political freedom. The current generation of leaders and peoples of Africa must pick up the flickering torch of African freedom, refuel it with their enthusiasm and determination, and carry it forward."
Better times are near
Hurrah! Hurrah! Better times are near;
Let us front the conflict and prepare;
Greet the world as soldiers, bravely true:
"Sunder not," Africa shouts to you.
On the Struggle for African Unity
"The blood that was shed and the sufferings that were endured are today Africa's advocates for freedom and unity. Those men who refused to accept the judgement passed upon them by the colonizers, who held unswervingly through the darkest hours to a vision of an Africa emancipated from political, economic and spiritual domination, will be remembered and revered wherever Africans meet. Many of them never set foot on this continent. Others were born and died here."
Africa will write its own history
Patrice Lumumba[From his last letter before his execution].
"'History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history
that Brussels, Paris, Washington, or the United Nations will teach,
but that which they will teach in the countries emancipatied from
colonialism and its puppets. Africa will write its own history,
and it will be, to the north and to the south of the Sahara, a
history of glory and dignity.'
On the African Renascence
"We are engaged in an historic struggle for the victory of the African Renaissance because we are inspired by, among others, the Haitian revolution.
We are engaged in struggle for the regeneration of all Africans, in the Americas, the Caribbean, Africa and everywhere, because we want to ensure the struggle of our people here in Haiti, in the Caribbean, in the Americas, Europe and Africa must never be in vain.
In this way, we will contribute to the renaissance of Africans everywhere in the world and ensure we are no longer an object of ridicule and pity, nor a tool of exploitation to be discarded at the fancy of the powerful, but that we become what we really and truly are: proud and confident human beings who occupy their pride of place as equals among the peoples of the world."
On the meaning of independence
Kwame Nkrumah [1959 during a speech on foreign policy]
"In Ghana we regard our independence as meaningless unless
we are able to use the freedom that goes with it to help other
African people to be free and independent, to liberate the entire
continent of Africa from foreign domination and ultimately' to
establish a Union of African States."
On national liberation and culture
"History teaches us that certain circumstances make it very easy
for foreign people to impose their dominion. But history also
teaches us that no matter what the material aspects of that domi-
nation, it can only be preserved by a permanent and organized
control of the dominated people's cultural life; otherwise it
cannot be definitively implanted without killing a significant
part of the population."
On African Identity
"An awareness of our past is essential to the establishment of our personality and our identity as Africans."
On the African Union
"But through all that has been said and written and done in these years, there runs a common theme. Unity is the accepted goal. We argue about the technics and tactics. But when semantics are stripped away, there is little argument among us. We are determined to create a union of Africans."
On the Place of Africans in the World
"I saw before me then, even as I do now, a new world of black men, not peons, serfs, dogs and slaves, but a nation of sturdy men making their impress upon civilization and causing a new light to dawn upon the human race."
On the African Union
There is no state left out of the Union
The East, West, North, South, including Central,
Are in the nation, strong forever,
Over blacks in glorious dominion.
Hail! United States of Africa-free!
Country of the brave black man's liberty;
State of greater nationhood thou hast won,
A new life for the race is just begun.