This is Part II of a Two-Part Article. See Part I here
“Divide and conquer” is a very old strategy used by oppressors. Africa is extremely divided, and it is for that reason that Pan-Africanism can be achieved only if Africa is united. How did Africa become divided in the first place? As the year 1884 was coming to a close, the major European powers who lusted after Africa’s wealth concluded that it made no sense for them to fight each other because there was enough in Africa for everyone to exploit. Representatives of the various European countries came together in Berlin and cut up and distributed portions of a map of Africa in much the same way one would divide a birthday cake. Each European country proceeded to colonize the African territory assigned to them.
When dividing the African continent, Europe paid no heed to existing communities and nation states. Borders and boundaries were established for European convenience, and in the process, Africans with political and social differences were forced into relationships with those they did not necessarily want in their communities. Language differences and other factors created tension and division within the colonies, and these territories were much easier to dominate.
Notwithstanding the intra-African conflicts in the colonies, resistance to colonialism began nevertheless. As these movements gained momentum, conditions became ripe during World War II for African countries to begin to win at least nominal independence. With its attention and resources consumed by the war, Europe lacked the capacity to maintain direct control of its colonies. Independence ushered in a new era of struggle.
Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, became a vocal proponent of Pan-Africanism. Other heads of state like Sekou Toure of Guinea and Patrice Lumumba of Congo echoed these calls much to the chagrin of the United States and Western Europe. The continuing interest in the exploitation of Africa made these African revolutionaries a threat to efforts to establish a new form of colonialism, or neo-colonialism. Consequently, Nkrumah was overthrown by a plot devised by the CIA. Toure was repeatedly attacked and harassed by the French. Lumumba was assassinated by African stooges of the CIA. Other African revolutionaries were also targeted by imperialist forces in the years that followed.
The attacks on African revolutionaries and revolutionary forces have historically been made easier by disunity in Africa. For example, one country that has thrown off imperialist control and is traveling a revolutionary path may be regarded as a “liberated zone.” However, a country on its border may still be a “zone under enemy control” that still bears the burden of western domination. Such a country may be used as a convenient staging ground for attacks and invasions of the neighboring liberated country. Such a strategy could not be pursued if Africa were united in its opposition to neo-colonialism.
There is a yet larger and more important benefit of a united Africa. To understand it, imagine the state of New York in the U.S. as an independent, sovereign country. Even the fact that it has one of the largest, most cosmopolitan cities in the world would not give it very much power or influence on the world stage. It would be overwhelmed economically, diplomatically and militarily by not only the world’s superpowers, but also by many smaller countries. However, if you join New York with 49 other states that together call themselves the United States of America, then New York along with these other states becomes a force to be reckoned with. The more than 50 little countries in Africa are no different. Alone, they have no more power than would a “country” called New York. However, if all of these countries come together to form the United States of Africa, there will be no other country on the planet with as much economic, diplomatic or military power. That can mean only good things for Africans worldwide.
When Africa unites to achieve Pan-Africanism, scientific socialism must guide and govern the continent’s economics. Many Africans not only fail to include scientific socialism as part of their agenda, they also don’t even know what it is. It’s really not as complicated as it sounds.
Any country is always faced with a basic question: “How are we going to deal with the nation’s money and resources?” If those answering the question believe in a capitalist approach to economics, they will say: “Let’s put the wealth of the nation in the hands of a small elite group. This group can determine whether the broad masses of people will share in this wealth, and if so, to what extent.” Africa has already had many years of experience with capitalism, and the results have not been good. Among other things, capitalism gave Africa the slave trade, colonialism, widespread poverty, environmental disasters, wars, foreign theft and exploitation of natural resources, corruption and disease. There is another path that Africa must follow. It is the socialist path.
A socialist will say: “Let’s put the wealth of the nation in the hands of everyone. This will ensure that decisions about what to do with it will always be in the best interests of the broad masses of the people. The people themselves will never purposely make decisions that will hurt themselves.” Why, for example would the people ever decide to allow foreign corporations to come into Africa to steal their oil and most valuable minerals? Socialism just makes good sense. It is a scientific approach to economics because it is based on concrete, practical considerations rather than romantic, theoretical notions about how money and resources should be handled.
What Must You Do?
Africans, like all peoples, have a role to play in the war against neo-colonialism. The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party knows that the best contribution Africans can make is to liberate Africa from the control of the African puppet leaders, large corporations and foreign military forces that have locked down Africa’s oil, valuable minerals and other natural resources for capitalist exploitation. When that has been accomplished, capitalism in Africa must be replaced by a socialist government and economy that integrates the entire continent into a single country. Socialism is essential because, unlike capitalism, which allows wealth and power to be concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority, socialism places all wealth and power in the hands of everyone. Those resources can then be available to struggling people around the world. The total liberation and unification of Africa under scientific socialism is known as Pan-Africanism, and it is the overriding objective of the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party.
Pan-Africanism cannot be accomplished by an individual. The capitalist’s propaganda about individualism drives myths about super heroic feats of individuals, when in fact no individual accomplishes anything of significance alone. These individualist ideas are absorbed by osmosis even by many of those who are oppressed, and they wait in vain for a “leader” who will rescue them from their misery. This mortal messiah will never come because it is not possible for an individual – even a well-meaning one – to liberate a people. On the other hand, when individuals work together they have the capacity to overcome even the fiercest opposition of oppressive forces. Organization is the stuff of which revolutions are made. Organization contemplates a steadfast and abiding commitment that involves both work and study. The member of the organization engages in a consistent collective process of self-education in order to ensure that any work done on behalf of the organization is fully informed and effective.
What must you do? You must join an organization. Africa needs you! Africa’s people scattered around the world need you! Struggling people in neo-colonies need you! The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (A-APRP) needs you! In the A-APRP you will have the opportunity to not only work for your people, but to also learn things universities don’t teach, and to otherwise gain knowledge that will make you the most effective organizer you can be. Enlist in the A-APRP’s work and study program today!