Marcus Garvey’s definition of Pan Africanism is different from that of Kwame Nkrumah; understand that their struggles are both intellectual but there are differences that people haven’t observed. such thing as Afro Americans or Afro Asians or Afro Arabs. So long you have black skin, you belong to the black race, therefore your solidarity & allegiance must be to the African continent for her elevation & progress. The denouement of Marcus Garvey’s definition of Pan Africanism is the repatriation of Africans in the diaspora to the motherland & solidarity between Africans all over the world. Then, to attain a one encompassing government for the African people. That’s why Marcus Garvey used to call himself the black president & that was why he formulated a flag; a Pan African flag for all. Green, black & red. Take note of the basic principles of UNIA & the return back to Africa movement.
Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s own was quite different from Marcus Garvey’s even though they were both Pan Africanists. Nkrumah believed that Africans all over the world must unite but not necessarily under one government, one president or machinery. The current AU we have now wasn’t called AU. It was initially called Communities of independent African states. It was founded by Nkrumah & Sekou TOURE of Guinea. As explained in his book Africa must unite, Nkrumah categorical stated that “Members of the community shall maintain their own national identity & constitutional structure, and each member shall agree not to interfere in the internal affairs of any member” Africa Must Unite. Chapter 16, page 145. This means that the independent African states will maintain their independence I.e flag, President & every other thing that connotes their sovereignty. Nkrumah is not saying that Africa should unite under one government and ultimately under one president. NO!
He further explained in his book the challenge of the Congo that. Political & economic planning shall be on a Pan African basis that is, a continental basis. That is one currency; which will boost foreign exchange. And also he said that An all high African military command shall emerge because, to be honest with ourselves even till now, no independent African state army can withstand external aggression of imperialists and neo-colonialists. The military command shall be under the supervision of the Chief of defence staff of independent African states.
The idea was brought up late after the Congo crisis, if we had an all African High military command, the Congo crisis wouldn’t have gotten complicated as it got and Lumumba would have been rescued from imperialist forces.
Casablanca powers were formed during the Congo crisis; Casablanca powers was an interim Pan African alliance among the, then independent African states to find a quick solution to the Congo crisis. But it was too late. Nkrumah also stated that our educational curriculum must be Pan African so that African students will have a uniform syllabus all across the continent and he further said that there should be African airways, African ship and a whole lot of aesthetic Pan African ideas.
Nkrumah stated in his book Africa Must Unite. Chapter 16 page 145 that. “I see no security for African states, unless African leaders, like ourselves, have realized beyond all doubts that salvation for Africa lies in unity… for in unity lies strength… As I see it, African states must unite or sell themselves to imperialists & colonialists for a mess of pottage, or disintegrate individually”
Written by : Aina Ademola
Twitter : OgbeniDemola
This article is dedicated to Pan Africanists all over the world.