Problems and Prospects of Pan-Africanism: Nkrumah and the Concept of African Unity

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Eiguedo-Okoeguale, H.E.
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Sapientia Global Journal of Arts, Humanities and Development Studies
This article interrogates Pan-Africanism and Kwame Nkrumah’s contribution to the growth of African unity. It argues that Pan-Africanism was a global movement to unite Africans against racial oppression and exploitation associated with European hegemony. It emerged as a response to the inferior social status to which Africans in white dominated societies were consigned. The article also portrays Pan-Africanism as a political and cultural phenomenon that regards Africa, Africans and African descendants in the Diaspora as a single unit. Relying on available evidence, the article then argues that Pan-Africanism sought to regenerate and unify Africans by promoting a feeling of oneness among the people of the African world. It therefore establishes that Pan-Africanism became the instrument of African nationalism, solidarity and unity in the struggle against colonialism, imperialism and neo-colonialism. The study further argues that the greatest impediment to the realization of Nkrumah’s dream of African unity was the issue of the newly acquired sovereignty by the African states. Indeed, the newly independent states of Africa viewed Nkrumah’s dream of a “United States of Africa” with common planning, defence, diplomacy and foreign policy goals with great suspicion and even hostility. Finally, the article concludes that it was an admixture between the Casablanca Charter that needed supranational organization and the Monrovia Protocol that required a gradualist functional organization that gave birth to the Organization of African Unity in May 1963 in Addis-Ababa.
Pan-Africanism, colonialism, imperialism, African-unity, neo-colonialism