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Delivered by Philippe T. NOUDJENOUME
President of the WAPO Coordination Council

Youth, Women, Workers, African People,

On May 25, 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was born in Addis Ababa, the capital of the only African state that defeated the colonizer. Africa then had 32 states, now 54, awaiting the independence of the Sahrawi Republic.

Do we remember that two projects clashed on May 24, 1963?:

  • The one carried by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Sékou Touré, Modibo Keita, etc., which was described in “Africa Must Unite”, aimed at establishing a “Committee of Foreign Ministers, officials and experts, empowered to establish: (1) A commission to draft a Constitution for a Government of the Union of African States. (2) A commission to draft a continent-wide plan for a unified economic and industrial program for Africa, which should include proposals for establishing: a common market for Africa; an African currency; an African monetary zone; an African central bank; a continental communication system; a commission to draft details of a common foreign policy and diplomacy; a commission to draft plans for a common defense system; a commission to make proposals for a common African citizenship.” In summary, a “United Africa within a single federal state: one continent, one people, one common citizenship.”
  • The one carried by L.S. Senghor and Houphouët Boigny, etc., of unity by “concentric circles” which maintained “the inviolability of the borders inherited from colonialism.” This approach by “concentric circles” allowed the creation of “sub-regional economic cooperation groups” as a first step in building African Unity.

The compromise reached established the OAU on the basis of “step-by-step” unity.
But in reality, this compromise was a failure of the Panafricanists, as by consecrating the inviolability of the borders inherited from colonization, it also validated “Berlin 1885” with the balkanization of the continent.
Balkanization is Africa’s worst enemy because, as Dr. K. Nkrumah said, it “is one of the many forms imperialism can take… The creation of several weak and unstable states of this kind in Africa will mean that these territories will continue to depend on the former colonial powers for economic aid and will prevent African unity from being realized. This policy of balkanization is the new imperialism, the new danger threatening Africa” (Africa Must Unite).

And that is what happened and continues. In their divisive offensive, colonial powers continue to divide our states: South Sudan is created; Somalia is on the verge of breaking up, the DRC is threatened, not to mention Nigeria with the secessionist attempts of “Biafra,” “Yorubaland,” etc.

It is this failure of then which makes it today, 64 years later, that national attachment to a post-colonial state is the basis of the future pan-African federal state.

It is from this that Africa’s dependence and inclusion in liberal imperialist globalization stem, as declined by neo-colonial governments in the form of the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area), their submission to the liberal diktats of the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, leonine agreements like the EPA, etc.

The OAU, now called the AU, has been dominated by neo-colonial states often grouped in regional unions like WAEMU or CEMAC with the colonial CFA currency, ECOWAS.

In short: submission of African states to the dictates of colonial powers, assassination or overthrow of patriotic Heads of State (Nkrumah, Modibo Keita, Gaddafi, Sankara), takeover and instrumentalization by imperialist powers of African regional organizations like ECOWAS, the kidnapping of the Ivorian head of state in 2010 followed by the destruction of Libya (with the assassination of the patriot Gaddafi in 2011), and the infestation of the Sahel by jihadist-terrorists and the duplicity of Franco-African, Euro-African, and USAfrican imperialists in their supposed “fight against terrorism” have accelerated, against the backdrop of the tragedy of deadly canoe emigration, the awareness and sovereignist revolt of Pan-Africanism, particularly among the youth.
African people, African youth, African women, African workers!

Africa is awakening. African youth is awakening, becoming more and more aware of itself and the strategic importance of the Continent on the world stage; taking part in alter and anti-globalist resistances against imposed liberal globalization.

The BRICS+ appear more and more as a counterweight advocating sovereignty against the secular hegemony of NATO-US-EU imperialism in economic, political, and cultural spheres.

Popular uprisings, particularly of the youth, are multiplying in West Africa, after those hijacked in Tunisia and Egypt and previously in the 1990s, towards multi-party democracy which has become mired in corrupt regimes and electoral alternations that have maintained power in neo-colonial servitude.

All these combined factors are today leading to new sovereignist experiences in AES countries (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger) and in Senegal. Other countries will follow the path opened to expel Franco-African, Euro-African, and USAfrican military bases, exit the colonial CFA franc, abolish predatory economic and commercial agreements called “cooperation,” and regain cultural sovereignty.

Neocolonial panafrican institutions, continental and regional, are strongly shaken and traversed by contradictions generated by their questioning by the sovereignist wind blowing over Africa.

The sovereignist movement is linked to panafricanism in the sense that to unite, we must first free ourselves from imperialist claws. “Free and unite African states” must be our slogan.

Sovereignist panafricanism aims to redefine new regional and then continental institutions towards the African federal state.

African people! African youth! African workers! The march will be long and full of obstacles that imperialists and their neo-colonial lackeys will set up in this second phase of national and pan-African liberation.

But the African peoples have awakened again to never fall asleep. The working classes of Africa, by engaging in this long-term struggle, are the sentinels and the engine of the victory and African unity to be conquered. History is proving the path defended by Kwame Nkrumah, Sékou Touré, Modibo Keita, Amilcar Cabral, etc., to be right.



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