Monday, June 24, 2013

Why pursuit of Pan-Africanism is critical in improving the lives of Africans and the Diaspora

Monday, June 24, 2013
Source: The Rising Continent
By: Paschal Chem-Langhee, Cameroon

Pan-Africanism is a concept that connotes pride and oneness among African people and descendants of African people the world over. Hinging boldly on solidarity, this ideology sets ambitious standards in defining African pride in terms of identity, culture, vision, religion and most importantly self-determination. It emanates from political, economic, social and developmental struggles of Africans – through slavery and the slave trade, to colonialism and partial independence or “re-colonisation”.

The spirit of Pan-Africanism challenges the relationship between Western and African countries, wherein Western countries appear to put up a patronising attitude and position themselves as masters vis-à-vis their African serfs. Eminent champions of Pan-Africanism include Kwame Nkrumah and his political contemporaries from other African countries, who helped set up the OAU (now AU), to push for integration and unity on the African continent at the highest level.

Increasingly, “African consciousness” is awakening among African people and a sense of empowerment is gaining conviction. That is why the African Union on May 25th, 2013 celebrated fifty years of the OAU/AU under the theme, “2013, Year of Pan Africanism and African Renaissance”.

Because the youth constitute over 50% of Africa’s population, their participation and contributions must be seen as being invaluable in moving the continent forward in achieving renaissance in all developmental facets (in health, education, capacity building, entrepreneurship and empowerment).

Experiences on how Africa is rising are gaining mileage each day, with positive GDPs results from some African countries discussed in investment circles as opening a new frontier for development on the continent. However, as Jumoke Balogun from CompareAfrica put it, the view from the ground is that Africa is rising and Africans are not.

Renaissance will be gauged primarily via economic emancipation, increase in prosperity and better standards of living attained by a majority of Africans. This can be done by getting together what I will call, “the coalition of the willing”; that is, going beyond gender and inter-generational barriers to identify and associate persons who truly believe in, and want to work for Africa’s emancipation and development. It implies facilitating and enhancing the free movement of persons and goods within the continent, for as experts have argued, Africa’s economic boom relies heavily on Africa’s ability to trade with itself. Communication is key at this point because the vision and the projects need to be disseminated to and appropriated by the over one billion Africans who commit to work every day in search of a better identity, a better economy and decent social outcomes.

Paschal Chem-Langhee is a new contributor on Connect African Development Blog. He is a young Pan-Africanist from Cameroon and has a background in journalism and communication and has worked in sales, advertising, broadcasting, and now public relations. He volunteers with youth organisations to improve communication. “Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance are sacredly hinged on the economic empowerment of African people and diaspora; and communication is crucial to this noble pursuit.” Paschal is an African Union Youth Volunteer and recently participated in the African Youth Forum, during the 50th AU Anniversary celebrations. Find him on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Skype by searching Paschal Chem.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect official policy or position of Connect African Development.

Editorial Team.
Share this on :


  1. Thumbs up Paschal. Thank you for the post.

  2. Robert Kasenene25 June 2013 at 16:01

    Thank you Paschal for the contribution. We look forward to receiving more. Indeed a renewed sense Pan-Africanism needs to be cultivated among the populace of this continent. We look forward to more assessments on this subject.


Toggle Footer