50th Anniversary of the African Union- African Unity Day

As we celebrate Africa Unity Day today let us remember where this concept started and how much further we have to go to achieve this dream of unity amongst Africans globally and African nations. On May 25,1963 the Organization for African Unity was formed as a collective force in Dr. Nkrumah and other African leaders hope to unite Africa for economic independence and shared dream of prosperity  and opportunity for the future of newly independent African nations hoping to unite through Pan-Africanism with with Diasporans spread throughout the world. In our unity our strength has been and can be beyond our wildest dreams. Although we have been shaken, moved and lost on this course over the years there is a new emergence of hope in a rising Africa with a new dedication to Pan-Africanism in the forefront.

Today’s 54-member AU is the successor of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), established amid the heady days as independence from colonial rule swept the continent in 1963. “While our founders met for the formation of the OAU at the dawn of the independence period 50 years ago, it is fitting that we are meeting here today at a time when Africa is rising,” Hailemariam added, speaking in the modern Chinese-built AU headquarters. Leaders said the celebrations would boost the movement to support pan-Africanism. “When we therefore talk about African solutions to African problems, it is because we know that we can only permanently silence the guns if we act in solidarity and unity,” said AU Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. But while speaking optimistically about “the bright future of Africa”, she also noted that “the self-reliance and economic independence that our founders spoke of remains a bit elusive and social inequalities remain“. READ MORE

I like what I am hearing at the AU conference today, particularly from the young panelists, hopefully all the talk will turn into true forward moving action for Africa and its Diaspora. It is nice to see the Diaspora represented at the 50th Anniversary celebration in a new call for Pan-Africanism. It warms my heart to hear Jamaicans and other global Africans speak on wanting unity with Africa and recognizing Africa as their historical motherland. It is up to global Africans at home and abroad to unite in changing our attitudes and working toward change. Our cooperative economics must be in the forefront of our African agenda because as Dr. King Jr. said “ If You do not come with an agenda, you will be the agenda”. For far to long other nations enriching themselves through Africa has been the agenda with Africans having little to show for all that they have and produce to feed and enrich the world. Africa now has found  its second wind for change with the world recognizing that Africa is the future from fashion to technology to agriculture  to entrepreneurial  and corporate businesses of all kinds. The days of just sitting back and blaming governments and what too many Africans see as a powerless AU in finding African solutions for African problems without the permission of the UN and our former colonizers along with blaming our leaders for all of our woes with no proactive action toward individual change has come and gone without the dream of unity being unfulfilled -Let us resolve to be the change we want to see in Africa through our works.

Revolutions are brought about by men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought…Africa is a paradox which illustrates and highlights neo-colonialism. Her earth is rich, yet the products that come from above and below the soil continue to enrich, not Africans predominantly, but groups and individuals who operate to Africa’s impoverishment…It is said, of course that we have no capital, no industrial skill, no communications, no internal markets, and that we cannot even agree among ourselves how best to utilize our resources for our own social needs.Yet all the stock exchanges in the world are pre-occupied with Africa’s gold, diamonds, uranium, platinum, copper and iron ores. Our CAPITAL flows out in streams to irrigate the whole system of Western economy. Fifty-two per cent of the gold in Fort Knox at this moment, where the USA stores its bullion, is believed to have originated from OUR shores. Africa provides more than 60 per cent of the world’s gold. A great deal of the uranium for nuclear power, of copper for electronics, of titanium for supersonic projectiles, of iron and steel for heavy industries, of other minerals and raw materials for lighter industries – the basic economic might of the foreign Powers – comes from OUR continent. Experts have estimated that the Congo Basin alone can produce enough food crops to satisfy the requirements of nearly HALF the population of the whole world and here we sit talking about regionalism, talking about gradualism, talking about step by step. Are you afraid to tackle the bull by the horn?” Dr. Kwame Nkrumah