PAN-AFRICANISM DAY 2007 IN MUNICH
“We want the African to know who he is so that he knows where he is going!”
The problems of underdevelopment, acute poverty, disease, poor leadership, unending wars and corruption are synonymous today with Africa as a continent. The history of Africa is also replete with Slavery, Colonialism and Neo-colonialism. As a result of this, the usual feeling that Africa evokes is that of a helpless and hapless victim who always requires developmental aid in all and any form.
There have however been quite a few leaders in the history of Africa who have always advocated that the greatest help Africa needs is for Africans to realise their self worth and to work together in order to solve their problems themselves. Leaders who belong to this school of thought are Pan-Africanists. Some of such Pan-Africanist leaders include Marcus Garvey, Cheickh Anta Diop, Sekou Toure, Nelson Mandela, Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Miriam Makeba, Thomas Sankara and many more.
This year is the 200th year since the abolition of slavery and the 50th year since the official end of colonialism which was heralded by the independence of Ghana in 1957. In view of the foregoing, it has become very necessary and indeed critical for Africans to embark on a deep reflection of their history with a view to understanding why they are where they currently are and thereby charting a new course forward. This is reflected in the motto of the Pan-Africanism Day Munich, “We want the African to know who he is so that he knows where he is going!” which is a quotation from Thomas Sankara.
The Pan-Africanism Day which will take place in Munich on the 22nd of September 2007 is therefore a response to this yawning need for reflection and forward thinking for Africa. It is also exactly 20 years this year since the youngest of the great Pan-Africanist leaders, Thomas Sankara, was assassinated. The Pan-Africanism Day Munich 2007 is also dedicated to his memory.
Pan-Africanism as the key to Africa's Development and Liberation
It should now be quite evident to any observer that all organisations founded by African nations for the purpose of enhancing African unity and development such as the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and others have failed catastrophically in achieving their set aims. The current situation is that almost 50 years after the end of colonialism, Africa is not developing!.
There is a glaring leadership failure in Africa. But there is also a glaring lack of understanding on the part of the average African of what it means to be an African.
It is our experience that a great majority of Africans in their countries of origin do not have the opportunity of interacting with Africans from other countries. Even Africans living outside Africa and as such well removed from the constricting social, cultural, administrative and colonial perspectives prevailing in their countries of origin are also lacking in this consciousness.
This is why we see the opportunity of currently living outside Africa as an opportunity to circumvent the national, administrative, colonial, ethnic, religious and political barriers which exist in Africa and normally prevent true and unhindered interaction between and among Africans.
The Pan-Africanism idea stands for the solidarity of all Africans and the unification of all African countries in a continental state.
Although Africa needs all the help it can get, it is our belief that development aid in whatever form will continue to be useless if Africans cannot appreciate their self worth and thereby their own role in bringing about a change in their situation and that of Africa as a whole.
What this means is that development in whatever form starts with self development and self development starts with self appreciation and self knowledge!.
Aims and Expectations of the Pan-Africanism Day 2007 Munich
In the light of the foregoing, the goal of the Pan-Africanism Day is to reflect on the previous and current developments of the African continent in a general context which also includes Europe.
The Pan-Africanism Day is meant to ignite a forum for the social, cultural and intellectual interaction among Africans of all nationalities and Europeans who have Africa at heart.
The aims and objectives of the Pan-Africanism Day Munich are, among others, to:
- Provide a basis for a renewed Pan-Africanism movement encompassing all peoples of African origin.
- Review the lives, work and philosophies of Pan-Africanist leaders.
- Educate people of African origin about the concepts of Pan-Africanism which has as its key focus self appreciation and self help towards sustainable development.
- Put in context the problems of Africa in view of its history and contact with the west and propose viable solutions.
- Provide a forum for social, cultural and intellectual interaction between Africans of all nationalities and friends of Africa.
On this day, experts from various countries will deliver papers and take part in discussions in order to disseminate their views about Africa’s development. There will be a film presentation and introduction to the history of the Pan-Africanism movement. There will also be a cultural program with traditional African music to add colour to the event.
At the end of the event it is hoped that a forum for the education of Africans, people of African origin and others with interest in African issues will have been instituted and sustained through future conferences and events.
The event is also expected to help in enhancing Pan-Africanism as a basis for initiating African development by encouraging self awareness and self help among Africans.
The Pan-Africanism Day Munich also hopes to redirect the views of the west about Africa thereby redirecting development ideas and initiatives.
The Pan-Africanism Day Munich is being held under the patronage of the Mayor of the city of Munich and is being kindly sponsored by the Department of Culture of the city of Munich (Kulturreferat der Landeshauptstadt München).
Further information for The Pan-Africanism Day 2007 Munich:
Date: 22. September 2007, 10.30 bis 19.00Uhr
Place: Goethe-Forum, Dachauer Str. 122, 80637 München
(Entrance from Anita-Augspurg-Allee, Tram and Bus Station, Leonrodplatz, Bus 53, Tram 12, 20, 21)
Admission: Entrance to The Pan-Africanism Day 2007 Munich is free and all are cordially invited.
For further information:
Organiser: Panafrikanismus Arbeitskreis München
c/o Bayerischer Flüchtlingsrat