The Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Centre and the Pan-African Federalist Movement are convening Africans from all over the world to mark the 60th Anniversary of the All-African People’s Conference (AAPC@60) and the official launch of the grassroots campaign for the political unification of all the African states. The event is scheduled for December 8-13 2018 at the newly-built Cedi Conference Centre at the University of Ghana.
It is increasingly becoming apparent to the African masses that it will be very difficult to secure a better quality of life and the necessary standard of living as long as we remain divided into 54 small states.
Even though much of the world’s resources are located in our land, many wonder why the exploitation of these resources does not primarily benefit Africans. The potential to harness these for the economic, social and cultural well-being of all Africans is being squandered. None of these small states has either the political muscle or the economic wherewithal to withstand the wide gamut of pressures from an exploitative world economic order. United, the African State will command a population of 1.2 billion and with the combined strength of Africans outside the continent, we would be the biggest nation in the world. According to the United Nations, Africans on the continent alone could reach 2.5 billion by 2050. It goes without saying that there will be both opportunities and challenges associated with this growth. Only a united Africa can decisively deal with the challenges and also harness the opportunities. There will be better control of our resources – human and material – and the dignity of the African will be guaranteed.
The question of prosperity of the African people through their unity must be explored with a view to charting a new path for achieving the original goals of the fathers and mothers of Pan-Africanism. Undoubtedly, the 60th Anniversary of the All African People’s Conference presents us with such a unique opportunity.
In 1958, Accra hosted the first ever international gathering of Pan-Africanists on African soil. Over 300 people representing over 60 activist groups, liberation movements, labour unions, freedom fighters from 28 countries attended the Conference. Earlier in April the same year, independent African states – only eight then – convened in Accra and agreed to call an All-African People’s Conference in December, opened to all Africans be they independent or under colonial rule and whether they lived in Africa or elsewhere. Speaking to members of the Congolese National Movement later, Patrice Lumumba said, “The number and the nature of its participants, who came from all corners of the world, made the Accra Conference a popular and representative one”.
The purpose of the All African People’s Conference was to discuss the material conditions of the African people then and fashion ways to liberate the remaining dependent countries from colonial rule and imperialism, and no doubt, it did accelerate the pace of liberation across the African continent. In his speech at Ghana’s independence a year earlier, Kwame Nkrumah had pronounced that “the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent”.
Although the 1958 Conference was a significant contributory step towards achieving this goal, it was about more than just independence. For the safeguarding of independence was in unity. Concluding his speech during the opening session, Kwame Nkrumah said, “All Africa shall be free in this our lifetime. For this mid-twentieth century is Africa’s. This decade is the decade of African independence. Forward then to independence. To independence now. Tomorrow, the United States of Africa”.
It is for this dream of a United African States that Pan-Africanists are assembling in Accra – to a large extent, the historical home of Pan-Africanism in Africa – to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Conference and strategize on how to achieve the goal of political unity within less than a generation. The theme for the celebration is “Africa Must Unite – A Mission for Our Generation”, carefully chosen to highlight the need for concerted action to achieve the dream of the forefathers and foremothers, a United States of Africa.
Participants will include African and Caribbean current Heads of State and Governments as well as former African Presidents and Heads of State, Pan-African Federalist Movement Champions, Pan-Africanist organisations, youth groups, labour movements, women groups and student movements from across the world.
For more information or enquiries, kindly contact:
Labone, Accra, Ghana