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Thursday, August 2, 2007

United States of Africa: Libya is in Africa but not African

Joseph Mihangwa a Social Scientist based in Shinyanga, Tanzania sees illmotive in Gadaffi's call to start a United States of Africa. In an article published in The African Executive magazine, the writer paints a rather grim picture of the real reason behind formation of a Union Government of Africa and why Libya is at the forefront of its formation. The writer views the recent impasse that plagued African heads of state in Accra in their bid to form the United States of Africa as a replay of the July 1964 Cairo history.

In the recent Accra Summit, nine countries from Northern Africa came to the meeting armed with a charter that fronted the forming of a one- government Africa. Led by Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, they demanded the immediate formation of the United States of Africa. They said that 40 years of independence had proved African leaders to be greedy, selfish and self-proclaimed gods over their countries. This, they said, had smothered Kwame Nkrumah’s dream of a united Africa.

The 1964 Cairo impasse emanated from a sharp difference between the late Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana over modalities that would lead to Africa’s unity. Nkrumah, like Gaddafi, wanted a one-government Africa to be formed right away and branded gradualist proponents as colonial puppets that were not out to offer any good to Africa.

Nyerere stuck to the gradualist approach. He argued that this would create room for African countries to study, understand and bond with each other before amalgamating. The disagreement, which almost went personal saw Nyerere’s camp win at the end of the summit. However, 45 years down the line, African countries are still wandering in the wilderness in their bid to enter Canaan.

In the recent Accra summit, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania lashed out at Gaddafi’s camp over the same grounds that Nyerere differed with Nkrumah 23 years ago in Cairo. Out of 41 nations that spoke during the forum, 28 sided with Kikwete. Kikwete thus hit Gaddafi with the same club that Nyerere used to hit Nkrumah.

I hold nothing personal against Gaddafi. I however differ with the manner in which he advanced his agenda. Who sent the nine countries to present the one-government Africa charter? Did the AU Secretariat have prior knowledge? Why were the nine countries basically Arab? Who is Gaddafi in the AU? Is Northern Africa Africa’s spokesman?

I am no racist, but it is true that Arabs of North Africa relate with Africans the same way the Boers relate with Africans in South Africa. That is why their allegiance with the AU is suspect. They can’t serve the AU and Arab League at the same time because blood is thicker than water.

The Arabs invaded and captured Northern Africa around 639 BC. To date, they dominate Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. Before the invasion, North Africa was full of black Africans. The pyramids in Egypt were built by black Africans. Africa’s history is full of Arabs and Europeans enslaving, exploiting and humiliating the Africans. This suffering has made Africans to seek their identity.

Pan Africanism was begun by descendants of black Americans who were sold as slaves around the 16th century. The bitterness of slavery cemented them with their fellow blacks all over the world. Pan africanism found consummation in the 1945 Manchester Pan Africa Congress that declared that all Africans unite. This unity is akin to Pan Arabian unity and Arab nationalism that recently carried a charter to the Accra meeting.

African Arabs never regard themselves as Africans but rather as Arabs living in Africa. If they don’t change this perspective, Africa will never unite. This stand is evident in the late Gamel Abdel Nasser’s sentiments in Philosophy of the Revolution that “we live in Africa but we are not Africans.”

In the Accra Powers Conference, (1958), out of the eight independent nations that attended; Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan and Egypt, only Ethiopia, Ghana and Liberia defended pan africanism. The rest favored the Arab league, a stand they have not changed to date. These are some of the countries that were touting a one-government Africa.

The Arab league is out to front the Arab agenda through the AU over black Africans. The same Gaddafi who fronted for a united Africa in Accra, has been on the front line destabilizing Mali, Chad and Niger with a view of bagging them into the Arab League. Gaddafi armed Dictator Idi Amin of Uganda against Tanzania arguing that he was aiding a Muslim nation against a non Muslim one. In Darfur and Mauritania, African ‘Arab’rulers are chasing black Africans away from their own land and bringing Arabs to take their place. Secret slavery is happening in Mauritania. Just recently, General Hassan of Sudan told the military: “we neither want to see these slaves (blacks) in Sudan nor need them. What we need is their land.”

If this is not neocolonialism, what is it? With such sentiments, how can we have a united Africa? President Kikwete was right in deflating Gaddafi’s agenda. Africans should be wary of hidden maneuvers out to prey on their resources and sovereignty in the name of unity.


Ark-888 said...

President Kikwete is absolutely right to deflate Gaddafi's idea of a "United States of Africa." For many reasons.

Gaddafi's motives are highly suspect and there is no way, no matter how quite and none-commital South Africa is on the matter, that all countries, South Africa in perticular, will accept Gaddafi's vission of an African Union. This is not helped by the fact that most South Africans view the rest of Africa with a large mesure of comtempt and already feel there are enough people from the rest of Africa living in the country.

Africa also does not have the institutions and the social mechanisms to make it happen. We do not have institutions, like the EU has, that encourage honest meaningful debate and concession building based on compromises between nations. Goodness, African countries cant even bring them selves to open their borders for freer trade with neighboring African countries.

Anonymous said...

I am not racist, but........

There's too much ignorance in this post!!

branded said...

hey anonymous,
Everyone is entitled to their opinion that's why this post was published as was from the source. It definately will arouse more mixed reactions such as yours but that is the idea. As a social scientist based in Shinyanga Joseph Mihangwa has his reasons for coming up with such ideas probably from his education and past experience.
For the ignorance part....well may be you should enlighten us further by telling exactly what direction Joseph Mihangwa should have taken. In case you didn't notice, I have created a mini poll based on this specific post because I just cannot brush it off as ignorant, I will let readers decide which you clearly did. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

So much Ignorance. First off, North Africans ARE Africans. Berbers are the original inhabitants of North Africa and have varying skin colours, they are all African's and nothing else. Just like Ethiopians and Somalians don't look identical to Nigerians and Zambians, neither does everyone else in Africa. The Arab armies that invaded North Africa were not anywhere near a significant enough number to have had any real impact on the racial/ethnic make up of the populations they invaded. In other words, North Africa is NOT Arab, it is North African (Berber). So this nonsense about North African's not feeling African is ridicoulous. The only racists are the ones who keep bringing up skin colour and skin tone, which is pathetic and laughable. My advice, go visit North Africa before you utter such nonsense in the future.

branded said...

Agreed, your passion for north Africa is one of a kind!
But just look who is talking., the racist (him or herself) can't even show his identification for fear of being noticed. Listen man, no one is here to pick a fight with anyone especially you, the fact that this post suspects Libya's intentions of effecting a United States of Africa does not and should not be taken as a blanket statement for the entire North Africa.its someone's opinion pointing out issues of concern to them.
You are the one who is pulling the race card and I understand that you are entitled to your opinion therefore I would not call describe it as utter nonsense, if anything, only a fool would fail to diferentiate opinions from facts and start branding either as utter nonsense or laughable.
Incase you didn't know, this blog post is not directed to you so if you think it nonsense and laughable my advice is to stop reading because whether you read or not, i feel nothing because its non of your business.

Anonymous said...

is support anonymous - i think the post is a little ignorant-im black african kenyan just so you know. - arab is a culture mnot a race being arab is like being latino. you have latinos of every race same way you have arabs of various races. Bashir of sudan is arab but clearly african if you meet him same as tourabi not forgetting sadat. if people choose to be defined by there culture and not race so be it - live and let live

Anonymous said...

I AM NORTH AFRICAN AND I LOATHE BLACKS AND LOATHE GADDAFI! I have never been a racist until I started hearing about the AU and blacks claiming that North Africa once belonged to them! You are wrong. North Africans are NOT African! In North Africa, which is NOT the same thing as Northern Africa( a new, demonic term coined by afrocentrists and European organization that want to africanize north africa in order to decrease the number of blacks who enter europe by turning north africa into a new europe for blacks)"African" means Black. It does not mean North African. Everyone in North Africa, which does not include the negroid country Sudan, considers gaddafi a schoziphrenic and laughs at him. In Libya, Libyans have murdered black illegal immigrants and attacked them. We will NEVER accept the black savages! We will spill everyone's blood to protect our civilization and our identity. Blacks never ever existed in North Africa, which is more than TWICE As large as EUROPE! the SAHARA is a greater divide than a SEA, and self-loathing blacks claim it was once green, but when it was EUROPE WAS ALSO AFRICA! AS WAS ASIA! Back then, if this theory is accurate, blacks were in europe too! the reality is blacks are native to sub-saharan africa, which was not labelled "africa" before. They are native to the jungles of sub-saharan africa. We will NEVER ACCEPT YOU NEGROES! we all hate your guts in north africa and we are all racist! we shall not accept the burden of your savagery that the UN etc is trying to hand to us! prepare for WAR BECAUSE WE are going to fight till the end, you uncivilized brutes! you are not our friends you sick savages, and the REAL berbers are EURASIAN but these days event he word Berbers is meaningless since a lot of nonberbers are labelled berbers! NO! you can keep dreaming of a union, but we would rather unite with the DEVIL!

branded said...

Good for you. Am sure you know where to find the devil.