The new Pan-African movement needs the people’s consent, and the African Diaspora must help build it.
By Martin M. Niboh*
Mary Jane McLeod Bethune was an American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, womanist, and civil rights activist who said,
“The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.”
The drums of Africa have never stopped and will never stop beating. But have these drums been silenced in the hearts of Africans in the diaspora? Are the hearts of Africans in the diaspora so broken and hardened that they are insensitive to Africa’s drumbeats? Why do Africans in the diaspora seem to be sleeping while millions of African children perish in poverty, inadequate infrastructure, ongoing conflicts, and continuing problems with democratic governance? Why do Africans in the diaspora seem so impervious to the thousands of Africans dying in the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea as they flee Africa to seek freedom and prosperity in other countries?
Africans love beauty and art. Many of Africa’s children produce art. Artists are often the first to rely on intuition. Artists do not insist on complete understanding before they write a piece of music or start painting. They trust their intuition and instinct. Doctors, engineers, and scientists are trained primarily to only proceed by evidence. We should be grateful that doctors proceed with logic, evidence, and reason, but the artist, like the mystic, is usually the first to intuit reality. In the last 60 years, every successful African musician has a song intuiting a free, united, safe, secure, peaceful, powerful, and prosperous Africa. But this intuition is not yet actualized into an indigenous Pan-African movement that protects Africa’s children and gives them the best chance to prove their worth.
In 2013, African heads of state articulated a vision for Africa through the following set of aspirations in a document called the African Union’s Agenda 2063 – The Africa We want:
1) A Prosperous Africa, based on Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development
2) An Integrated Continent Politically united and based on the ideals of Pan Africanism and the vision of African Renaissance
3) An Africa of Good Governance, Democracy, Respect for Human Rights, Justice, and the Rule of Law
4) A Peaceful and Secure Africa
5) Africa with a Strong Cultural Identity Common Heritage, Values and Ethics
6) An Africa Whose Development is people-driven, relying on the potential offered by African People, especially its Women and Youth and caring for Children
7) An Africa as A Strong, United, Resilient and Influential Global Player, and Partner
These are worthy aspirations. But the vast majority of Africa is not aware of these aspirations and goals, let alone their role in achieving them. The tendency towards greater fragmentation in several countries demonstrates the inability of Africa’s political leaders to impose the vision of Agenda 2063 without the consent of the people of Africa. They need the consent of the people. Without an indigenous Pan-African movement that is working to protect Africa’s children, give them the best chance to prove their worth, enable the people of Africa to consent to Agenda 2063, and hold their governments accountable for its realization, the grand vision of Agenda 2063 will falter, and Africa’s children will continue to suffer.
What does it say about us as a people when we say we want a united, free, safe, secure, peaceful, powerful, and prosperous Africa and then do little or nothing to achieve it?
The African Diaspora must value Africa’s children more and do more to love, cherish, and protect them. The business, civic, academic, and religious communities abroad must take the lead in building this new Pan-African movement.
Even a casual and honest observation of events in the world reveals a racist disrespect for even the most successful people of African descent. What is behind the racist disrespect shown to President Barrack Obama and the talented African athletes playing abroad? Why does Donald Trump insult African countries as “shitholes countries”? Can we be honest enough to admit that our failure to unite and build Africa is partly responsible for such disrespect? Is it not evident to us that as long as Africa is in shambles, we as a people will never earn the respect of the foreigners in whose lands we live and work?
Are we going to continue to curse the darkness, or shall we light a candle? Can we prove to ourselves and the world that we can build an indigenous, financially self-sufficient movement of humanitarian entrepreneurs whose calling is to continually expand unconditional love, liberty, and free enterprise, protect Africa’s children, and give them the best opportunities to show their worth? Can we show that we are visionary enough to go beyond sending remittances back home to our families?
Can we in the diaspora show that we can form a new Pan-African indigenous movement that sensitizes, inspires, and mobilizes the hundreds of Africans at the grassroots of Africa to build a united, free, safe, secure, peaceful, powerful, and prosperous Africa.
After 20 years and trillions of dollars spent, some of the lessons of America’s war in Afghanistan is that it is cheaper to build free nations with civic movements than with soldiers and military forces. And that we cannot do it without the consent of the people. Africa leaders need the consent of their people, and Africans in the diaspora can help build a movement that grants such consent.
**Prof Martin M.Niboh is a Former nuclear physicist, former Professor of Physics and Mathematics ,and a Contemplative Humanitarian Entrepreneur & Activist, He is Founder & President, of Igniting Africa an indigenous community development grassroots movement. He can be reached at email@example.com