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Pan African Movement is no longer relevant in the current global context. With examples, discuss this statement.


Ø  The definitions of the terms Pan African Movement, Social Movement and Diasporas.

Ø  Historical background of Pan Africanism.


            This part consists of the discussion about the statement, ‘’Pan African Movement is no longer relevant in the current global context ’’.The explanation about the relevance of Pan African Movement to the current global context has been given in detail. This explanation is basing on the aims of Pan African Movement during that time in relation to the current global context. Upon consideration of the roles of Pan African Movement it has been seen that the statement is wrong.


            In this part we are going to look on the challenges and /or problems of the movement as it is trivial that every important thing has its weaknesses. These weaknesses arise when it fails to full fill its roles (significances). Apart from challenges this part also consists of suggested procedures towards overcoming these challenges. All in all the statement is wrong and it must be stated in a most correct way as, “Pan African Movement is still relevant in the current global context”.


            The explanation given has been grasped from many references including books, Internet and speeches given by some leaders for example William E. B. Du bois. These references are listed on the back page.

            Pan African Movement refers to a social movement of African people and supporters against discrimination and humiliation. A Social Movement refers to loose association of people with common interest. It is the movement dedicated to establish independence for African Nations and cultivating unity among black people throughout the World. The movement was first organized by diasporas to oppose segregations, unequal treatment between whites and blacks (Africans) Diasporas are people living outside their home countries unwillingly (for example those who were taken during colonialism as slaves).

            The movement was originated from a series of conferences held in London, America and other cities. The first conference was held around 1900 in London. It was organized by Andre Sylvester William. After this conference another conference was held in Paris (1919) in France. This was participated by almost all black people living in Diasporas. In 1921 another conference was held. This was held in three places i.e. London, Paris and Blushless. Also in 1923 another conference was organized by William E. B. Du bois. In 1927 another conference was planned to be held in one of France territories either in Tunisia or Paris but due to leadership/political inconveniences it was held in New York. The meetings and conferences were participated by Africans and other whites who supported black people. These whites who supported Africans in Diasporas were called Africanize.

            The early principal leader of the movement was William E. B. Du bois who was thinking about changes in America. He organized the fifth Pan African conference titled Manchester Conference in Manchester (1945). Other people who contributed much in Pan Africanism are Braden Edward, Marcos Gavin, Marcum X, Baraka Amir and Karamu Ya salaam. Manchester conference was participated by Africans like Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya) and Kamuzu Banda. The Manchester Conference was the major successful one it raise awareness among black people. Among the issues discussed were the right to be free, right to earn decent living, the right to express the ones thoughts and emotions and demand for black autonomy and independence.

            After Manchester conference Kwame Nkrumah and his colleagues turned back to Africa and started struggle for independence. Nkrumah was the first nationalist to gain independence of Ghana in 1957. After independence of Ghana the first truly intergovernmental conference was held in Accra (Ghana) in 1958. This conference was participated by many African leaders of that time and Patrick Lumumba was a key speaker.

            The Pan Africanist Congress(PAC)was formed by Robert M Sobukwe and others in South Africa in 1959 as a political alternative to the African National Congress which was seen as contaminated by non-African influences. The founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) now the African Union (AU) by Julius K Nyerere and others in 1963 was a milestone and the OAU soon becomes the most important Pan Africanist Organization.

            The statement, “Pan-African Movement is no longer relevant in the current global context’’, is wrong. The relevance of Pan African Movement to the current global context can be focused with reference to the aims/significances of establishment of Pan African Movement. These significances include the following.

            Removing all forms of racial segregation and marginalization of Black people all over the World. Pan African Movement was first formed in diaspora to fight against malgionalisation of black people all over the World. Africans in diaspora were treated in a hush condition by Whites the situation which later become intolerable. For example, Africans were not given the right to vote, right to express themselves, freedom of press and other human rights also, Africans were separated from whites in terms of social services that is, there were schools, health centers and transport means for Africans separate from those for whites. The services for Africans were very poor compared to those of whites. Black people (Africans) were not allowed to mix with whites and this was the major cause of the movement. In relation to the current global context there are some Africans still living in diaspora till now, even other people are still moving from Africa to abroad by their will. While in those nations they live comfortably and are being given their rights appropriately. This is the result of Pan Africanist Movement. Due to the role or significance of Pan Africanism Diasporas of today manage to live in diaspora comfortably. Also Pan Africanist Movement defends Africans in a new face as African Unity (AU) which demands rights for blacks all over the World. Hence Pan African Movement is still relevant to the current global context.

            Decolonization of African continent. Around 1900 most of African countries were under colonial rule that is; only two nations (Liberia and Somalia) were independent. All major means of production were owned by colonial masters, this caused Africans to suffer while in their own land. Africans experienced taxation, forced labor, exploitation and humiliation that is, politically, economically and socially were controlled by colonialists. This caused Africans to demand for their independence where by around 1990s all African countries were free from colonialism (independent). For example the last African countries to gain its independence were South Africa in 1994. Since the role of Pan Africanism to demand for independence have been full filled that is, the whole continent is independent now; then why Pan Africanism? After independence the role of demanding for independence was extended to three major roles. Firstly; to ensure each nation maintain its independence, in this aspect Pan Africanism is still there to defend the independence of already independent countries. Secondly; to strengthen economies of independent African countries, Pan Africanism strengthen economies of African countries through its organizations such as AU, SADC, COMESA and EAC. For example, deferent African countries are free to form union and get support from Pan Africanism in the World Market. Also it corrects the conditions given by the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the third World nations. Thirdly; to strengthen political status of African countries, for example, make sure all African nations practice multiparty system in their respective states hence democracy. Due to the implementation of these three roles it is clear that Pan African Movement is still relevance the current global context.

            Cultivating unity among black people (Africans) all over the World. As early as 19th century and before Africans were taken to Diasporas as unwillingly slaves. Most Africans were separated from their families hence no unity among African people. This was because Africans were not given their rights for example, the right to express their thoughts and emotions. Africans were unequally treated, marginalized and exploited. In rear sense Africans were under Whites control hence African unity was restricted. When the movement began one of its role was to emphasize and unsure African unity all over the World. At that instant Africans did not know each other especially those living in diaspora. Pan African Movement led to awareness in diaspora and African continent at large hence, black people in diaspora know each other through this movement. For example, most of African students such as Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya) and Kamuzu Banda who were schooling in Europe attended the Manchester Conference (1945) to represent their countries. This made them to establish unity and fight against colonialism (nationalism). Also this led to the formation of Organization of African Unity (OAU) from there other organizations among African countries started to be formed. For example, nowadays we have many African organizations like SADC, COMESA, EAC and AU also African nations units with outside nations in bases of bilateral or multilateral co-operation. This signifies that the role of Pan Africanism to unit Africans is successful and we are moving towards the formation of African state. It’s true to say Pan African Movement is still relevance to the current global since due to this movement Africans now have unity compared to the last period .Example of African leaders who advocate the spirit of the unity and solidarity among the people of Africa is Thabo Mbeki of Zaire.

            Promotion of the ability and focus of the black people in society transformation across the World. During colonialism African people were dominated and controlled in all aspects of life, this undermined Africans very much since they were producing what they cannot consume and consume what they cannot produce. This led Africans to be low mentally and dormant. For example, in African schools Africans were taught simple things that is, they were given the education which is non-helpful to them which led to stagnant in social, political and economic aspects. Also Africans were not given the chance to rule and gain challenge of ruling, to express their ideas and fight for their own rights. Then this created a vision to fight against this situation hence Pan African Movement was established so that a strong future African society can just be formed around the World. So today Pan Africanism is there to make sure Africans are developing especially mentally by making sure that the education given in Africa is relevant to the needs of blacks and the whole World. Pan Africanism led to Africans consideration in the World that is, a black people can move around the World (from Africa to Europe) comfortably without fearing. For example, a man from Tanzania can decide to work in America or Europe. This is because the education given in Africa and in developed nations is almost the same different from before Pan African Movement. Hence the relevance of Pan Africanism can be seen in this particular significance.

            To challenge unpopular capitalist, “New World Order”. Represented by International Monetary Fund (IMF), The World Bank (WB) and none recently by North American Free Trade (NAFTA). When Pan Africanism started economic gap between Africa and developed countries were big, this was due to exploitation of Africa by developed nations (western countries). For example; slave trade which was conducted between Africa, America and Europe made the wide gap between economic development of Africa and developed nations. This made them to develop the monetary institutions since they have good economic base. So to ensure that white dominate and exploit Africans very well conditions are given to African countries so as to get loans from those institutions. The role of Pan Africanism is ensuring that the conditions given are not too hard to developing countries so as they can develop. It has made some countries to afford these conditions given by unpopular capitalist hence it is relevance to the current global context.

            Promotion of peace and security. Pan African Movement has helped most of African nations towards their peace and security. It helps African nations which enter into wars for example; it has succeeded to resolve the conflict in Burundi, Darfur and Somalia. Also it plays a big role in maintaining good security and good relation between Africa and Western countries. Hence it is true that this movement is still relevant to the current global context.

            Preservation of African culture. Pan Africanism still fighting to the preservation of African culture. African culture is faced by many challenges in this global context hence there must be an organization to ensure its preservation. Pan Africanism is there to make sure good wearing style, food style, and preservation of African taboos.

            Pan Africanism is emphasizing for creation of employment. Most of youths in this global context have no works. They stays in streets without anything to do because either of their level of education or due to scarcity of works. This is because the World have been changed from that of the previous time where working process have been simplified due to existence of globalization. For example, the discovery of computers and other machines has led to scarcity of work because the work to be performed by ten people can only do by just one person. Pan Africanism is trying to emphasize creation of alternative works so as to help in development of African continent. For example, Pan Africanism emphasizes entrepreneurship and encourages formation of economic integration where people get works through this integration.

            From the above discussion it should be clear that Pan African Movement is relevant in the current global context. However, in full filling its duties Pan African Movement face some challenges and problems like corruption, Terrorism, Selfishness; some African leaders do not want to move out of power. For example, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has been into power since independence (1980). Other challenges are, Neo-Colonialism, Assassination of Pan Africanist leaders and Poor means of communication (poverty). For example, some meetings fail to be conducted because of poor communication between the participants. All in all the major challenge/problem of the movement is that it has remained to be the movement for elites (leaders) and not for all Africans.

            Since the movement is seen to be of significance to Africans of today it must be strengthened so as to overcome its challenges. The efforts towards strengthening Pan African Movement include the following. Firstly, improving leadership system; the movement must be for all Africans and not only for educated people (leaders). Secondly, Fighting against Neo-Colonialism; this is an indirect colonialism so to make the movement more efficient and significant it must be minimized if not eliminated. Thirdly, Education to the mass; most Africans of the current global context are less aware about Pan Africanism(the movement is much known to educated people only), so education must be given to all Africans especially those living in  villages to make them aware about their rights and their value in the whole World. Fourthly, removing all selfish leaders who do not want to move out of power like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. Implementation of these suggested solutions will make the movement stronger enough and more relevant in the current and to the future global context.           


 1. Chrisman, R (1974) Pan Africanism. Washington DC: Howard University Press.

2. http/en Wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-Africanism.

3. Lenin V, (1979) Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism. London: Communist Party of Great Britain: Heinemann

4. Mpangara, G.P (1992) Major Issues in Tanzania Economic History. Dar-es Salaam: Dar-es   Salaam University Press.

5. Rodney, W (1981) How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Washington DC: Howard University Press.

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