The African Renaissance in the 21rst Century : Challenges and Prospects

By AFRICAN REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT [ARM]

Permit me to start by thanking the African Renaissance Foundation [AREFO] for inviting me as one of the guest speakers to make this presentation.

I personally have long been fascinated by the personality of Toussaint L’ouverture and I must congratulate the African Renaissance Foundation, for seeing it fit to honor the memory of this great, illustrious, visionary, courageous and foresighted son of Black Africa, who saw in 1791, what most of the so called Presidents, Heads of State, leaders, statesmen and women, Senators, Ministers and what have you of modern day Africa fail to see even in this 2014, a full 223 years after.

Toussaint L’ouverture has been my hero since my young university days when I learnt of him and his part in history.

I recall that in the year 2000 when the African Independent Television [AIT] was giving me on every Saturday, 30 munities to speak live on air on Black and African heroes in a program anchored by Zara Sambo. Toussaint L’ouveture was one of, if not the very first of such heroes that I had singled out for presentation in that program which was very widely and highly received at that time.

I also recall that that same year, 2000, was the very year that I launched the now deregistered African Renaissance Party [ARP].

To people like me therefore, the selection of the great personality of Toussaint L’ouverture is most appropriate and apt as a focus for this year’s Badagry Diaspora Celebration, especially at this particular period in the world when Nigeria, Africa and the Black race are in dire need of direction.

The personality of Toussaint is ideal to mention when discussing African renaissance in the 21st century: its challenges and its prospects.

HAITI AND BIAFRA

Haiti, the nation of Toussaint L’Ouverture is also a nation very dear to me and for good reasons. In fact, I knew of Haiti, long before I even knew of Toussaint L’ouverture.

My mother and my father are from the tribe or nation of Igbo in present day Nigeria, and though I was born in Jos in northern Nigeria, we ran to and were in eastern Nigeria, in the defunct Republic of Biafra during the so-called Nigerian civil war-which in deed was a case of pure genocide which was fortunately aborted before it could run its circle and fully achieve all its objectives.

Haiti was the first country, outside of Africa to recognize the Republic of Biafra, and what is more? As relatively poor as Haiti was, that kind nation was sending relief items to the suffering masses of Biafra who were dying of hunger and malnutrition at a time that the government of Nigeria maintained that hunger was a legitimate weapon of war!.

I recall also that when Haiti was experiencing one of its many national challenging tragedies, I had pleaded with the apex leaders of the defunct Biafra to reciprocate Haiti’s kind gestures and to organize assistance for her, but my pleas fell on deaf ears.

Well to cut a long story short, as far as I am concerned, Toussaint L’ouverure and Haiti are brothers to me and my gratitude to the man and the nation are forever.

WHO WAS TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE AND WHAT IS AFRICAN RENAISSANCE?

Francois Dominique Toussaint Louverture, also Toussaint L’Ouverture, Toussaint Breda, nicknamed The Black Napoleon [20 May 1743-7April 1803] was the leader of the Haitian Revolution.

His military genius and political acumen transformed an entire society of slaves into the independent state of Haiti.

The successes of the Haitian Revolution shock the institution of slavery throughout the new world.

African Renaissance on the other hand,is the concept that African people and nations shall overcome the current challenges confronting the continent and achieve cultural, scientific and economic renewal.

The African Renaissance concept was said to be first articulated by Cheikh Anta Diop in a series of Essays beginning in 1946 which are collected in his book “Towards the African Renaissance: Essays in culture and Development-1946-1960″.

This concept has been further popularized by former South African President Thabo Mbeki during his term of office, heralding the beginning of the African Renaissance, and it continues to be a key part of the post apartheid intellectual agenda.

Toussaint L’Ouverture meant so many things to so different people, just as African Renaissance means so many things to different people.

To some of the slaves in the plantations in the Americas and the Caribbean, Toussaint was a Hero to be admired, followed, emulated, even worshipped; but for the slavers and the plantation owners, he was a villain to be roundly condemned.

To the philosophers, he was an out of the box thinker and to those interested in military history and strategy; he was a master and spectacular strategist and was known as the slave who defeated Napoleon Bonaparte.

To the government and businesses of South Africa today, African Renaissance is a brand name, that can be effectively deployed to promote capitalism and neo-capitalism, but to the numerous black miners and people of South Africa, African renaissance is a clarion call for Black emancipation.

For the leaders of the African Union and Heads of African governments, African renaissance is a perfect phrase for sloganeering but for the black people of Africa, including its Diaspora, it is the road to salvation from imperialism, want, poverty and disease.

CHALLENGES OF AFRICAN RENAISSANCE

  • The partitioning of Africa following the Berlin Conferences of 1883-1885
  • Colonial mentality
  • Inferiority complex
  • Closed minds, closed societies, closed nations
  • Corruption
  • Lack of democracy
  • Tribalism and nepotism
  • Plagiarism-Intellectual theft
  • Dry and abstract intellectualism
  • Stultification of indigenous technology particularly and knowledge systems generally
  • Lack of African centered education
  • Dearth of indigenous African languages
  • Erroneous belief that African renaissance is idol worship
  • Lack of knowledge of glorious African past and contributions to human civilization
  • Inter African wars
  • Unresponsive governance
  • Wrong people in authority
  • Square pegs in round holes
  • Lack of data
  • Terrorism

I, The partitioning of Africa following the Berlin Conferences of 1883 to 1885

The Berlin conferences of 1883-1885 regulated European colonization and trade in Africa during the new Imperialism period and coincided with Germany’s sudden emergence as an imperial power, called for by Portugal and organized by Otto Von Bismarck, first Chancellor of Germany. Its outcome, the General Act of the Berlin Conference, can be seen as the formalization of the Scramble for Africa. The conference ushered in a period of heightened colonial activity by European powers, which eliminated or overrode most existing forms of African autonomy and self governance.

That conference brutally partitioned Africa without caring about the ties of tribes, clans or families and carved the continent in such an artificial manner that its outcome is at the root of most inter African conflicts up till date.

II, Colonial mentality

One of the most fundamental challenges confronting the African renaissance is that most African peoples and nations are no longer capable of generating or accepting original thoughts or home-grown solutions to problems. Indeed, there is truth in the saying by Leopold Senghor that the gravest form of imperialism is cultural imperialism, because it obscures awareness and renders the victims, the colonized incapable of independent thought. African renaissance has absolutely no chance of success except through channels of independent thought-that is through the extinguishing, dismantling and destruction of colonial mentality.

III, Inferiority complex

Inferiority complex, amongst Africans is the twin brother to colonial mentality. The average African today sees himself or herself as inferior to people from all other parts of the world , but especially to Europeans and north Americans. They do not know that their forebears were not only the original progenitors of mankind, but that they taught the world all the good and positive things that it knows.

IV, Closed minds, closed societies and closed nations.

A terrible cankerworm internally and mortally killing African societies, and inhibiting African renaissance and development is that while most African societies, ministries, departments, agencies, institutions and nations claim to high heavens that they are democracies and democratic, they run themselves as secret societies. Take Nigeria as a nation for instance, or any state of Nigeria if you like, like Enugu state, my home state, or even Lagos state, our host state for this International symposium for instance, in this age of information technology and globalization. Try to get the phone numbers or even email address of any commissioner, minister, local government chairman-even councilors, Director, Senator, House of Representative member, who claim to be representing you and see if you ever get it! Now, what kind of democracy would that be?

While they make mockery of themselves, strutting about allover the globe pretending to be chasing after the so-called foreign investors [while stealing a hundred times the values of the investments they seek], a potential investor has no way of reaching them. Now, if you cannot even reach them, how can you do business with them?.

V, Corruption

In most African nations everyone is stealing from everyone else. Governments steal from the governed; Landlords steal tenants; tenants steal from all whom they come across in turn; They do not realize that they are all stealing from themselves-and that they are all collectively the losers. They fail to see that an-eye-for-an-eye-makes-the-world-blind.

Those in authority steal with reckless abandon and blatant impunity, and jostling for power are mere battling for opportunities to loot. What a shame! What an impediment to African renaissance!

Those who fought for their nation’s independence never suspected that they were fighting for a future generation of shameless thieves.

VI, Lack of democracy

Though the phenomenon-Democracy was originally invented and first experimented in Black Africa, the painful irony of current realities is that most, if not all, democracies in the continent, are In truth, and in fact, but pain civilian dictatorships and cabalisms.

Present day Africans mistake elections for democracies. Electocracy has taken the place of democracy , and there is no intercourse whatsoever between the masses and those who are thrown up through mostly fraudulent elections to superintend over and to govern them.

VII, Tribalism and Nepotism

Tribal affiliations, which are natural affiliations which should ordinarily be sources of strength for African peoples and enzymes to fire and propel African renaissance has unfortunately assumed negative dimensions and constitute stumbling blocks to progress.

Tribalism and nepotism-the practice, among those with power , authority and influence , of favoring their relatives and friends, especially by giving them jobs-have combined to strangulate growth and development in Africa.

VIII, Plagiarism-Intellectual theft

African nations including Nigeria, are quick to set up anti-corruption agencies whether genuinely or not .They have clear cut laws to deal with and punish offenders in financial theft cases, but strangely, they have lackadaisical attitudes to challenging or confronting or combating intellectual theft.

They do not realize that intellectual theft is far more insidious than financial theft, for whereas financial theft affect or victimize the fruits of nation’s life, intellectual theft attack and victimizes the very roots of nation’s life.

All implements, instruments, machines, vehicles, technological inventions, medicine and what have you, ever made by man, including books, music, art and so on, are products of mental and intellectual efforts and achievements.

Where creators and inventors are prevented by reason of theft of their inventions and creations from reaping the fruits of their labors,, not only is the larger society shortchanged as the eventual products or services reaching it must be inferior to those originally envisioned by the inventors and/or creators , but the inventors/creators are prevented or at least discouraged from further inventions and creations.

An overwhelming majority of proposals made by laboring thinkers from all works of life end up plagiarized and hijacked by crooks and their collaborators in power and places of authority to the detriment of the original authors of the proposals.

The other day, while I was browsing on the internet for instance, I accidentally stumbled across a group that had lifted the programs planned for AREFO in 2012 and placed it as its program on their website.

IX, Dry and abstract intellectualism

One of the subterranean problems militating against and obstructing the advancement of African renaissance is what can be termed Dry and Abstract Intellectualism. By this is meant that there abounds a profusion of intellectualism that has no bearing what so ever to the pressing and even future needs of African peoples.

Intellectuals who should evolve solutions-practical solutions to the many and multifarious and multifaceted problems not only confronting Africans, but almost practically overwhelming the continent and peoples, spend precious time in universities, and at the never ceasing conferences, seminars and symposiums, international, national, regional and global, churning out useless and verbose papers having no bearing on the needs of the times of their expecting peoples.

I recall at one of such useless unending conferences when at around the year 2011 or 2012, when the Political Science Association of Nigeria was castigating Nigerian political parties, that was during my time as the national chairman of the African Renaissance Party[ARP], I had approached them and urged that they take over completely all the structures of the party and to use the party as a platform to practicalize their overflowing theories about how to redeem Nigeria and perfectly run true political parties, but of course, they chickened out.

Take a look at many of the things that pass as artworks! They have no meaning whatsoever, except to massage the egos of Euro centrists and those who ape them.

X, stultification of indigenous African technologies particularly and knowledge systems generally

Transatlantic and Tran Saharan Slave trade, coupled with colonization of African nations stultified indigenous knowledge systems generally, and African indigenous technological advancement particularly.

The tragic result of the aforementioned is that the Black Africa that taught the world all the good and positive life-enhancing things that it knows, is today deficit in everything, to the extent that it has to solicit for external help before it can provide even table water for its peoples.

African nations look for outside help to do almost every and anything. We seek external help to fund education, to fund heath care, housing, our armed forces,-what are we even saying? The very headquarters of the African Union[AU], formerly, the Organization of African Unity[OAU],standing today in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia , where those who call themselves the Heads of African States gathered together in January 2013, to celebrate what they call the Silver Jubilee of the AU/OAU-its 50 years anniversary , with the theme: Pan Africanism and African Renaissance, was built and funded by a notion outside Africa-China. What an all consuming shame!

So, how can African renaissance blossom if the peoples of Africa continue to celebrate and wallow in ineptitude and dependency?.Where they disregard and do not encourage self efforts? How?

The truth of life is that the development of nations, just like that of individuals must be and is always from within-They have never and can never be imposed or imported from outside.

If Africans want to develop, they must begin to do things by themselves, by self efforts-That is the demand of African renaissance. There is no easy way out. There can be no cutting corners in this.

XI, Lack of African-centered education

Education is unquestionably the bedrock of human advancement, more so in modern times. Right educational policies and systems put societies on proper footing, which is why the clamor for mass education is a worldwide and ever increasing phenomenon.

An overwhelming percentage of the nations doing well in the contemporary world can attribute a high degree of their success to the right systems and stuff of education they inculcate in their people.

In the same way that the right system of education can put a people in the right development direction, in the same measure, does the wrong system of education put a people in the wrong direction for developmental purposes. It is like medication for a sick person-The right medication invariably improves the health condition of the patient, in the same way that the wrong medication worsens his condition.

The system of education pervading the entire African horizon are those put in place ostensibly by the colonial powers that forced themselves on the continent. Those educational systems were put in place to effectively perpetually condition the African continent for perpetual economic exploitation and political emasculation.

Strangely, when most of the erstwhile colonized African nations gained their political independence, they forgot or failed to dismantle the colonial educational systems.

The educational systems so perpetuated have enslaved the minds of Africans and rendered them incapable of any meaningful articulations.

This is one other grave factor militating against Africa’s renaissance.

XII, Dearth of Indigenous African languages

Communication is vital in all societies, whether human or animal. However, in Africa, communication has become so artificial and unnatural that it has become a huge problem.

Imagine what life would be for birds on air if they lose their natural forms of communication that had been with their kind from the beginning of time and have to learn to communicate among them, say in the language of goats. Imagine what life would be like for lions, if they have to communicate with themselves, in say, the language of fishes. Or what life would be like for French people, if they all had to learn to communicate among themselves in say, the Igbo language or in Hausa or Efik.

The dearth of indigenous African indigenous languages is a big challenge confronting the African renaissance movement. It has forced a wage between traditional knowledge systems and the younger generations.

Any careful observation of nations making major advancement in today’s world reveals that those nations communicate in their indigenous languages.

What is more?, Not only are most elite Africans incapable of communicating in their natives languages, they are incapable or even thinking, or even praying to their God in their native languages.

XIII, Erroneous belief that African renaissance is idol worship

There is an erroneous belief among many Africans that African renaissance is but an attempt at reenactment of idol worship. Africans have been widely and roundly brainwashed into believing that the African continent was a continent of idol worshippers, before the introduction in Africa of Christianity and Islam. Nothing can be further from the truth.

This erroneous belief has led many Africans to want to distance themselves and their communities from crusades for African renaissance.

XIV, Lack of knowledge of Africa’s past and civilizations.

There is a saying that those who do not know where they are coming from. Cannot know where they are going. All realistic projections into the future must first take stock of situations of the past.

Clearly therefore, African renaissance, like all renaissances must take stock of Africa’s past.

Generally, there is a serious lack of knowledge of Africa’s past, not to speak of Africa’s civilization. How can there be a tomorrow, without a yesterday?

XV, Civil wars and inter African wars

For a long time after independence, so many African nations were either at war with their neighbors or with themselves. Though such wars have drastically reduced, there are still skirmishes here and there with the result that there is yet no real tangible lasting peace in Africa.

One steady source of conflict within individual nations currently is elections. These often pit tribes and clans against other tribes and clans, and tensions with the capacity for instant conflagration are always hanging over the atmosphere.

Under such conditions, it is difficult for African renaissance to make real progress.

XVI, Unresponsive governance

Government machineries are apparently on parallel course with the yearnings and aspirations of those whom they are supposed to be serving. African governments are generally unresponsive.

At independence, African freedom fighters and their followers and successors simply slipped their feet into the shoes left by the departed colonial masters. The colonial governments which were generally established for economic exploitation of the lead and in a way that alienated the natives, were thus unfortunately and unpatriotically perpetuated and have lived on up till date.

Not only do those in authority see themselves as masters who are to do whatever catches their fancies, but that the governed also support this view and do not realize that sovereignty belongs to the people.

Facilities built by African governments such as roads, schools, hospitals and so on are seen as acts of magnanimity by the governed. Such perceptions cannot be favorable to African renaissance.

XVII, Wrong people in authority

Flowing from unresponsive governance previously discussed is that the wrong people are by and large in the right places. People do not occupy positions of authority to serve, but to be served, and this is the situation from most of the local governments to the Heads of states at the apex of the pyramids of authority.

A local government chairman is at liberty to reject the best of proposals that has the tremendous capacity to benefit his council and there is absolutely no practical machinery of questioning or sanctioning his wrong action, and omissions.

Traditional rulers have become traditional ruiners and are generally collaborators with elected officials and both conspire against the true interests of their vulnerable peoples.

In 2012 for instance when the Renaissance Multi-Links[Nig] Ltd tried to organize an International Conference on African Renaissance right here at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria[ASCON],and had written to the government of Lagos state severally, more than a year after the letters and entreaties, not even an acknowledgement from the government had been received , not to mention cooperation.-How can such attitudes encourage African renaissance?

XVIII, Square pegs in round holes.
African renaissance like all such renaissances must be knowledge based and knowledge driven. Where medical doctors do the work meant for engineers and engineers perform the functions of lawyers. Such dispositions can only be harmful to the quest for African renaissance.

It is common to find in Africa, people trained as scientists working as bank executives, simply as a result that that was where they could find gainful employment after graduation. In fact, it is becoming increasingly common in many African communities to find graduates working as prostitutes or taxi drivers for want of better employment.

XIX, Lack of Data

Data of all kinds are scarce commodity in Africa. African nations are generally so poorly organized that they lack adequate data of their manpower in the various subsectors and of other economic and societal indices that are most useful, if not essential for cohesive and meaningful planning and administrative purposes.

African renaissance demands that we know who we are and what we have at any point in time and in every strata of society.

XX, Terrorism

Undeniably many African nations are under the frightening grip of terrorism, a previously unknown phenomenon in the continent. So far , no African nation has been able to prevail over this increasing menace.

The most unfortunate aspect of it all is that whereas the type of terrorism eating up most African nations are ideological spurned terrorism, the response of African nations to it had been puerile and awkward

Take the case of Boko Haram in Nigeria for instance. Boko Haram insurgents are ideological rebels and therefore, neither force of arms, nor offer of amnesty have any meaningful capacity to stem their tide. The only weapon left is therefore necessarily ideological.

There is the ideological option of meeting the sect half-way, by agreeing to some of their objectives, but differing as to the methods of achieving those objectives.

It is submitted, that it is possible to use information-Quaranic/Islamic instruction and information in various ways to bring about a fundamental and radical, if gradual change of mind/heart and methodology on the part of the members of the sect.

Some of the instruments that could be applied in this service include: Radio, Television, handbills, posters, GSM messaging, lectures, multimedia and multi-interactive websites and intelligence.

Many other concerned thinkers have also come to the same conclusion.

Abdulsalam Ajetunmobi, a senior lecturer in the Department of public and international law at Afe Babalola University, in Nigeria wrote:

In 2002 ,a Yemeni Judge, Hamoud Abdulhamid Al-Hitar, pioneered a religious-reeducation programme for Islamic militant groups and their supporters in Yemen using theological arguing as a tool for engaging and combating militant ideology.

This program , which received the attention of London’s Scotland Yard, as well as French and German police, including US diplomats was later adopted by the Saudi government.

Presently, the prototype of the Quaranic Arbitration measure designed to combat the intellectual and ideological justification for violent extremism is in popularity with a number of countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia adopting similar counter-Radicalization programmers.

In April 2013, I was invited by and held discussions with officials of the office of Nigeria’s National Security Adviser on how to use similar methods to solve the Boko Haram riddle in Nigeria, but up till now, I have seen no practical move by the Federal government to do this.

Now clearly, African renaissance cannot thrive under an atmosphere of terrorism.

XXI, Brain Drain

It is the duty of the elites of every people to drive and lead their renaissances and that of Africans cannot be different. Unfortunately, over 25% of the highly skilled Africans live in and serve other countries and nations, while their own mother continent is in dire need of their services, skills and knowledge. This is a blow to the African renaissance and something must be done about it.

XXII, The African Union{AU] is not democratic

The African Union[AU] that is the body that should model African renaissance is composed of officials who are not elected by any Pan African plebiscite. This can not help the African renaissance.

Most of those who compose and direct the affairs of the body are those whose authority over their own primary nations are under controversy and whose leadership credentials are in question.

XXIII, African elites assuming the personalities of imperialists

A new wonder creeping into the African continent and which is perhaps the gravest factor militating against African renaissance is that many Africans who are occupying sensitive and privileged positions in African governments do not even see themselves as Africans and in their hearts owe allegiance to non African nations and interests.

Strange as it may appear, this is true.

I know of a very prominent son of Niger Delta in Nigeria whose great grandfather was one of the most dogged fighters against colonial incursion into Africa and who in fact paid the supreme price for his stand against colonial and imperial domination, but his great grandson sees himself as an American. What a tragedy! What an irony!

Some nationals working in their own fatherland are even paid in foreign currencies and stupidly prefer to be seen as expertraits.

PROSPECT OF THE AFRICAN RENAISSANCE

  • The Renaissance of African Economies.
  • African Unification.
  • Peace and lack of internal wars in Africa.
  • African self sufficiency.
  • Restoration of African dignity in all ramifications.
  • African Jurisprudence.
  • Foreign debt eradication.
  • African centered educational system.
  • African High Command.
  • African supremacy in the world.[African global supremacy].
  • Mass participatory system of governance.
  • Gender harmony.
  • Pan African data, inter-disciplinary, trans-disciplinary and multidisciplinary dimensions.

I, The Renaissance of African Economies

Before colonization, the economies of most African nations were largely self sufficient. African nations traded and did business amongst them and economically as well as diplomatically related with many, if not most non African nations, but they were never dependent on others for their survival or sustenance in anyways.

However, today, the direct reverse is the case. One clear prospect of the African renaissance is that it must usher in a renaissance of African economies.

II, African Unification

Over the years , from even before the formation of the Organization for African Unity[OAU] which has translated or transmutated into the African Union{AU], the consensus has been that there is need for African unification, now is the time to actualize this in reality.

III, Peace and absence of internal wars in Africa

African renaissance is expected to usher in sustainable and long lasting peace and total absence of inter-African wars in Africa. This presupposes the putting in place of effective and efficient conflict resolution mechanisms and the engendering of brotherly and fraternal affections among Africans.

The Intellectual, material and spiritual, not to talk of emotional resources that Africans expend in internal conflicts and wars , if channeled into peaceful, productive and developmental goals in the continent will more than catapult it from poverty to abundance within the shortest possible time frame.

IV, African Self sufficiency

By taking the decision to aim and insist and work single-mindedly towards self sufficiency, African nations and the continent will open itself up to a world of possibilities and advantages, such as:

1-Total Elimination of unemployment: Unemployment in Africa will speedily become a thing of the past as Africans begin to produce their needs thereafter.

2-Reduction of importation: The capital flight suffered by Africa will begin to immediately reduce drastically and when one computes monies spent by Africans on importation of all imaginable items from mostly European and Asian nations, it is brought to sharp focus the gains so entailed.

3-Increase in export: Self sufficiency automatically will result in increase in export capacity, potential and activities by Africans and this will in turn immediately translate to increase in foreign exchange earnings and buoyancy of African economies.

IV, Boost in self confidence

By working towards self sufficiency, with its aforementioned concomitant benefits such as elimination of unemployment, reduction of importation and increase in export, the self esteem and confidence of Africans will be enhanced. This will prepare us better to face any future challenges that may confront the continent and its peoples.

V, Restoration of African Dignity in all ramifications

As cause cause causes and as one thing leads to another, so also would Africans’ self confidence and enhanced self sufficiency begin to gradually but surely jumpstart the process of the restoration of the dignity of Africans and Africa in all ramifications.

It is common and painful knowledge that the today average African is in so much lose of dignity that he or she tries to pretend or assume the nationality of non Africans states.

The efforts that the African women of today for instance make and the monies they expend trying to look like Europeans and Americans are more than an eloquent testimony to this assertion.

Over 75% of activities that go on in African hair salons and those outside Africa where Africans are clients are towards making their hair as non African and as European as possible.

Not to be overlooked also are the borrowed life styles that is increasingly leading to social dislocations and break up of marriages and families.

VI, African Jurisprudence.

Jurisprudence simply put , is the theory or philosophy of law. It is also the study and theory of law, which is why scholars in jurisprudence are also known as legal theorists.

Generally in African societies today, the legal systems and jurisprudence in vogue and in place are foreign, mostly those of their erstwhile colonial masters.

African renaissance expects that African nations and societies trace their ways back to African jurisprudence borne out of the quintessential essences of time-honored African culture and civilizations, which in any case, are the most original and natural on earth.

VII, African debt eradication.

Imperialistic, colonialist and capitalist nations of the world seeking perpetual access to and exploitation of African resources have ingeniously and pretentiously fund ways of crippling African nations with foreign debts portfolios.

These debts, most of which are odious are so crafted that to get out of one, African nations find themselves sinking and entrapped into another. It is like a vicious circle organized and supervised by Satan himself.

The demands and imperatives of African renaissance is that the necessary ways and means must be speedily found for the total foreign debts eradication. That saying that: he who goes a-borrowing, goes a-sorrowing cannot be truer for Africans.

VIII, African centered educational system.

According to Professor Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalomatis:

”Based on the aforementioned, we can conclude that, if the African Renaissance movement wants to bring forth a socio-political rebirth across the Black Continent, the members and the associated institutions of the African Renaissance will eventually achieve their goals, only in case they stick to their own African identity, which has first to be properly assessed without Western biases and oversights, and then widely diffused by means of educational textbooks, University courses, and the subsequent popularization through the African publishing houses and mass media.

In other words, for the African Renaissance to be ‘African’, the African Renaissance movement has to first delve in the Afrocentrist movement and in the related search for true and unbiased African History, and then extend the Afrocentrist movement in many key fields whereto the Afrocentrist movement theoreticians has not contributed significantly or at all.

It is certain that the Afrocentrist movement started from the academic discipline of History, which means a small section of the Humanities. It is far closer to an academic ‘school’ that suggests a fresh reading of African History (by far more truthful and less biased than the European colonialist pseudo-History) than to a systematized social reform movement or a political ideology.

Progressively, Afrocentrism expanded in other spheres, namely Philosophy, Theology, and Social Anthropology, but it always failed to systematize its aspects into a coherent ideology able to encompass all the types of theoretical concerns, academic disciplines, and social affairs. At its best, Afrocentrist theorists tackled issues pertaining to education and cultural ideology, but again there they rather focused on the contents, but not on the method of successfully implementing ‘African-centered education’ across the continent.”

IX, African High Command

From the clarion call by the former Ghanaian leader and one of the greatest sons of black Africa, Osayefo Kwame Nkrumah, the issue of an African High Command has always been Jermaine.

However, the mental and material dependency of shameless African nations [including Ghana] has made the actualization of the African High Command a mirage up till date.

Let me say it here that the time for an African High Command has finally come and all Africans must insist on it.

The shame of continually inviting and expecting foreign and non African powers to solve Africa’s military and security problems is finally over.

X, African supremacy in the world.

Those who aspire just to make a pass at examinations are more likely to fail. But those who strive to take the very first positions in such examinations are most unlikely to fail-They may not eventually get the first positions, but they most probably would not fail in those examinations.-They are guaranteed to pass at least.

This is true for individuals, at is also true of nations. If the African continent aspires to become the number one nation/continent on earth, this may prove a tall order for now, but it will surely ensure that Africa assumes at least, the status of a developed continent in all facets of life.

XI, Mass participatory system of governance in Africa.

Democracy is about mass participation in all facets of life of society as against electocracy, which begins and ends with elections.

In this age of information technology, all necessary facilities for creating mass participatory systems of government for the peoples of Africa ate, I beg to posit, abundantly available, requiring only the political will, commitment and diligence to bring it about, and open Africa up to the golden era of real tangible peace and proper democratic practices and processes that will take adequate care of all African peoples in Africa and in the Diaspora and involve all in the actualization of the ideals of African renaissance.

XII, Gender Harmony.

The issue of gender equality has generated a lot of discussions in the contemporary world and even conflict and tension especially in many African countries. It is now in vogue to assert that African societies are unfair to women and that one of the greatest challenges towards the development of Africa is the issue of gender equality.

Though no one can deny that some African societies can be said to be manifested unfair to women, there can be no denying that the4 history of Africa is replete with experiences of perfect gender harmony institutions superior in every sense to any thing that can or has been found in western societies.

According to Cheikh Anta Diop:

”A study of our past can give us a lesson in government. Thanks to the matriarchal system, our ancestors prior to any foreign influence had given women a choice of place. They saw her not as a sex object but as mother. This has been true from the Egypt of the Pharaohs until our time. Women participated in running public affairs within the framework of a feminine assembly sitting separately but having the same prerogatives as the male assembly.

These facts remained unchanged until colonial conquest, especially in such non Islamized states as the Yoruba and Dahomean Behanzins military resistance to the French Army under Colonel Dodds is said to have resulted from a decision of the Women’s Assembly of the Kingdom, meeting at night after the men had met during the day and reversing them by ordering mobilization and war, after which, the men ratified the decision.

Black Africa had its specific bicameralism, determined by sex. Far from interfering with national life by pitting men against women, it guaranteed the free flowing of both. It is to the honor of our ancestors that they by were able to develop such a type of democracy. Wherever we find this as late as the Aegean period, the Southern Black influence is undeniable. In reestablishing it in modern form, we remain faithful to the democratic and profoundly human past of our forbearers. Once and for all , we relax the society of mankind by freeing it from a latent millennial contradiction. We might without any doubt inspire other countries in ordering their affairs”.

The phenomenon of gender harmony in the experience of Nigerian and African traditional governance systems is generally such that when things get out of hand and creative as well as radical changes are necessitated to put the society back on track and to arrest any overbearing situation, women intervene.

The case of the Aba women’s Riot of 1929 is a typical case in point. The crisis in the governance of Nigeria today no doubt calls for the intervention of our organized Nigerian women.

XIII, Pan African data, Interdisciplinary, trans disciplinary and multidisciplinary.

A clear prospect of the African renaissance is the compilation and collation of adequate and perpetually updated data on the intellectual capital as well as resources of African and Africans both at home and in its Diaspora.

As has been said before, African renaissance requires that we know whom we are and what we have at all times.

EBO LANDING AT ST. SIMONS ISLAND GEORGIA

In the 1850s, a group of chained enslaved Igbo people were en route to America on board a slave ship that broke up when it ran ashore.

While being held on the beach, the slaves made a suicide pact. Instead of living the rest of their lives in slavery, they chose to run, chained to each other into the waters and drown.

We Africans must begin to retake our destiny in our own hands. If we cannot live as men, let us at least die as men. Enough of the wallowing in despondency, poverty and destitution that has for too long been our lot.

Let us learn from the slaves of St. Simons Island, let us learn from Toussaint L’Ouverture, from King Jaja of Opobo and multitude of other African and Black heroes and change the unacceptable conditions of our current place in the world.

THE WAY FORWARD

  • Black Renaissance Caucus.-Its formation, progress and strategies.
  • African Cultural Renaissance City/African Heritage City. [Executive Summary].

The Black Renaissance Caucus [BRC] being planned by the African Revolutionary Movement[ARM] will deliberately and aggressively undertake all kinds of imaginable and unimaginable works in Black African countries, including the Black Diaspora to reverse the sorry situation of African and Black people in the contemporary world.

The BRC will break all barriers inhibiting practical and concrete African unification and synergize African intellectual capital for the practical liberation and reinvention of the new Black African world that will be self sufficient in all ramifications [will use its own resources] and be able to protect itself and its peoples from all internal and external aggressions, and assert itself in this world, in the moon and in all of outer and inner space as the very unchallenged and unchallengeable number one race in the globe of all times.

The caucus shall assemble data and other relevant information on Black manpower, resources and intellectual capital. It shall establish linkages with black people allover the world and shall maintain the highest degree of probity, accountability and transparency as well as operate on best of best practices.

ONE MONTH, ONE COUNTRY

The Black African world is trapped by deep rooted and wide spread tentacles of imperialism, capitalism, ignorance, poverty, corruption and other ills, except and until concerned black Africans from within Africa and its Diaspora evolve a creative and practical system to break the vicious circle clutches that entrap them, they shall be perpetually and continuously doomed.

In other to provide the escape this entrapment, the BRC shall sensitize, mobilize black thinkers, scientists, entrepreneurs, workforce, politicians, policy makers and what have you from all over the world, to focus on one particular African nation throughout one particular month, in such a way that all attention will be paid to that nation and all contribute ideas and resources for the development of that nation with undivided attention.

If for instance the month of January 2015 is dedicated to Haiti, the month of February 2015 may be devoted to Ghana, and so on and so forth, the months should be alternating from a core African nation to a Diaspora African nation.

There is without doubt a pressing need to create an African cultural capital as a nucleus for the projection of African culture and civilization in the contemporary world.

I am happy to announce that the Renaissance Multi-Links [Nig] Ltd, which tried unsuccessfully to establish an African Cultural Renaissance City here in Badagry, has reached advanced stages for the establishment of that city in Akwa State of Nigeria, in a project that is seen by many as – THE MAKING OF AFRICA’S CULTURAL CAPITAL.

The Project is the conception, designing, modeling, packaging, promotion, establishment and construction of a novel Pan African City-AFRICAN CULTURAL RENAISSANCE CITY [ACRC], which alternatively can be known as AFRICAN HERITAGE CITY [AHC].

The city is not only conceived to be the very epicenter of and catalyst for African Cultural Renaissance in the same way as Venice and Florence were at some point in history, the epicenters of European renaissance, but would also be for Black Africa, what the city of Dubai is for the Middle East. It would furthermore serve as the Head/headquarters of a unique cultural and re-civilizing global octopus whose tentacles shall extend allover Africa, the Black Diaspora and the globe.

ACRC/AHC embraces the essences of the principles of modern urbanism. Its first phase, is a 1000 ha mixed-use development, combining leisure, office, residential, academic, industrial and retail components in a superbly aesthetically exhilarating urban and rural environment.

The city is to be composed of theme park tourism complexes, tourism development bank, film villages, estates of African traditional architecture, other modern concept estates, monuments from all over Africa from time immemorial to the present day, Black/African Heritage University, Hotels, Primary and secondary schools as well as nursery schools, supermarkets and shopping malls, unique transport system, special security, special currency, special government, African traditional community settings, special road networks and waterways , green energy systems, green energy special internal movement vehicles, 1000 centers of various African and Black ethnic groups/ nationalities studies and civilizations, farm settlements and plantations, traditional specialist hospitals, museums etc.

At the ACRC/AHC, home buyers would be spoilt for choice as residential developments would range from palaces, luxury free-standing homes, to trendy high-rise, lock-up and go apartments, group low priced accommodation motels, underwater homes etc. The city would in addition offer all conceivable amenities and conference, carnivals, regatta and sporting facilities.

The city would be patronized by domestic and international tourists in their millions from all over Africa and the world; by scholars and researchers in Black and African Arts, culture and civilization; by theme park tourism enthusiasts ; by African Diaspora communities , organizations and leaders seeking reconnection with their ancestral roots; by event organizers and participants ;by real estate and property developers, buyers, speculators and fans; by Pan Africanists and disciples of African renaissance; by African and world Heads of States, and leaders and captains of industries, and by sports men and women of all descriptions etc.

Finally, permit me to conclude this presentation with an unabridged reproduction of the communiqué of the African Revolutionary Movement [ARM] signed by my humble self as Chairman and Gerald A. Perreira, the organization’s International Secretary, issued to all members of the African Union [AU] that gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 20th Summit of the AU [January 21-28, 2013] to discuss Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.

In the words of Alexandra Valiente, published on Libya 360:

“As escalating wars and campaigns of terror engulf Africa, this communiqué was as uplifting as the sun breaking through on its full glory after a long night of danger and despair…”

We, members of the newly formed Pan-African international, African Revolutionary Movement (ARM) wish to document and propose the following ideas to all members of the African Union at this crucial time in our history, for your deliberation and action.

For us the ideas outlined below, and the eventual total liberation of Africa and Africans worldwide from white supremacy in all of its manifestations – capitalism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, neo-liberalism – is inevitable. The march toward our second and true independence is unstoppable. For this reason, we implore African leaders gathered at this summit at Addis Ababa, January 2013, to take very seriously this call to action.

Sadly our leaders have missed many historical moments and opportunities to take the kind of stand that would have set us on a different path to the one we are faced with today – the re-colonization and foreign military occupation of our homeland. The AU’s ineffective response to the invasion of the Libyan Jamahiriya and the murder of Muammar Al-Qaddafi and the resulting regional chaos is a case in point. How much more humiliation and suffering must we bear before our leaders stand tall and defend Africa, her resources and her peoples. The time is now – tomorrow is too late.

We call on member States of the African Union to:

• Acknowledge that the problems facing Africa must be resolved with African solutions and to reject all outside intervention in African affairs – both military and ideological/ political.

• Immediately reject AFRICOM and remove all foreign military operations from African soil, including AFRICOM advisers, training programs and any joint military exercises.

•Let us be well aware that AFRICOM is a creature of US imperialism and is modeled after the infamous School of the Americas, where military training, including instruction on torture techniques, was provided to the military and para-military personnel of the most vicious of Central and South American dictatorships. The objective was to build their capacity to fight US imperialist conflicts and achieve the imperialist’s outcomes throughout the Americas, without having to deploy US troops. This partnership with compliant South American countries meant that citizens of the South, rather than US citizens, would fight and die to further US objectives in the region. Likewise, AFRICOM already has Ugandan, Rwandan, Kenyan, Ethiopian and Somali troops fighting to achieve the US agenda in Somalia.

• Condemn African leaders who are calling for NATO and other imperialist military forces to intervene in African conflicts, under the guise of bringing democracy, peace and liberation. In the centuries since Europeans made their first incursions into Africa have they ever brought us anything but genocide, plunder and destruction? The answer is no. How long will it take before we rid ourselves of this scourge?

• Denounce the French government’s military intervention in the sovereign state of Mali. This intervention is simply a pretext to intensify the conflict between the Malian military and so-called Jihadist organizations. It is a strategy designed to increase the chaos and violence in order to create a justification for the very same imperialist forces, who in the first place created and facilitated the Jihadist forces and the commotion they have instigated across the region, to invade and militarize Africa. Their intention is not to liberate us from the tyranny of the Jihadists but to use them as a smokescreen to re-colonize the entire continent.

• Surely no people on this earth can be more familiar with the evil schemes of the imperialists than we Africans. Throughout the tragic history of slavery, conquest and colonization of our continent and our people, the imperialists have presented themselves as liberators and so they play the same game today. In this instance, they are invading our lands under the pretext of combating these so-called Jihadists that they claim are their enemies, but who, at the same time they are clearly allied with and have employed on more than one occasion as their proxy army. Are we to be fooled yet again?

• Free themselves of their conceptual incarceration and to embrace a genuine Afro centric worldview. It is time to acknowledge that the European ideologies of neo-liberal capitalism and liberal democracy have failed Africa and in fact have failed on a global scale. This is documented not only by ourselves but by numerous leading and enlightened European thinkers themselves, who have irrefutably demonstrated that neo-liberalism and so-called liberal democracy are politically, economically and morally bankrupt and that adherence to these ideas has led to the current global crisis.

•In Africa, the cradle of humanity and civilization, we have rich indigenous traditions of democracy, governance, political philosophy and organization which are far superior to anything that can be found in Europe or North America today. Let us begin decolonizing our minds and return to our source since that is the only way we will achieve true independence, both intellectual and economic.

• There are many lessons to be learned from the martyred Pan-African revolutionary, Muammar Qaddafi, however one of the most important lessons was that Libya’s incredible social and economic achievements were only possible because of the complete dismantling of the old colonial structures and ideologies and the establishment of indigenous forms of democracy and institutions of governance.

• Accept and unanimously join the movement toward a united Africa. It is clearly understood by all other groups on earth, for example, Europe, the United States, Asia-Pacific, BRIC etc that in order to be an empowered and meaningful player, given the current global arrangement, they must either unite or perish.

• We implore African leaders to realize Africa’s immense power. Realizing this power is primarily a psychological transition, since the material facts are overwhelmingly clear. Almost every natural resource needed to run contemporary industrial and high-tech economies are located in Africa. It is only with access to Africa’s resources, that modern day economies can be built. Europe, the US, China, the Arab nations are all maneuvering to gain access to African lands and resources.

• It is a well-documented fact that if Africa stopped the flow of all resources and raw materials to the Western nations for just one week, the United States and Europe would grind to a halt. This means that although we are currently in a position of weakness and among the poorest nations of the world, we are, ironically, in fact the most powerful continent.

• We implore the current African Heads-of-State, gathered here under the umbrella of the African Union to put all their efforts into the realization of Nkrumah and Qaddafi’s grand plan for a United States of Africa. A strong and truly independent Africa, with one government, one defense force and one currency based on our African gold standard as Qaddafi had proposed. A united Africa would completely alter the balance of power globally. Only when we achieve this level of unity and power, will we be able to take our rightful place in the world.

Thank you all for listening.


PRESENTED BY YAHAYA EZEEMOO NDU, THE CHAIRMAN OF AFRICAN REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT [ARM], AT THE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ORGANISED IN HONOUR OF TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE, THE 1791 HAITIAN REVOLUTION HERO AT THE ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF COLLAGE OF NIGERIA [ASCON], ON 23RD AUGUST, 2014 DURING THE BADAGRY DIASPORA FESTIVAL ORGANISED BY THE AFRICAN RENAISSANCE FOUNDATION [AREFO].

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