By Paul Ejime |
Today is Africa Day, set aside for the annual commemoration of the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), on the 25th of May 1963. The OAU was replaced in 2002 by the African Union.
It has been some 57 years since the Liberia and Casablanca groups reached a consensus on how to proceed with Africa’s liberation and the difficult post-independence journey. It has been a laborious and chequered journey.
Politically, the flags of colonial administrators have all been replaced with pan-African national colours.
But the jury is still out on the question about whether Africa’s estimated 1.3 billion people on the mother continent and in the Diaspora are economically and socio-culturally independent or truly liberated?
Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the late Ghanaian leader and a great pan-Africanist, said in1965:
“Africa is a paradox which illustrates and highlights neo-coloniism. Her earth is rich, yet the products that come from above (human capital) and below the soil (mineral resources) continue to enrich not Africans predominantly, but groups and individuals who operate to Africa’s impoverishment.”
This is still a very familiar refrain and lamentation today!
If after 55 years, not much has changed beyond the flags, what is wrong and how can things be put right?
That is the BIG CHALLENGE before the leadership and citizens in the 54 African countries and Africans in the Diaspora.
Happy Africa Day to Africans and all Friends of Africa!
Paul Ejime is a veteran Journalist and Consultant on Media, Communications and Elections.