Reclaiming Malawi’s Place at the Pan-African Table
It augurs very well for
For the first thirty years of our nationhood our ties with the rest of the African peoples were severed by a government led by a leader who, for the most part of his rule, did not believe in the unity of the African people. The irony of it all is that in fact Dr. Kamuzu Banda attended the 1945 Pan-African Congress held in Manchester, according to Kwesi Kwaa Praa, the first congress have taken place in 1919. Banda was a Pan-Africanist all the way up to the moment he began leading the independence struggle in
Even more self-less support from Nkrumah came when Chiume met with Nkrumah in
Chiume goes on to talk about the larger vision that Nkrumah had for the emancipation of all of Africa, outlining the idea of a Pan-African government to Chiume when they met a second time: “Nkrumah talked about the urgent need for an All-African government. ‘Many of our troubles, Chiume,’ he emphasized, ‘are due to the fact that we are not united. We must have a continental government to prevent the further balkanization of Africa and, as far I am concerned, when
The continent of
The failure to make Pan-Africanist unity a reality is not easy to analyze as it involves many factors and contexts. The Malawi Cabinet Crisis of 1964, coming just three months after our independence meant that whatever capability
Each one of us must strive to learn more about the ideals and visions that helped us attain independence, and the role the larger Pan-African family played toward that goal. Each of us must embark on an exploration of what it means to belong to a larger Pan-African identity which embraces all Africans on the continent and all people of African descent all over the world.
The African Union Summit has done very well to commission more studies on how a union government can become a reality. Every single person of African descent both on the continent and in the Diaspora needs to join in the debate and make it richer. Unlike the polarization that some are pushing as an either top-down or a grassroots approach on how to achieve a union government, the goal of greater Pan-African unity cannot be achieved by using one approach only. It has to be approached from multiple perspectives. The heads of government have their roles to play. The grassroots also have their roles to play. The regional groupings that already exist have a role to play, as do continental bodies such as the
We have the resources at our disposal to embark on a mass education campaign to enable an informed debate, but we need to mobilize those resources, and make them available to everyone interested in learning more. That is only one of the ways in which we are each going to participate in the grand effort toward Pan-Africanist integration and unity.