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AFRICAN LIBERATION DAY: Awaking the spirit of our founding fathers

May 26, 2011, 3:15 PM | Article By: Lamin S.M.Bojang Bakau Tel. 6777604.

Its fifty-three years today since African leaders and political activists gathered at the first Conference of Independent African States in Accra, Ghana 1958, which among other things called for the foundation of Africa Freedom Day, to mark the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolize the determination of the Peoples of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and imperialism.” This 48th anniversary of African Liberation Day is an achievement driven out of a dark history of Africa and its peoples, both within and without the continent, that has witnessed the three most deadly atrocities committed against any human civilization ever in the history of mankind. Slavery, colonialism and racism have shaped the destiny of this continent over a period of three to four centuries, thus slowly dragging us in to the adverse conditions that are experienced by majority of Africans in the continent today. To honor the spirit of the players in the match to freedom and independence, a day was set aside for 15th April each year to commemorate our success. Five years onwards, the liberation movement registered a monumental achievement through the creation of the O.A.U,. Consequently, Africa Freedom Day was renamed Africa Liberation Day. The establishment of this institution on 25th May 1963 marks another significant turning point in the history of the liberation movement. Thus the movement did not only settle for mare achievement of freedom and independence but also for the political unification of the continent and its dear peoples. The transformation of the O.A.U into AU in 2002 endeavour to further the course of liberation movement that is now faced with new challenges to curb the neocolonial forces that are embedded in the covert operations of the certain transnational Agencies among others. The IMF, for instance is seen by many Pan-Africanists as agent for destroying African economies through their policies towards developing nations. African nations pay substantial sums of their yearly budget to servicing loans secured from IMF. Minister Farrakhan has warned that They ( IMF…) are designed to give you money, tell you how to spend it and tear up your economy” You may ask, whose interest is the IMF serving?’’ Michael Manley of Jamaica says. “Ask--who set it up?’’ How then can Africa change this status-co? We are told by ROGER EBERT that IMF policies can be changed only by an 80 percent vote. The United States, Japan, Germany, England, Canada and Italy control more than 80 percent of the votes. Where is the African vote to save the continent from the perils of neocolonialism? Africa has zero vote in the United Nations permanent seat, the only continent that is blatantly denied a voting right in the world body’s most important seat. Africa is continually and symmetrically disenfranchised even as we cover 30.2 million km², 20.4% of the total land area of the earth. As such, more than 1.0 billion people are denied a voting right to take part in deciding their destiny even as the world preached the gospel of global democracy, justice and equality of the races. This is not to say that we as Africans are entirely innocent of circumstances both historical and current that plunged our continent and its peoples into today. We instead have a bigger stake by failing to take charge and follow the trail that saw 32 African states march out of bondage into freedom by 1958. That is why the AU is committed to fostering a stringent and lasting economic development and integration of among nations of the African continent. It is a long and laborious way to go with so many huddles to overcome in our walk to self determination. But Minister Farakhan has warned again that political independence is baseless if it is not supported by economic and educational and spiritual independence. We have no choice but to endeavour to conquer ignorance and forge economic unions and free trade zones amongst African nations, create a continental university, army high command, single currency, single citizenry, etc as prerequisite to advancement and sustainable progress. To do this however I suggest we go back to the fundamentals outlined by our founding fathers. Hence As we celebrate yet another African Liberation Day this year, I endeavour not only to recount and treasure the diabolical efforts towards the attainment of freedom and independence, but also the extent to which we have gone in consolidating that freedom and independence. On the occasion of the commemoration of this day, I therefore hope to recollect and recount on the creed of our founding fathers; liberation and unity, freedom and independence, altruism and sacrifice, who, on this day could choose to turn over in their graves with the sensation that we are upholding to their dreams, or remain still and stiff, in shrouded disillusion as we lament on the plight of our inability or disinclination to espouse those priceless ideals. It is therefore a remainder of the efforts done by those players who have sacrificed their blood sweat and tears in order to let us have the joy of living today. It is a remainder of our responsibilities as political leaders, states men and women, religious leaders, mothers, fathers, teachers, economists, business leaders, doctors, writers, skilled workers and the general citizenry of the continent, in really taking charge and directing our destiny instead of living them to chances or in the hands of our enemies. Hence there is a need or if you like, an obligation on us to immortalize our founding fathers by safeguarding the most cherished values of those great sons and daughters, such as self-worthiness, sacrifice, unity and service to our dear continent and its peoples. . It is no news to Africans that those three atrocities of a holocaust magnitude account for Africa’s underdevelopment, ‘but’ and this is a big BUT, that was in the past, and I don’t mean to disguise the past, for it helps us in forecasting the future, but truly speaking we cannot perpetually remain indifferent to our responsibilities, to the fact that our fate as individuals and as a people rest entirely with us. For Fifty-three years today all the fifty-three nations in Africa can’t still afford to be pointing fingers to the West, or South or East or North, for especially our lack of -development in this generation, otherwise it will continue to give room for us and our leaders to hide behind that pretext for failing to develop our dear continent. Instead we must blame ourselves more for our lack of will and initiative, our reluctance to be true to ourselves that we have our destinies in our hands collectively and as individuals and that we bear full responsibility to our progress or lack of it. It is common to blame our problems on every other person but ourselves, such that we don’t always see the part we play towards that effect, as a result we don’t readily see ourselves as part of the solutions. I therefore charge every African to start looking inward as individuals. It was an individual before the group, hence it is our individual values, attitudes actions and reactions that eventually shape actions and results. I hence seek for a reconstruction of self for every African and marshal our forces towards a continental union.