Is it foolish to talk about African unity?
Africa Day is celebrated on Thursday 25 May - the day that the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was formed in 1963.
Originating in the decolonisation struggles of the early 1960s, its goal was to propel a united continent towards peace and prosperity.
However it was later criticised for becoming an ineffective talking shop and in 2002 was succeeded by the African Union (AU) which advocates to change the lives of ordinary Africans by boosting development, eradicating poverty and encouraging integration.
What do you think of pan-Africanism? Is it foolish to talk about African unity? Is the dream of pan-Africanism relevant today? Or has it been killed by poverty and war?
This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.
Pan-Africanism is definitely alive. I am a Togolese national I was born in Ghana, my mother is Ghanaian my grandmother is from Benin I went to school in Nigeria and my partner with whom I had a daughter is from the Ivory Coast. Long live pan-Africanism!!!!!!
Paul Doe, London, UKk
I listened to Dr Kwame Nkrumah's speech delivered at the OAU meeting in 1965 and I bet you pan-Africanism is alive today but under heavy doses of medications from the west. It is alive but sleeping. Pan-Africanism is now is only talking shops. It can only be alive through political and economic integration.
Owusu Francis Snr, Accra, Ghana
The European Union and the United States of America are clear cases of a success of willingness to be one. Two hands are better than one. However, African leaders must learn to let the people's will prevail before any talk of African unity can be a reality.
Ernest Chi, Gothenburg/ Sweden
The dream of African unity is still relevant. But I feel the dream will continue to be a far fetched one as long as African leadership remains hypocritical. Practicing what somebody called "politics of appeasement" and double standards. The problems Africa faces are real and must be confronted realistically. For example we may see a political leader going wrong and doing something terribly wrong, but other heads of state still continue to embrace such a one and shower him with sorts of heroic terms. I am and I get flabbergasted.
George M Mutale, Gaborone, Botswana
I believe Africa can unite if only we can empower and rely on ourselves, be extremely independent, stop the hating and the wars. It doesn't matter who colonised us, we need to forget this and focus on Africa. Differences always exist but they should not hinder development, peace and prosperity Africa.
Elizabeth Gitau, Nairobi,Kenya.
It would be wonderful if more African nations would work closer together in a way as it is done in the EU. But I don't think it is possible at the time being. Too many African leaders are still corrupt and without visions for their countries.
Soren Berg, Middelfart, Denmark
Pan-Africanism has its obvious advantages. The problem lies in commitment from both African leaders and its people.
Wahid Iddrisu, London, UK
Africa is the second largest continent in the world. The continent has every kind of resource and mineral in the world today. We should work hard to unite ourselves by beginning with regional agreements, and then eventually coming together. It can be done if we put our heads to it.
Rev. Peter Jones, Kansas City, MO USA
Pan-Africanism was a god idea/concept. however, with top level corruption and rampant poverty, everyone wants to become a president for life. With civil wars in most of the African countries, and most countries in the north of Africa not identifying themselves with the rest of Africa, this concept is unlikely to take roots
Sylvester Anami, A Kenyan in Gent Belgium
Pan-Africanism is dead, by all accounts. The concept of justice and equality set forth by the trailblazers has been turned into a more deceptive one, worst than what they accused the former colonial masters of. These ideologues have reduced African politics to a level comparable to cults and have totally disregarded justice, human rights and tolerance.
Hassan Bility, Boston, MA/ USA
Pan-Africanism will happen, but not in the hands of black Africans. Arabs will become the majority population in the north and north east, and Chinese / Indians will be the dominant populations in the east and south east, moving westward. Once these populations establish themselves, Africa will become a stable and unified continent for trade.
Jason M. Hendler, Melbourne, Florida
It is not foolish to talk about African unity. It is well known that unity is strength. If Africa is united, a lot could be achieved and overcome. I am a strong advocate of Pan-Africanism. If Europe can do it, why can't Africa do it. It is time for Africa to unite and work for a common cause.
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA
Africa is diverse, has been and will always be. Africans need to realise the potential of this diversity and not look for hollow, idealistic unity which is not possible to achieve even within some countries in Africa.
George Anang'a, UK London
Pan Africanism must not die! All Africans must think and act in the direction of 'what can I as an individual do to enhance or impact the life of the next person less fortunate'. The 'Them vs. Us' syndrome does not remedy any situation and Pan Africanism can only be relevant when we treat our neighbours right.
Ebi Komonibo, Houston, Texas, USA
Forget all about the cocooning of pan-Africanism. The way to go is globalisation.
Mafabi Hubert, Jinja, Uganda
I believe that pan-Africanism is more than just a connection between different countries within the continent, but a linking of all people of African descent. We exist all across the world and many of us suffer as much as those in Africa. Having a unifying goal and forum to speak on what each sector endures allows us the opportunity to bring all people to a more even playing field.
Allyson Evans, Los Angeles, USA
In fact you have used the right words "killed by poverty and war" If we really want a united Africa, we can get it but not with all these greedy leaders who must alter the constitution to fit their selfish needs.
Eragu Hannington, Kampala, Uganda
Pan Africanism does not exist any more. African leaders spend most of their time consolidating their positions and even sponsoring rebels to topple their fellow African leaders. Furthermore, our leaders have plundered most of African resources leaving the indigenous in total abject poverty.
Francis Chibwinja, Kitwe Zambia
Pan-Africanism should be alive today, but with the North seeking ties with the Middle East, the South seeking ties with the Western world, and the rest fighting tribal wars, what is left?
Pan-Africanism is not dead. It is just in slumber but a massive civic education drive on the benefits of Pan-Africanism in this 21st Century is urgently necessary!!!
Abu Emman, Hamburg, Germany