Kwame Nkrumah the first president of independent Ghana and one of the most revered Pan-Africanists set the bar high for Pan-Africanist for years to come. Over 57 years after the independence of Ghana, when Dr. Nkrumah declared that “Ghana’s Independence was meaningless without the total liberation of Africa”; Pan-Africanists are organizing conferences, demonstrations, speaking, organizing international, regional and national Pan-African organizations and/or political parties to achieve Pan-Africanism.
The Kwame Nkrumah International Conference (http://www.kpu.ca/knic) is one such conference spearheaded and attended by Pan-African scholars who have focused their research on Kwame Nkrumah and other various Pan-African scholars and organizations. Launched in 2010 at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, British Columbia this conference just closed its 3rd biennial conference at the same University.
The KNIC this year was extremely fruitful with a keynote speaker discussing the Anti-apartheid movement in Azania, South Africa. Jay Naidoo gave a spirited address titled, “Honouring Madiba’s Legacy: The Challenge Facing the ANC 20 Years”. While his presentation was very well received the most significant point that he made was the fact that the ANC and other political parties did not continue to organize widely throughout the country after the 1994 independence. This is a classic error that many African nations made post-independence under the guise that political independence equated to full independence. It is clear in 2014 political independence from colonial powers was the 1st step to full independence but fell significantly short of the ultimate goal of achieving economic, politic and social independence. Kwame Nkrumah in his classic book, “Neo-Colonialism: the Last Stage of Imperialism” clearly outlines the impact of new colonialism on the African continent.
The Kwame Nkrumah International Conference drew Pan-African scholar’s such as Dr. Valdimir Antwi-Danso from the University of Ghana, Legon (http://www.ug.edu.gh/) who discussed, “A United States of Africa: Contestation and African’s Integration Agenda” and Dr. Zizwe Poe of Lincoln University (http://www.lincoln.edu/) who presented on, “Reflecting on Pan-African Liberated Zones: Designing a Dynamic Nkrumahist Evaluation”. Both of these scholars along with many others presented well researched papers on Kwame Nkrumah and the way forward for Africa and African people.
This conference well attended by scholars, activists and organizers alike set the stage for the way forward to achieve Pan-Africanism. The content presented can serve as the blue print for Pan-African organizations and governments, however, in order for this to become a reality these scholars must be supported by both the Pan-African Movement and governments throughout the African world. Unfortunately, it is clear that most governments on the African continent and obviously in the Western world are directly or indirectly committed the global capitalist economic system. As such these scholars must continue to promote their scholarship in an often hostile world one that does not embrace Africa becoming liberated and unified.
Despite the obvious opposition to the Pan-African Movement these scholars are part and parcel of the process to write the history of the Pan-African Movement and are provide an alternative view of the way forward for Africa and African people. This conference not only encouraged all participants to continue Pan-African Scholarship but to become active members in the Pan-African Movement!! Hopefully, the next two years will encourage more scholars, activists and organizers to become dive into of the Pan-African Scholar Movement and join mass based organizations that are working to achieve Pan-Africanism-The total liberation and unification of Africa under scientific socialism.