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Let’s Revive Pan-African Spirit — Professor Karikari   
 
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24-Mar-2020  
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The Dean of the School of Communication Studies at the Wisconsin International University College, Ghana, Professor Kwame Karikari, has called for the revival of the Pan-African spirit in order to deal with emerging threats to the existence of Africans as a people.

That, he said, was for Africans to stand up as a people to control, once and for all, their resources and protect, secure and command their own destiny as a people.

“That is the only way to uplift ourselves from the doom and gloom imposed on us for centuries. As a generation, we owe it to our patriotic forefathers and mothers, as a duty, a responsibility to give meaning, grace and respect to their toils and labour and to continue their gallant and heroic work,” he said.

Prof. Karikari, who is also the Board Chairman of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), made the call in his presentation titled: “Pan-Africanism today; where are we?” at the maiden Kwame Nkrumah Annual Lecture on Pan-Africanism organised by the Bisa Aberwa Museum in Takoradi in the Western Region.

Objective

Prof. Karikari said in the present time when many developments seemed to blight the heroic struggles of Africans, the significance of organising the lecture should serve as an important reminder of the work and sacrifices that “our forefathers and mothers made to bring us the progress we have achieved so far”.

“It is a commemoration of the National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA), the first Pan-African gathering on the African continent by African patriots, which was held at the Roger Club in Accra on March 11, 1920 and organised by the indefatigable African nationalist, Casely Hayford,” he recalled.

Moreover, he said, it was a commemoration of great Pan-African initiatives that took place exactly a century ago this year, 2020, adding that in August 1920, a convention of leaders of African descent in New York City adopted the “Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World”.

A year earlier, he said, what is now recognised as the first of the Pan-African congresses organised by W.E.B. Du Bois brought together Africans from the continent and the Diaspora.

Two years later in 1921, Du Bois and his colleagues held the second Pan-African congress, he added.

Prof. Karikari said earlier on August 1, 1914, Marcus Garvey had also founded a radical mass organisation, the Universal Negro Improvement and Conservation Association and African Communities League or the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).

“In West Africa, the initiatives and Pan-Africanists thoughts of the Liberian Edward Wilmot Blyden in the late 1880s influenced the emerging generation of Western educated Africans. The concrete and immediate manifestation of his influence was the organisation of the NCBWA in 1920,” he said.

Challenges

Today, he said, the spirit of Pan-Africanism, the fervour for standing up for Africa, was at the lowest ebb and the only remaining source of unrelenting sentimental expression of Pan-Africanism came from popular music.

“All over the African world, citizens have become inward looking in relation to Pan-African issues and interests. Governments compete with one another, instead of cooperating, over international finance resource for investment and development,” he said, adding: “This recession of the Pan-African feeling and sentiment has given way to or been replaced by narrow sentiments of ethnocentrism, leading to xenophobic tendencies all over.”

Thus, Prof. Karikari said, nowadays, among civil society, the time-tested tradition of solidarity across borders and across the seas over critical issues of rights and other legitimate interests was an alien phenomenon, “if it ever happens at all”.

Bisa Aberwa Museum

The Bisa Aberwa Museum is the brainchild of Kwaw Paintsil Ansah, one of Africa’s most respected filmmakers, better known for his FESPACO award-winning ‘Love Brewed in the African Pot’ and ‘Heritage Africa’.

The four-storey museum, located at Nkotompo, near the Effia Nkwanta Hospital, Sekondi in the Western Region, offers on display sculptural and pictorial specimens of personalities whose sacrifices have shaped African history, both within the continent and in the Diaspora.

The artifacts capture events within the slave dungeons in Africa, the toils of Africans on the slave plantations and highlights of the civil right movement, culminating in the election of the first African American President of the United States of America.

International curators, historians and Pan Africanists who have passed through the production centre located within the TV Africa building in Accra envisage that the museum will be the heritage centre for people of African descent.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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