In recent years, African masses have risen up in several countries to denounce the laxity of their leaders in the face of rising insecurity and poverty, which is evidently a result of their poor governance and corruption but above all, a real lack of political will to protect and defend their people against imperialist systems that have kept Africa under the control of global powers. For decades, our continent has been subjected to various forms of oppression, where each world power, through multinational corporations, so-called development agencies, and multilateral institutions imposes its choices on the people even if they are harmful.For many decades, the supporters, or rather the lackeys, of these neocolonialist systems, manipulated by nations that dictate African policy through their military and monetary power, vehemently opposed nationalists and Pan-Africanists who understood early on that Africa has been, is, and will remain the losing side in the relationships that bind us to these powers. These relationships are based on the accumulation of excessive debt at surreal interest rates, the militarization of the continent and its corollary of violence, as well as the unbridled exploitation of mineral resources and land for cash crops that hardly benefit the African masses but expose them to serious environmental, food, and security crises.
Pan-Africanism, as embodied by a significant number of the continent's early leaders, was sidelined from positions of power through repeated coup and the deployment of extremely repressive policies against its activists, who were hunted down, persecuted, tortured, and even killed in many African countries governed by lackeys of imperialist powers. However, the internet era has facilitated a restructuring of Pan-Africanist movements, and the failure of these submissive leaders to provide even a minimum level of comfort to their people has fostered a true renaissance of Pan-Africanism, in which the new generation of young Africans like myself, finds refuge.The Pan-Africanist movement offers an escape from the systemic cycle of pillage that characterizes governance in Africa and affirms an African identity by proposing an economic, political, and cultural revolution. The propaganda used to misinform African populations about Pan-Africanism aims to present its activists as anti-white and anti-West extremists, fueling baseless, visceral hatred against them and portraying them as warmongers. Pan-Africanists are reduced to charlatans offering nothing more than emotions; yet, those who persecute, spy on, imprison, and assassinate Pan-African activists are none other than the leaders who serve these world powers.
Nonetheless, when studying the history of Pan-Africanism, which originated within the African diaspora under the impetus of Marcus Garvey, no African political current has been as well-educated as that of Pan-Africanists. Most Pan-Africanist leaders in Africa and the diaspora were intellectuals who thought critically about our issues: university professors like Julius Nyerere and Kwame N’krumah, erudite writers like W.E. Du Bois and Frantz Fanon, agronomists like Amlcar Cabral, scientists like Cheikh Anta Diop, and historians like Walter Rodney, to name just a few. Comparing the level of education, charisma, and clarity of discourse of Pan-Africanist leaders to the puppets armed to assassinate them and seize power by force is simply laughable. Our enemies have chased and killed an outstanding leader like Olympios to replace him with dimwits like Eyadema Gnassingbé; they killed an eloquent and brilliant politician like Patrice Lumumba to enthrone a psychopath like Mobutu Sese Seko, and they installed clowns like Jean-Bédel Bokassa in the Central African Republic who went as far as organizing a coronation attended by the then warlord president of France to declare himself an emperor. These are just a few examples but the list goes on.
African masses are no longer falling into the trap of misinformation and manipulation that their oppressors have served them for decades, and they now show a strong attachment to the doctrine that preaches unity, freedom, sovereignty, and prosperity for African peoples and descendants. Faced with the growing power of Pan-Africanism, and unable to tarnish it once again, enemies of Africa have decided to wrap themselves in its cloak to save their dying regimes. Thus, we see bloodthirsty military regimes like the Bongos in Gabon, the Gnassingbés in Togo, and the Biyas in Cameroon, who for decades have participated in and aided France in plundering and ruining their countries, now claiming to be Pan-Africanists. What a bitter joke for fools to swallow!
The recent theatrical performances of these criminals aim to capitalize on the popularity of military regimes that have recently overthrown pro-Western governments, as seen in Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso. We could thus question what motivates these corrupt criminals, who have long been the guardians of colonial powers. They have realized that their masters are becoming increasingly unpopular, both in their own countries and in Africa, where the masses reject them. Furthermore, the ongoing economic recession threatens to once again push our states into the clutches of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with austerity measures that will further tighten the economic stranglehold on already impoverished, exhausted populations that are on the verge of revolt. All the ingredients are therefore present to plunge this continent back into uprisings and unconventional power grabs that these leaders had previously exploited to seize power and consolidate their regimes.Within African armies, the feeling of frustration is also shared by many military personnel, and a new generation increasingly understands the power games played by foreign nations that use them as mercenaries to fight and die in wars that do not concern them. Additionally, our youth are united more than ever, highly informed, and determined to put an end to the cycle of poverty and dictatorship imposed by these puppet and cruel regimes. Thus, Pan-Africanism becomes for these unpopular dictators, what democracy was for their predecessors in the early 1990s when the geostrategic balance shifted in favor of the West with the fall of the Berlin Wall: a lifeline!
These leaders quickly don the costume of Pan-Africanism to present themselves as liberators and make people believe that they embrace this doctrine and stand with the masses. While our predecessors fell into the trap of these ploys thirty years ago when they were made to believe that multipartyism would guarantee the democracy and freedom of peoples to self-determinatio which led to slice their liberation movements into toothless and useless political parties, our generation will not be easily deceived. Pan-Africanism is not a make-up session for opportunistic self proclaimed nationalists who pretend to awaken from a self inflicted. Our generation will not be manipulated or put to sleep by leaders with erratic convictions, compromised morals, and transparent virtues who claim to protect our interests during the day but dine with our enemies at night to plan our execution. These criminals can be sure of one thing: they will pay for the murder of our martyrs, the plundering and destitution of our nations, and the confiscation of the arduous independence that our grandparents worked so hard to earn with their blood and sweat. Their drama series do not amuse or impress anyone.
They can be sure of one thing: true Pan-Africanists are excellent students of history, and what we have learned is to never trust our enemies, especially when they are in agony. Treachery cannot be redeemed when one is at war: so you will be held accountable for your actions towards your people.
Farida Bemba Nabourema
Disillusioned African Citizen!