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The African Union and the Call for the 8th Pan African Congress.

The African Union and the Call for the 8th Pan African Congress.

In 2009, Tajudeen Abdul Raheem, the General Secretary of the Global Pan African Movement passed away. Even before his passing the future of the Pan African Secretariat was in limbo as a result of the nature of the politics of Uganda. This politics polluted the goals of the movement and diminished the Global Pan African Movement in the eyes of many. Wars in the Congo and military clashes between the armies of Rwanda and Uganda in the Democratic Republic of the Congo exposed how far these leaders had departed from the goals of peace and reconstruction.

At the 2012 meeting of Pan Africanists to remember Tajudeen Abdul Raheem, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, there was a committee established to work to build the 8th Pan African Congress in Accra, Ghana and to link the movement back to the Nkrumah goals of full unification and emancipation. This goal was reaffirmed in 2013 when the AU celebrated its 50 years of unity and explicitly determined to bring back the Pan African Movement and Pan African agenda into the AU. These meetings in Addis Ababa brought out the reaffirmation of the vision of the African Union as that of: “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena.”

A series of meetings were held with the surviving members of the International Governing Council and it was agreed to request the government of Ghana to host the 8th Pan African Congress and for a relocation of the Secretariat from Uganda to Accra, Ghana. By June 2014, there was an agreement on the Call for the 8th Pan African Congress emanating from the IGC.

Stressing the mantra of the 7th Pan African Congress that there should be mass based organization, the call went out to all organizations and individuals to participate at the congress scheduled to be held in Accra, Ghana, 4-9 November 2014. The Call noted that “in keeping with the broad character of all previous congresses, 1900-1994, will be open to all shades of opinion, groups and individuals in the whole Pan African world. In addition, African governments on the continent and in the Diaspora will participate on an equal footing with other delegates. The African Union and its organs and institutions as well as regional economic blocs and platforms will also participate.

Recognizing the African Union vision of “Peace, Prosperity and Unity”, the broad theme of the Congress is: “The Pan-African World We Want: Building a people’s movement for just, accountable and inclusive structural transformation.”

Although there are 19 different agenda items mentioned in the “Call” there is considerable overlap. Democracy, governance, popular democracy, African citizenship, justice, social justice, reparative justice, ecology and environment, are all mentioned in at least two separate agenda points. It is possible to cluster the agenda points to the following ten main points.

  1. The Full Unification of the Continent of Africa and complete freedom of Movement of the people with accelerated planning for the Union Government.
  2. Global Rights for the African at home and abroad. Thus includes the rights to collective bargaining, the access to health care, to decent and relevant education, the rights to decent housing, rights to water and social and economic rights.
  3. Environmental repair and work to reverse the destruction of planet earth along with the environmental racism of the current social system.
  4. Gender Equity, of Women – Emancipation of women and humanization of the male Gender Equity and the reconstruction of the African family.
  5. Peace, Anti-imperialism and demilitarization of Africa and African communities globally.
  6. Infrastructure for sustainable transformation: including canals, roads, rail, bridges ICT connectivity and an interconnected grid for energy generation.
  7. The anti-racist struggles and struggles for the Global African Family living outside of Africa, especially the disenfranchised Africans in South America and other parts of the Americas.
  8. Reparative Justice and building of the Reparations movement for the claims of those who suffered from enslavement and other crimes against humanity
  9. Ending colonialism- especially the last outstanding vestiges of colonialism in Africa and the colonial outposts in the Caribbean.
  10. Secularism and the rights of peoples for religious freedom and expression without coercion.