n Journal of Public Administration - Re-thinking pan-Africanism : dilemmas and efforts towards African integration

Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The history of Pan-Africanism is a subject that has attracted considerable interest among scholars and practitioners in African development issues. Pan- Africanism is associated with the quest for political independence by the early African leaders and freedom fighters alike. Soon after Ghana, obtained independence in 1958 (the third country to do so after the Second World War), Kwame Nkrumah warned the African continent that without serious commitment to a people-centered development process and mutual reliance, and without political unity at the continental level, neocolonialism would continue to balkanize Africa and poverty will be perpetuated. The focus of this article is not simply to give coherence to a shared ideology of Nkrumah and other frontline African leaders, but also to critique the Pan-Africanist ideology, revealing its myths, falsifications and lacunae, reinforcing its strong points and identifying its new sources of energy and new challenges facing the African continent in dealing with integration and other common issues. Links were made between the notions of nationalism; ethnicity and other related issues that could impact on Africa's efforts towards achieving its much-needed economic integration. Conclusions were drawn on the premises of the new Pan-Africanist ideology, and its quest for African socio-economic growth and development. It is argued that the African Union/NEPAD strategies, if well applied, would result in the realisation of the Pan-African ideological goals and objectives in the new millennium.

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