n African Renaissance - Towards a strategic geopolitic vision of Afro-Arab relations - : Africa and the world

Volume 3, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


I have decided to put down on paper the gist of my thinking on the above matter, in order to avoid possible misconstruction of my viewpoint. Afro-Arab relations are matters of the most serious order in a rapidly globalizing world in which we all must learn to live cheek to jowl. This point is particularly underscored by the fact that the two peoples, Arabs and Africans, are immediate neighbours on this planet. They are the main cultural and national groups on the continent, with relations, which did not originate today or yesterday, but rather date from antiquity. Because our relationship dates from the depths of time, it is important to understand that its present status is a historical product, and cannot be properly understood or adequately discussed without an appreciation of where we are coming from. We need to learn from this history in order to construct a better future. Indeed, we cannot construct a future without reference to the past. Furthermore, what we learn from the past is not always complimentary and may throw up painful and difficult lessons which some might like or prefer to forget. But if progress is to be made, then we should be prepared to face the truth however trying and ugly it may be. Africans have tended to be rather squeamish about articulating their misgivings, doubts and objections about Afro-Arab relations on the continent. There tends to be even silence about the history of Arab-led slavery on this continent. What is the nature of this past in Afro-Arab relations? What are the positive and negative aspects of this history? What features of this past are clearly discernible in the present? How do we build a future free from the limitations of the past? These are some of the issues I want to raise here.

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