n Journal of African Union Studies - Communalism in Pan Africanism : a retrospect

Volume 4, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN : 2050-4292
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4306


This paper examines the principles of communalism underlined in Pan- Africanism that was given institutional expression in the Organisation of African Unity. It conceptualizes the phenomena on one hand, and contextualizes it on the other through an empirical examination of some of the challenging moments in post-independence era when its solidarity was withheld by exogenous and endogenous factors. We contend that communalism appeared more of a selfish instrumentalist project. The study illustrates these sordid historical moments with some cases of political instability in the continent in the early decades of independence, and the economic crises of the 80s, among others. It attributes this development to the absence of 'community' either at the micro level of the component states, or macro-continental level, and concludes that part of the contemporary ethical breakdown in the continent arises from failure of the OAU to institutionalize communalism.

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