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Prof Pondi Weeps For Slain Martyrs Of Pan-Africanism, Stokes Embers 

By Isidore Abah

prof-pondim-x-raying-the-challenges-of-pan-africanism-in-the-21st-centuryPolitical Scientist and International Relations expert, Prof Jean-Emmanuel Pondi, has invoked the memories of slain martyrs of Pan-Africanism and stoked the embers of the ebbing cause.

The Secretary General of the Yaounde I University wept for the slain Um Nyobe, Thomas Sankara, Muammar Al-Quadhafi, Patrice Lumumba and other martyrs of the movement in Buea, during his annual conference on Pan-Africanism.

The conference which was staged at the Buea Council Hall was hinged on the theme; The challenges of Pan-Africanism in the 21st Century.

According to the varsity don, the mysterious circumstances under which proponents of Pan-Africanism died have made the cause a dangerous one for those who engage in it.

He said, though the concept of Pan-Africanism started in North America, the Caribbean and Afro-Europe, the cause is very relevant in today’s Africa, because it is in convergence with the mentality of Africans.

The Doctor of Philosophy asserted that before February 23, 1885, what is today known as the map of Africa did not exist, because there were no English, French, Portuguese or Spanish speaking Africans.
“This period is the period of abnormality in African history. You cannot include the period when Africa was subjugated as the beginning of African history. Africa has always been one entity in diversity,” Prof Pondi affirmed.

The former Director of the International Relations Institute of Cameroon, IRIC, further maintained that the search of this common identity motivated African Heads of State to converge on Addis Ababa on May 25, 1963, for the creation of the Organisation of African Unity, OAU, today known as African Union, AU.

To him, even though two dissenting blocks (Casablanca and Monrovia blocks) rose during the conference, their bone of contention was not African unity, but the way in which to attain the unity.

Prof. Pondi said the situation was further compounded by the fact that there were no African references, as such; African unity was sacrificed on the altar of Western propaganda.

The Cambridge University graduate further said Pan-Africanism was triggered by the search for cultural identity (Cultural Pan-Africanism), which had the notion that the former slaves captured from Africa had no culture, identity, civilisation and humanity.

The search for this cultural identity, the Varsity don went on, spiralled into Political Pan-Africanism, with the Manchester Conference 1945, in which, African countries were demanding complete sovereignty.

The Manchester Conference, Prof Pondi said, preceded the Abuja Treaty, which gave birth to the Economic Pan-Africanism. “But what we want today is Integral Pan-Africanism. That is, for all African countries to come together as an economic block”

Prof Pondi boasted that Africa is the continent of the future with over 800million hectares of fallow land and a youthful population. “But the greatest challenge we should be cautious of, is our educational system.

If Africa wants to become a world power, it must construct a strong ideology, an educational system of Africa by Africans and not the perception of others. But what we see today is scapegoating, obsession of immigration among others,” the Varity don averred.

The University of Yaounde I Scribe bemoaned that those who had a mastery of the African way of life and its authentic history were relegated to the back burner as illiterates “and our history was falsified. But today, Africa is the centre of world economy and the hub of technology.

So why should we continue to spend over 23 billion dollars annually to import food when we are naturally endowed?”

The scholar warned that Africans must re-awaken from their slumber and guard against manipulation by those who want to permanently keep the continent in turmoil, while reaping its resources.

“Three-quarter of arms and ammunitions produce in the world is sold in Africa to permanently keep the continent in chaos. 80 percent of these arms are produce by the five countries that seat in the UN Security Council. As far as the arms are produce, these countries must look for a ready market and Africa is their preferred destination.

When we use these arms to kill our brothers and sisters and destroy our countries, the people who sold us these weapons of mass destruction come back to construct what we have destroyed and our little money is taken back to their own countries, thus impoverishing us and making us dependent on them,” he asserted.

Prof Pondi said the youth must rise up against such cunning behaviours and review the concept of Pan-Africanism; “after all it is better to die for something than to live for nothing,” the researcher quipped.