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Pan Africanism: A History by Professor Hakim Adi Pan Africanism: A History by Professor Hakim Adi
Pan Africanism: A History by Professor Hakim Adi

Ahead of his talk at The Black Cultural Archives, Brixton SW2, Ebonyonline.net caught up the world renowned Hakim Adi, Professor in History of Africa and the African Diaspora at the University of Chichester to talk about his book and forthcoming lecture.

 

EO: Without giving too much away what will your talk at the BCA on Pan Africanism cover?
HA: The talk will cover the content of my book Pan-Africanism: A History which looks at the history of Pan-Africanism from the mid-18th century to the founding of the African Union at the dawn of the 21st century.

 

EO: Why do you feel the topic of Pan Africanism is still relevant to Black people today both in Africa and the Diaspora as the world moves more towards globalisation?
HA: The African Union was founded as a bulwark against neo-liberal globalisation but unfortunately hasn’t lived up to the aims of its creators such as Muammar Gaddafi. The closer economic and political union of African states is certainly desirable and necessary, whether or not this leads to a United States of Africa. The unity of Africans in the continent and in the diaspora in order to achieve complete liberation is clearly also desirable.

 

EO: Are there any modern day Pan Africanists in your view and if so can you name a few?
HA: Gaddafi was clearly an important Pan-Africanist who was eliminated by the big powers. Julius Malema is another who has recently spoken on the need for African unity. There are many all over the world fighting and organising for the liberation of Africa and Africans

 

EO: You’ve written several books on Pan Africanism, how does this one differ from the previous ones?
HA: The previous one was about the Communist International from 1919-1939 and the Pan-Africanist activity of some of its leading figures such as George Padmore, Albert Nzula, Lamine Senghor and others. The present book, as I mentioned before is a brief history of the entire Pan-African movement and its many different currents from 1750-2000

 

EO: You’re running at exciting new course at the University of Chichester entitled ‘History of African and the African Diaspora tell us more?
HA: We have started at Master of Research (MRes) programme on the history of Africa and the African diaspora which is completely online, the first of its kind in the world. Anyone who is interested in researching this history and obtaining a Master’s Degree should apply. The new course starts in January 2019. We have to train new historians who can carry out their own research in their chosen field.

 

EO: Finally give us your vision of Pan Africanism of the future?
HA: I think that as long as Africa and Africans are oppressed we will find the existence of Pan-Africanism. The issue is to learn from past history about what sort of Pan-Africanism is required. The best traditions of Pan-Africanism such as those exhibited at the 1945 Manchester Pan-African congress need to be revived and updated for the conditions of today.

 

That means organising for liberation alongside all those who are oppressed and in particular recognising the historic role of the wealth producers, the workers and farmers, as the main force to achieve liberation. Of course the tasks and problems facing those in London and Lagos are not the same but both need to overcome the capital centred system and become the decision-makers. For the majority of Africans to become the decision-makers is the future of Pan-Africanism.

 

For further information into the MRES – The History of Africa and the African Diaspora visit: https://www.chi.ac.uk/humanities/postgraduate/mres-history-africa-and-african-diaspora

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