Corner of West Lafayette &
North Arlington Avenue
Corner of West Lafayette &
North Arlington Avenue
These are hard times for Africans. We are a people who have been dispersed to all corners of the world where we have been enslaved and oppressed for centuries and where we now cope with the continuing horrors of a pandemic, police terrorism, theft of natural resources, widespread poverty and illness, racial discrimination, inadequate education and much more. In every corner of the African World, our people experience isolation and a growing sense that a united effort to end our misery is more a dream than a realistic possibility.
African Liberation Day is the one day during each year when African people throughout the world stand united in their commitment to liberation. This year we want to use this special day to dedicate ourselves to sustaining that level of world-wide unity every day of every year. It’s not an easy job. By participating in the 2021 commemoration of African Liberation Day, you are striking a blow against the enemies of oppressed people everywhere by fighting for unity.
Unity is not totally absent from our struggles. For example, in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd, Africans throughout the world have been united in action against police terrorism. Many thousands have participated in street manifestations and militant uprisings. However, among the ranks of these demonstrators, the individuals have countless ideas about their objectives, and why they are engaged in these actions. For example, in any demonstration against police terrorism, you will find some who march to defund the police, and others who want only for police forces to hire more Africans. Some want civilian control of police. Others want police abolished altogether. They are united in their actions, but they are not united in thought.
This unity in action and disunity in thought is nothing new. Even during Africa’s colonial era, there were members of Africa’s bourgeoisie who united in nationalist action with workers and peasants to purge the continent of European colonizers. However, they were not united in thought with respect to what should happen in Africa after the colonizers were chased out. The supposed “unity” lasted only long enough for the bourgeoisie to take the place of European colonizers as new African bosses, and without any concerns about the workers and peasants who shed their blood for independence.
We will be free only when we are united in both thought and action. As Kwame Nkrumah observed: “Unity presupposes organization.” We will achieve world-wide Pan-African unity of thought and action when we achieve world-wide Pan-African organization. That’s what the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party fights to achieve every day of every year. Organization for the sake of organization is insufficient. Organization to achieve unity of thought and action will liberate Africa and Africans. An organization that strives to achieve unity of thought and action needs a clear objective and an ideology to focus and guide it. The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party has both.
The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (A-APRP) has made its annual African Liberation Day Tabloid available in advance of their International ALD Webcasts happening on the May 23rd and May 25th 2021. In this edition, which can be viewed in its entirety HERE, the following stories are included:
If Africans throughout the world aspire only to drive a Mercedes, eat a chocolate bar, wear a diamond ring, and pump gasoline into our vehicles, we will never achieve the liberation we have craved for generations. We will be free only when we realize that we should be the people managing the auto, cocoa, diamond, and oil industries. Not only should we be managing those industries, we should be managing them within a socialist development system that places the needs of people over profit so that our riches are not exploited, but instead made available for collective good and development.
The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (A-APRP) didn’t choose “Forward Ever to Worldwide Pan-African Unity!” as our international theme for African Liberation Day on a whim. The A-APRP understands that global African unity is essential to achieving Pan-Africanism, which means the liberation of Africa from the control of exploitative foreign capitalist interests and the unification of the African continent under a continent-wide socialist government. Accomplishing that objective will make it possible for African people everywhere to not only control the industries mentioned above, but to also make it possible for Africans around the world to benefit from them.
The A-APRP is not guessing about the benefits of Pan-Africanism. We have seen how others have achieved global power when they have liberated territory and consolidated it into a super state that has the capacity to impose its will economically, diplomatically, and militarily. Consider China. At one time, China was subordinate to colonizers, warlords, and feudal landowners. Chinese immigrants were disrespected and exploited, and often found work outside of China as laborers whose low wages allowed lifestyles that were qualitatively comparable to those of enslaved persons. The old saying: “He doesn’t have a Chinaman’s chance” reflected an abusive, discriminatory reality.
However, China underwent a socialist revolution that fundamentally transformed the country’s reality. Since then, China has been and remains a world power and a growing force to be reckoned with. China’s success may have inspired resentment among western imperialists that has trickled down to racist individuals who have engaged in recent acts of abusive violence, but it can’t be denied that the power of China and its people is highly respected, and in some cases feared. China’s people benefit from this respect regardless of whether they are born in Beijing or San Francisco. This respect will continue to grow, and racist propaganda aimed at China for whatever reason will do nothing to stop this.
Africans around the world do not enjoy that type of respect. When Africans are gunned down like mad dogs by police in New York, Toronto, Paris, and Lagos, it is suggested that the victims’ brought violence on themselves by their actions. When Africans’ resources are shamelessly exploited and they suffer premature deaths because of this blatant exploitation, those who plunder claim their deeds encourage “development.” Africans’ resistance is met with suggestions that Africans too can get a piece of the action if they join in and play the imperialist game. It’s all a lie of course, and the living conditions of Africans everywhere prove it. There are government crackdowns against people in Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, and elsewhere. There is the continued domination of the Horn of Africa by outside imperialist interests, intent on ensuring control of that region. Apple, Samsung, Shell, Chevron, Firestone, DeBeers, Ford, Toyota, Mercedes, BMW, Chevrolet, Nestle, Hershey, Alcoa Aluminum, and many other foreign corporations exploit both Africa’s mineral wealth and its people. Outside of Africa, the experiences of Africans throughout Europe, Australia, Canada, the U.S., Haiti, Brazil, and elsewhere involve daily, systemic attacks on Africans’ dignity.
What then are we to do? First, we must be wary of hazards we create for ourselves. Sekou Toure warned that class struggle was a human challenge in Africa long before the Europeans invaded, and that often, the greatest enemy is the internal one. The evidence is found in many neo-colonial regimes throughout Africa and countries with large African populations. So-called African leaders make symbolic Pan-Africanist gestures, but then implement policies that serve the interests of international imperialism at the expense of the African masses. Even outside of Africa there are opportunists who claim they seek reparations for the historical abuse of Africans, but they use a scarcity model and appeal to the ignorance and fears of Africans in the U.S. by claiming Africa and Africans born outside of the U.S. do not share the oppressive history of those descended from Africans enslaved in North America and should therefore be excluded from their so-called movement.
Anyone who calls for the division of Africans works against the best interests of Africans. When the slave raiders entered Africa, they had no concerns about keeping families together. Consequently, any African whose family was touched by the slave trade is likely to have blood relatives living anywhere and everywhere from Eritrea to Ghana to Congo to Canada to Cuba to Haiti to the U.S. This irrefutable fact makes any efforts to separate Africans illogical, unscientific, and unproductive. When one considers that Africa’s enemies have worked hard to divide Africans and that Africa possesses the greatest mineral wealth on Earth, it becomes easy to understand why African people everywhere are the poorest. African division allows Africa’s enemies to maintain their dominance, and they are eager to eliminate any possible chance that Africans will embrace the concept of Pan-African unity.
Pan-Africanism realized represents African people everywhere combining our intellectual, scientific, artistic, creative, and practical skills to determine how to utilize and manage Africa’s mass mineral wealth to serve the purpose it should serve – service to the masses of African people. No African (or any justice-loving human being for that matter) can credibly oppose Pan-Africanism. But Pan-Africanism will never just fall into our laps. We are going to have to fight for it, and that means getting organized and creating the unity we need to be free. The A-APRP represents that. The theme for African Liberation Day 2021 represents that. The only remaining question is how many of us are willing to demonstrate our commitment to those values?
Written by Comrade Mafa Kwanisai Mafa – founder and Chairman of the Zimbabwe Movement of Pan African Socialists which is affiliated to the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party through the Worldwide Pan-African Movement (WWPAM), Provincial Chairman of Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association, Chairman of the Chimurenga Vanguard, District Secretary of Administration of ZANU PF. email@example.com and whatsapp +263777334750
As we commemorate African Liberation Day on 25 May, it is a stark reminder to Africa that instead of celebrating the day, it is a day of mourning as Africa is still a far cry from being liberated. Africa is bleeding from neo colonialism, endless wars and grinding poverty. Africa has become the Fanonian “wretched of the earth”. The economic system of capitalism is deeply entrenched and it is perpetuating oppression and exploitation of the motherland.
There are countries in Africa such as Rwanda and Namibia which are being celebrated as good economic models for Africa with impeccable GDP’s according to World Bank and IMF reports. There had been reports that Africa is on the rise but the question is, whose interest is being served? The gap between the poor and the rich is yawning. African natural resources are being rapaciously plundered by multinational corporations for the benefit of their nations. China has joined the bandwagon of this exploitative crusade at the invitation and with permission from African governments.
The biggest question is why Africans are so poor when Africa is rich in world’s strategic minerals? Africa can reverse this situation by uniting. African unity has been elusive since the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Ghana became independent in 1957 under the guidance of our Pan Africanist luminary Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, and he said Ghana’s independence is meaningless until the rest of Africa is liberated. Nkrumah fought very hard and supported most liberation movements in Africa politically and militarily. He spearheaded the formation of OAU and in the early 1960s most African countries started to gain their political independence.
This independence was cosmetic, however, and all levers of the means of production remained in the hands of our erstwhile colonisers. Nation-state independence rendered most of African countries vulnerable to imperialist aggression and onslaught. One by one radical African leaders who stood in the way of imperial interests were deposed or assassinated. Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah became one of the victims of CIA inspired coup de tats. He was pushing for a United States of Africa under one command, with one army, and one currency. Sadly other leaders, like the late Julius Kambarage Nyerere, opposed this unity. He later apologised and expressed regret.
It’s now 10 years since another great African leader Muammar Gaddafi was murdered, joining a long list of African revolutionaries martyred by the West for pushing and advancing the agenda of continental independence, unity and liberation. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s crime was that he was spearheading attempts to unite Africa and he was committing his Libyan oil wealth to make this dream a reality. This agenda sent shockwaves as African unity would jeopardise western interests. The other factor of concern to the West is the rise of China which now threatens Western monopoly over export markets and investment finance. African unity and the rise of China threatened Western domination of Africa as never before.
To counter this, the West makes sure that Africa remains in a perpetual state of war. Africa is now a battleground and some countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo have not witnessed peace since independence in the 1960s.
One great son of Africa who was emphatic about African unity and security was Amilcar Cabral who taught us that, “We are for African unity, on a regional or continental scale in as far as it is necessary for the progress of the African peoples, and in order to guarantee their security and the continuity of this progress.“ He also warned us that, “The enemies of the African people are powerful and cunning and can always count on a few faithful lackeys in our country, since quislings are not a European privilege.”
Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah in his iconic speech at the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), in front of 31 African heads of state in Addis Ababa on 24 May 1963, President Nkrumah appealed, cajoled and did everything in perhaps his greatest speech ever to convince his comrades to create a strong continental union., Sadly they decided otherwise. Part of his speech read,
“On this continent, it has not taken us long to discover that the struggle against colonialism does not end with the attainment of national independence. Independence is only the prelude to a new and more involved struggle for the right to conduct our own economic and social affairs, to construct our society according to our aspirations, unhampered by crushing and humiliating neo-colonialist control and interference.”
Nkrumah went on to say that, ″…the unity of our continent, no less than our separate independence, will be delayed if indeed we do not lose it, by hobnobbing with colonialism. Africa unity is above all, a political kingdom which can only be gained by political means. The social and economic development of Africa will come only within the political kingdom, not the other way round.″ He implored the leaders that we must unite now or perish. We must work to ensure that his words were not in vain.
To this day, the CIA and other western intelligence organisations have funded and trained terrorist organisations to spread terror across Africa with groups such as Boko Haram, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, ISIS, Mali’s Ansar Dine, and literally dozens of others. There have been numerous terror attacks including those in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameron, Central African Republic, Chad, and Cote d,Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Tunisia. The private military groups are active in several conflict zones on African soil. Northern Mozambique is the latest case because of the presence of oil and a potential military outpost.
The USA funded ISIS to topple Gaddafi, they funded Shiites to topple Saddam Hussein, and they fund Shiites in Afghanistan for the control of oil and the desire for military bases in those countries. In Zimbabwe they have built the biggest embassy in Africa just because vast oil reserves were discovered in an area of Zimbabwe called Muzarabani. Muzarabani is said to potentially hold some of the largest inland deposits of gas and oil outside the Taoudai Basin. That is the reason why they are imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe, they want the ZANU-PF led government replaced and a more pliant government to take over. Also, at a place where Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique geographically meet, there is a small area called Kanyemba where vast uranium deposits were discovered, this is another target of the West.
According to an online newsletter, The Conservation, it is reported that “currently, the US has 7000 military personnel on rotational deployments in Africa. These troops carry out joint operations with African forces against extremists or jihadists. They are hosted in military outposts across the continent including Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia , Niger, Gabon, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and the DRC.
“In addition, 2000 American soldiers are involved in training missions in 40 African countries. America Special Forces operate across east Africa so called forward operations locations in Kenya and Somalia.”
In Africa we still have colonial military outposts in Western Sahara, the Comoros and Diego Garcia. This shows that the task of Pan African liberation is far from complete. The biggest threat to African unity now is the US Africa Command or AFRICOM, which many Africans see as another attempt to recolonise Africa. Netfa Freeman, a member of the Black Alliance for Peace Coordinating Committee, concurs to this view when he posited that, “Today, US bases as well as military to military relations between 53 out of the 54 African countries and the United States characterise the aggressive strategy of the US to preserve the interests of the Pan European, white supremacist colonial/capitalist project on the African continent. Africans must wake up and rise up against the militarisation of Africa by the US, colonial state.” We must forge a powerful Pan African resistance with support from anti-imperialists everywhere.
In Sudan and Chad, the Chinese have discovered vast amounts of oil but the region continues to face instability and coups caused by the US and France. On Africa’s eastern coast in Kenya and Somalia, Al Shabab is terrorising the region yet each of these countries have US bases that can’t seem to end terrorism. Africans don’t seem to learn that this is from the same playbook. You first deploy US trained/sponsored Islamic extremists then after a series of atrocities send in the US military. The US military is a gangster in the service of capitalism.
Several of our African governments are hosting foreign military bases notwithstanding the concerns of the African Union about the increased proliferation of foreign military bases on the continent. Led by the US and France, approximately 13 foreign powers have a substantial military presence on the continent.
Why is the Mozambique government inviting US military advisers to support its own armed forces in fighting terrorists? What is the role of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the AU in resolving this? By inviting the US military are we not repeating the mistakes of the past as when Patrice Lumumba invited United Nations peace keeping forces to enforce law and order which ultimately led to his murder under their watch? The United Nations colluded with western countries to kill Patrice Lumumba.
Zimbabwe has suffered for two decades without any practical support from any African nation. There is no African unity, the support is only rhetoric. It was only recently when SADC declared a date for member states to march against sanctions in Zimbabwe. Sadly most of our Pan African comrades and friends are buying into foreign media propaganda. They now believe that the issue of sanctions is an overplayed CD and it only targets the ruling elite. That’s why it is important that as Pan Africanists we must have our own media outlets that tell our own stories. The global reactionary cooperate media is misleading people on the Zimbabwe question. South African media which is mainly controlled by Europeans is on a crusade to demonise and vilify Zimbabwe, this happens because such critical institutions and means of production are still under agents of Apartheid. Up to this day, notwithstanding the reformist agenda post-Mugabe, Zimbabwe is still subjected to a barrage of disinformation, propaganda and isolation. Zimbabwe is enacting the new Patriotic Act to punish those who collude and connive with foreign hostile governments to destabilise, destroy and tarnish our national image.
The US foreign policy has not moved an inch, as they continue to renew their sanctions on Zimbabwe every year. Zimbabwe has tried to make some concessions to appease western imperialism but nothing has changed. Western imperialism is not relenting in its efforts to subvert the constitutionally elected government of Zimbabwe. Most Africans fail to realise that the sanctions are meant to collectively punish the 16 million Zimbabweans for upsetting white economic interests. If sanctions succeed in Zimbabwe, it will be a heavy blow to African liberation in as far as land expropriation is concerned; and without land, Africans will continue to wallow in poverty. The Zimbabwe land revolution inspired most people in the underdeveloped countries and demands for land repatriation got amplified in South Africa and Namibia. This torch which Zimbabwe ignited is slowly but surely being extinguished. That’s why African unity call and action must be an urgent priority before we perish. South Africa and other SADC nations (capitalists) are actually benefiting from sanctions on Zimbabwe because they under pay cheap migrant labourers , they subject them to precarious labour conditions, and Zimbabwe is forced to import most of its foodstuffs from these countries because most multinational corporations migrated to other Southern African countries.
White capital monopoly in South Africa deliberately misleads South Africans that “foreigners “are taking their jobs and fan afro-phobia where Africans turn against each other maiming and killing one another. South Africa is sadly becoming Africa’s problem child; it is South Africa which voted for the invasion of Libya leading to the murder of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. South Africa’s hostile imperialist dominated media was awash with news that Zimbabwe has become a hotspot in Africa for COVID – 19, yet Zimbabwe even up to this day has the lowest statistics compared to its regional counterparts. Zimbabwe was the first country to undertake a voluntary vaccination programme using vaccines from China, India and Russia. Zimbabwe will also be one of the first countries which will receive vaccines from the revolutionary socialist country of Cuba. It seems that South Africa is being used as a front to delay African liberation. Maybe that is the reason why it does not have 25 May as a public holiday for African Liberation Day. The white community is even arrogant to the levels of burning police cars with impunity , white South Africans are untouchables but when black South Africans do their picketing they are brutally dealt with by the police. The Marikana shootings is but one example where brute force was unleashed on innocent workers to protect white capital monopoly interests. South Africa needs to decolonise the instruments of state from agents of apartheid.
There are many factors that deter African unity and lead to the lack of support from other African countries for Zimbabwe in its fight against sanctions. Most African countries are propped up by neo-colonial forces, which mean that that he who pays the piper calls the tune. Most African economies are indebted to the World Bank and IMF, which is why the most pliant countries benefit from debt forgiveness while others do not. Zimbabwe had not been getting financial support from World Bank and IMF for the past two decades. These financial institutions play a carrot and stick tactic to African governments. This is why it is important that Africa must fund its development through its own resources and create its own strong and robust financial institutions. Zimbabwe must start to focus on building internal capacity and its leaders should look at cross investment with friendly countries to build its economy and production base.
Many African countries have bilateral trade agreements whereby they depend on the oppressors for trade and if they are sanctioned they suffer greatly. There is little trade amongst African nations — and especially with Zimbabwe. There is hope that the coming of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is going to make trade easier amongst countries, this is a critical objective. Zimbabwe could benefit from intra-Africa trade, and it could assist in busting imperialist sanctions.
Many African leaders loot public money and stash it in foreign banks and then get threatened with exposure and seizures or the freezing of funds. Therefore, they would rather pay lip service in defence of Zimbabwe than provide real and practical support.
According to Rutendo Matinyarare a vocal Zimbabwean activist in the fight against economic sanctions, “in creating these coercive economic measures we saw the very esteemed US congress converge to create a specific law for a small insignificant country called Zimbabwe that was threatening the colonial world order by taking back colonised (stolen) factors of production (land, resources, labour and economy) from the white settlers to put them back into the hands of their rightful dispossessed black owners. Rutendo in his latest article aptly pointed out the origins of what made the government of Zimbabwe capitulate to western pressure through their puppet opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Zimbabwe is compensating the white farmers for the developments made on the farms and returning land which was protected by bilateral agreements with other western countries. MDC partnered with foreign governments to collectively punish innocent Zimbabweans by sanctions, in an attempt to force them to vote for the party. MDC and its acolytes conspired to influence and shape Zimbabwe laws in a manner that facilitates forced regime change, for their western masters.
Rutendo went further to say, in 2009, the Elders (Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Gracia Machel etc.) threatened Zimbabwe with imminent western intervention, unless ZANU PF agreed to a government of national unity with MDC and the immediate creation of a Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) to draft the new Zimbabwean constitution. COPAC was formed with the heavy influence of the UN, other western NGOs, the EU, UK, South African constitutional experts, and the United States. As a result, the constitution, written under western coercion, established institutions designed to weaken ZANU PF influence on policy, land reform, media freedoms, human rights and electoral reforms.
Through the process, the US and her allies were able to enshrine, the compensation of white farmers for developments — a form of reparations for ending colonialism to create precedence and legal custom for future Southern African land reform.
This vindicates our departed revolutionary luminaries who repeatedly taught us that without African unity western imperialism will take us one by one. Zimbabwe is being punished alone, but if all the African countries had simultaneously embarked on a land revolution, it would not be easy for western imperialism to punish the whole Africa or SADC.
Only when Africa unites as one political entity, will it be able compete economically with the advanced industrialised countries of the world. Without genuine African unity, our continent will remain at the mercy of imperialist domination and exploitation.
A chairde, comrades, sisters, and brothers:
For the past 38 years it has been my honor and pleasure to convey solidarity greetings from the Irish Republican Socialist Movement to the celebrants of African Liberation Day and the comrades of the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party around the world.
The legacy of colonialism, slavery, imperialism, and neo-colonialism has resulted in an African diaspora that spans the globe. These same forces have created a worldwide Irish diaspora as well.
The shared experience of oppression and diaspora make the theme of this year’s African Liberation Day resonate all the more with the Irish people. This share experience makes it easy for the Irish to relate to Africans around the world fighting for social justice for themselves and for the liberation of Africa and the creation of a united, socialist Africa. Africans, wherever you are, know that when you rise in struggle for liberation, you will have the solidarity of Irish republican socialists.
We can wait no longer; we must put an end to imperialism around the globe. Both Africa and Ireland must be united, socialist, and free. Our struggles are one; your victory is our victory. As we move forward to liberation, the Irish Republican Socialist Movement reiterates its sincere and profound solidarity with you all, on this African Liberation Day 2021.
Because of the current crisis in Palestine, allow me to add, Irish voices and African voices together, in saying, FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA, PALESTINE MUST BE FREE and this Zionist, fascist violence must end.