Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pan-Africanism Congress 2009 in Munich


Photo Andrea Naica-loebel: Speakers, and members of the organisation
The 2nd Pan-Africanism congress was held on October 24th 2009 at the Goethe-Forum in Munich Germany. Approximately 500 persons attended the Congress.

Why a congress?
Many African countries will soon be celebrating the 50th anniversary of independence and freedom from Colonialism. However the hopes of true independence and freedom have remained mostly unrealised. Expectations of Economic, Social and Political growth are still mostly unfulfilled.Therefore the 2nd Pan-Africanism Congress intends to strengthen and to connect the African Diaspora. Ideas and visions for the sustainable shaping of Africa’s future will be discussed and further developed.



What is Pan-Africanism?
Pan-Africanism is a sociopolitical world view, philosophy, and movement which seeks to unify native Africans and those of African heritage into a "global African community". Pan-Africanism calls for a politically united Africa, according to wikipedia.

One of the important figures of the Pan-African movement was the first president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah. In the video he speaks about his vision for Africa at the All African peoples congress, held in Ghana in 1958


Who were the speakers at congress?
Guest of honour was former President of Ghana Jerry Rawlings. Rawlings confirmed that Africa is still under the burden of politicians and other individuals who are pursuing personal goals with international assistance. "The key principles of good governance," said Rawlings, "is that the will of the people in all government decisions is paramount, and not the rules of a political party."

Bob Brown, Pan-Africanist and Nkrumahist-Toureist, pointed out that the black Howard University is the only university in the United States that uses the book by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah: "Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization" as teaching material. "The tragedy is," said Brown, "that Nkrumah’s work is not used in Ghana nor other countries in Africa."

Dr. Grada Kilomba, psychologist, writer and author of the book "Plantation Memories" named her speech, "The Mask – Remembering Colonialism, Understanding Trauma". She explained that the politics of the colonial powers was full of sadism and brutality, and that it was used in order to the silence the black subjects.

See the complete list of speakers here

Munich?
In 1918 the former German Empire lost World War I and also its colonies in Africa (Cameroon, Togo, German East Africa, now Tanzania, and German Southwest Africa, now Namibia). In 1932 as a form of political protest close to 30 street names in Munich were named after events in the colonial history. But some streets were also named after notorious killers, like Lothar von Trotha. Now, thanks to the Munich City Counsel, four streets are renamed.

Links
Website Pan-Africanism forum (German)
Photos of the event
African Students Association in Heidelberg Germany

Special thanks to Tina Bach

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