Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique
Conselho para o Desenvolvimento da Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais em África
مجلس تنمية البحوث الإجتماعية في أفريقيا


Pan Africanism: Beyond Survival to Renaissance?

Amina Mama
Address delivered to the African Union 50th Anniversary Heads of States Summit,
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 25th May 2013

Number of visits: 1442

Honourable Presidents,
your Excellencies, Madam Nkosazana Dhlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union,
Honourable Chair Dr Carlos Lopez, ladies and gentlemen, fellow celebrants

– thank you Dr Lopez for empowering me with such a gracious introduction.

I salute you with respect for your dedication and commitment as our leaders. As our Heads of State, you are the official embodiment of African people’s collective aspirations for peace, prosperity and justice for all. The fate of Africa
and
all
her
people’s
i
vested
in
you
and
your
power
to
sustain
and
advance
the
pan
African
vision
through
concrete
and
concerted
action.

Deeply
humbled
by
Madam
Chairperson’s
invitation
to
share
a
few
ideas,
I
will
begin
by
drawing
courage
from
the
very
many
women
whose
courage
and
creativity
have
provided
us
with
a
proud,
fearless
and
doubt-­‐dispelling
legacy
of
commitment
to
freedom
and
justice.
Their
examples
locate
our
contemporary
women’s
movements
at
the
heart
of
the
Pan
African
project.

I
reflected
on
the
unknown
and
unnamed
millions
of
African
women
whose
lives
and
struggles
paved
the
path
that
Africa’s
women’s
movements
tread
today.

I
resolve
to
speak
my
humble
truth
to
your
political
power.

I
appeal

to
your
Excellencies
to
honour
all
the
hope
that
we,
ordinary
African
citizens
have
vested
in
you.
Ordinary
citizens
fought
and
died
to
ensure
that
we
would
have
independent
governments
of
African
people,
by
African
people,
and
forAfrican
people.
The
will
to
political
independence
was
not
just
a
matter
of
pride

but
also
rooted
in
very
clear
material
and
political
interests
- ­‐
African
people
hoped
that
having
our
own
states
would
empower
us
to
end
to
the
structural
underdevelopment
of
Africa
set
in
place
by
colonialism,
as
so
clearly
outlined
by
Caribbean
scholar
Walter
Rodney
(1972)1.
African
people
sought

and
still
seek

freedom
and
self-­‐realization,
an
end
to
poverty,
ignorance,
disease,
discrimination
and
injustice.

The
fact
is
that
after
50
years
African’s
millions
are
not
happy.
The
date
tells
us
our
celebrations
are
due,
but
the
data
caution
us.
I
appeal
to
you
to
stay
alert
to
the
discontents
of
women,
youth,
and
many
millions
of
marginalized
others,
inhabiting
mining
areas,
oil
drilling
areas,
our
great
savannah
lands,
forests
and
deserts,
coastlands
and
highlands.
This
discontent
clearly
finds
expression
across
the
region
in
numerous
protests,
protests
in
which
young
people
and
women
dissent
and
put
themselves
on
the
frontlines.
Honourable
leaders
please
do
not
ignore
the
African
Spring,
and
so
imperil
of
the
future
we
seek.

Our
writer
Chinua
Achebe,
whose
funeral
took
place
yesterday,
once
asked
to
present
a
Presidential
lecture
at
the
World
Bank
in
1998,
spoke
like
a
seer
under
the
title
‘Africa
is
People’.
Why
would
this
be
necessary
if
not
for
the
fact
that
he
spoke
in
the
context
of
the
misguided
externally
imposed
consensus
that
privileged
markets
over
governments,
profits
over
people,
especially
the
devalued
majorities
of
poor
people,
women
people
and
young
people
who
inhabit
the
African
continent.

We
all
agree
that
on
this
continent
of
huge
land,
mineral
and
resource
wealth
it
is
our
beauty-­‐full
PEOPLE
who
are
our
greatest
wealth
and
prospect,
and
who
deserve
our
highest
respect.
We
are
women
people,
men
people,
old
people,
young
people,
able-­‐bodied
and
disabled
people,
from
a
rich
variety
of
cultural,
religious,
linguistic backgrounds,
who
deserve
economic,
cultural,
labour
productive,
sexual
freedoms
and
reproductive
rights
.
We
are
those
you
charged
i
to
govern
and
to
protect.

About
a
half
century
ago,
a
young
Nigerian
writer
more
assertive
than
most
- ­‐
encountered
the
largely
French-­‐speaking
poets
and
philosophers
of
the
negritude
movement
–Cesaire,
Senghor,
Diop
and
others.
Wole
Soyinka’s
repost:
‘does
the
tiger
need
to
proclaim
his
tigritude’?
My
question
to
you
is,
decades
later
is
this:
what
if
the
tiger
has
been
flogged
mercilessly,
stripped
of
its
stripes,
and
brutalized
to
a
state
of
caged
confusion
so
that
it
bites
its
tail,
attacking
its
mate
and
killing
its
children?’
What
if
our
proverbial
tiger
has
been
through
what
Africa
has
been
through?
Soyinka’s
question
revisited
today,
50
years
into
political
independence
invokes
the
historic
conditions
that
have
us
professing
that
we
are
African,
we
will
serve
Africa,
and
do
our
best
to
use
all
the
vast
human
and
material
wealth
to
recover
and
protect
our
stripes.

Looking
across
the
world
and
comparing
the
variously
genocidal
histories
of
imperialism,
slavery
and
colonization,
histories
that
all
but
destroyed
the
indigenous
civilizations
of
the
Americas
and
Australasia,
provokes
a
basic
question
we
might
consider
as
we
celebrate
the
fact
of
our
survival:

How
have
the
people
of
Africa
survived
- ­‐
and
in
such
numbers,
with
such
vibrancy?
It
is
nothing
less
than
a
miracle
of
human
civilization
that
we
survive,
despite
this
history
of
subjugation,
and
our
unfavourable
positioning
in
the
global
order.

I
respectfully
submit
that
the
secret
of
African
resilience
is
something
we
take
so
much
for
granted
that
we
too
easily
overlook
it
and
fail
to
value
and
cherish
those
who
have
thus
far
sustained
us,
at
our
peril.
I
speak
of
the
quiet
power
of
African
women,
manifest
in
extensive
subaltern
farming,
trading
and
provisioning
networks
through
which
African
women
sustain
our
families,
communities
and
societies,
no
matter
what.

This
has
been
African
women’s
invisible
work
for
centuries
–and
still
largely
is.
Today
60-­‐80%
of
our
food
is
produced
by
women,
and
these
low
level
networks
still
sustain
the
people
inhabiting
the
worst
of
our
conflict
ridden
man-­‐made
disaster
zones.

Today,
let
us
be
alert
to
the
implications
of
the
fact
that
African
women,
like
our
lands
before
us,
have
now
been
“discovered”.
Our
silence
will
no
longer
protect
us.
Women’s
labour
is
no
longer
shielded
by
the
gender
blindness
of
the
colonizers,
or
exploited
by
the
gender
blindness
of
developing
nation
states.
Let
us
be
alert
to
the
challenges
posed
by
this
hard
–won
visibility,
situated
as
it
is
in
a
world
economy
that
has
been
premised
on
the
exploitation
of
gender
divisions
since
the
very
dawn
of
modern
capitalism.
The
European-­‐style
social
contract
is
premised
on
a
sexual
contract

a
gendered
divison
of
labour
that
we
should
discard
for
our
own
good.

What
does
it
mean
to
describe
us
as
“the
world’s
3rd
largest
emerging
market”,
when
Africa’s
location
in
the
global
terms
of
trade
remains
unfavourable?
Will
African
women
becoming
an
“emerging
market”
like
China
or
India
allow
us
to
realise
our
potential,
free
ourselves
and
our
dependents
from
abjection?

The
terms
of
African
women’s
integration
into
development
have
been
based
on
a
flawed
premise

that
we
sit
around
as
a
vast
underused
reserve
army
of
labour.
Inclusionary
‘women-­‐in-­‐development’
strategies
have
thus
added
work
to
the
already
overworked
women
doing
double
shifts
between
their
homes
and
farms.
Economic
reforms
have
simultaneously
sapped/zapped
state
efforts
to
address
poverty,
ignorance
and
disease

through
public
health,
welfare
and
educational
services
necessary
to
sustain
and
reproduce
labour
in
a
waged-­‐based
economy.

African
women
are
no
longer
ignored,
and
we
celebrate
a
new
level
of
hard-­‐won
recognition
and
global
consensus
on
the
importance
of
gender
equality
and
women’s
empowerment.
This
takes
nothing
away
from
men
whatsoever

while
adding
great
value
to
our
understanding
of
ourselves
as
women
and
as
men.

Recognition
demands
redistribution
of
resources.
The
new
recognition
of
poor
African
women’s
productive
and
reproductive
labour
may
be
celebrated
as
a
positive
development,
but
we
must
be
alert
to
the
fact
that
it
also
means
that
Africa’s
care
economy
including
its
productive
aspect
- ­‐
is
up
for
a
new
round
of
global
grabbing.

Economic
reforms
have
been
based
on
an
unsustainable
assumption
- ­‐
‘the
infinite
elasticity
of
women’s
work’.
SAP
stretched
the
hidden
fabric
of
Africa’s
resilience
to
breaking
point

this
is
what
is
reflected
in
the
seemingly
intransigent
problem
of
maternal
and
infant
mortality.
Women
are
in
crisis.
Globalization
has
created
conditions
under
which
it
is
simply
too
dangerous
to
keep
our
heads
down
and
our
noses
to
the
grindstones.

Perhaps
this
explains
the
proliferation
of
feminism

of
increasingly
radical
women’s
movements
in
so
many
of
the
worlds
poorest
and
most
exploited
regions?
Growth
without
development
has
been
a
reality
for
most
of
Africa’s
long
suffering
people,
particularly
women
experiencing
the
brunt
of
poverty,
violence
and
the
general
precariousness
that
characterizes
their
lives.
GDP
goes
up
without
trickling
down,
unless
government
take
concerted
action
to
resist
the
uncounted,
gendered
human
costs
of
superficial
and
unsustainable
models
of
growth.

50
years
ago
Kwame
Nkrumah

Pan
African
visionary
extraordinaire

called
for
a
political
kingdom
and
promised
an
economic
one.
Sadly,
he
has
been
proved
wrong.
We
now
have
54
political
kingdoms,
and
our
union
is
now
50
years
old,
but
our
economies
are
still
as
deeply
unequal
as
they
are
falling
short
of
the
pan
African
vision.
We
need
to
recover
our
economic
sovereignty

the
freedom
to
organize
our
economies
to
suit
ourselves
and
however
we
choose
to
organize
labour,
production
and
consumption.

‘In
Africa,
poverty
has
a
female
face’
declared
the
World
Bank
in
2009.

Africa’s
rising
Gross
Domestic
Product
is
good
news,
but
how
should
we
react
when
crisis
leads
rich
countries
turn
once
again
to
the
Africa
they
had
only
a
decade
ago
condemned
as
‘lost’.
I
think
we
should
give
them
a
tough
time
when
they
once
again
look
to
the
region.
At
least
we
should
make
them
beg
a
bit,
and
define
our
terms
more
assertively
at
the
age
of
50.

We
must
turn
this
renewed
interest
round
to
ensure
that
we
work
this
new
interest
in
including
poor
women
in
the
global
economy
to
our
advantage,
so
that
we
do
not
simply
find
African
women
split
open
for
a
new
and
even
deeper
round
of
predation
and
exploitation.
Microcredit

while
we
can
recognise
that
it
may
help
some
women
do
what
they
already
do
- ­‐
also
marks
a
minimalist
strategy
for
inclusion
in
the
global
economy
- ­‐
at
the
bottom
of
the
informal
sector.
But
why
should
it
be
micro-­‐credit
for
women?
More
serious
support
would
enable
women
to
scale
up
and
become
‘captains
of
industry’,
run
transnational
corporations?

Unless
we
negotiate
better
terms
of
engagement,
for
Africa
including
for
African
women,
our
people,
especially
women
and
the
next
generation
will
continue
to
be
as
exploited,
poor
and
vulnerable
to
abuse
as
we
have
been.

The
global
construction
of
African
women
as
poor,
pregnant
and
beaten
contains
a
germ
of
truth.
Women
work
harder
than
ever,
but
remain
poorer
than
ever.
But
we
also
continue
to
struggle
for
more
just
economies,
which
can
support
women
beyond
mere
survival–
to
build
on
the
way
women
continuously
improvise
and
innovate,
invent
and
create
new
ways
of
doing
things.

I
am
concerned
rather
than
excited
by
the
global
call
to
entrepreneurialism
as
the
answer
to
poverty,
underdevelopment,
and
even
violence.
After
all,
women
in
Africa
have
always
been
entrepreneurs,
in
the
sense
that
I
have
argued
–creatively
fending
for
themselves
and
their
dependents
through
farming,
trading
etcetera
before,
during
and
since
colonialism,
despite
colonialism,
and
with
minimal
government support.
The
feminization
of
poverty
has
occurred
despite
our
long
traditions
of
entrepreneurialism.

“Women
are
the
3rd
largest
emerging
market
after
China,
India…”
declares
Forbes
Magazine.
Given
what
the
market
has
so
far
meted
out
to
Africa,
and
to
African
women
in
particular,
this
is
a
statement
that
should
place
us
on
alert.
What
happens
to
the
African
economy

buttressed
as
it
has
always
been
by
the
feminized
survival
economy
- ­‐
when
women
are
“discovered”
and
redefined
as
an
emerging
market?
Who
and
what
will
be
brought
and
sold,
and
for
whose
profit?
We
will
need
to
be
fully
conscious
of
what
we
are
buying
and
selling,
lest
we
find
ourselves
further
incorporated
into
a
global
market
that
has
not
favoured
our
collective
interests,
or
those
of
our
continent.
For
all
the
talk
about
poverty
alleviation,
poverty
remains
endemic,
a
scourge
that
is
here
to
stay
until
we
stop
being
fooled
by
global-­‐village
talk
and
tackle
the
structural
transformations
that
are
now
on
the
table.

Structural
violence

poverty,
absence
of
social
protection
infrastructure,
chronic
insecurity
and
precariousness
of
livelihoods
- ­‐
manifests
at
interpersonal
levels
- ­‐
in
our
homes
and
on
our
streets.
Male
frustration
and
stress
taken
out
on
the
tender
bodies
of
women
marks
the
worst
dispossession
of
all

our
dehumanization,
the
loss
of
our
selves
and
our
capacity
to
care
for
and
support
one
another.

I
appeal
to
all
of
you
to
end
this
now
.

Let
us
make
it
clear
to
the
world
that
violence
and
tolerance
of
violence
are
not
endemic,
not
an
“African
tradition”,
nor
simply
what
black
men
do
to
women.
Rather
they
are
the
results
of
systemic
injustices.
Focusing
on
e.g.
‘rape
in
war
time’
without
understanding
this
as
intrinsic
to
the
practice
of
war
is
bad
enough.
It
is
not
enough
to
address
the
disturbing
abuse
of
women
without
understanding
this
as
a
function
of
our
location
within
a
global
racialized
gender
regime
that
has
never
been
kind
to
Africa,
or
to
Africa’s
women.
It
is
a
regime
that
is
premised
on
gender divisions,
and
relies
on
the
continued
devaluation
of
women,
and
their
work.
The
systematic
rape
and
abduction
of
women
in
the
colonial
Congo
was
deliberate
management
tool
during
King
Leopold’s
time-­‐
used
to
force
men
to
labour
on
rubber
plantations.2
It
is
was
the
unjust,
imperialist
and
racist
gender
regime
that
laid
down
the
historic
and
material
conditions
of
pain
and
dispossession.
This
is
the
source
that
lies
behind
that
scandalous
data
on
rape,
harassment
and
abuse,
femicide,
sex
trafficking,
child
marriage,
harmful
practices.

Let
us
not
leave
this
intimate
but
systemic
problem
and
its
unseemly
display
of
self-­‐
hatred
to
‘external
forces’
to
appropriate
for
their
own
agendas,
while
the
systemic
causes
persist.
Ensure
the
implementation
of
the
declarations
and
resolutions
you
have
already
signed
on
to,
provide
the
legal,
medical
and
social
facilities
to
protect
and
attend
to
women’s
basic
human
rights,
and
above
address
the
systemic
inequalities
that
render
us
vulnerable
to
abuse.
These
systemic
injustices
and
gender
inequalities
intensify
as
societies
move
into
fully-­‐fledged
conflict,
but
the
conflict
in
our
homes
persists
long
after
peace
has
been
official
declared.
Land.
Homes.
Decent
work.
Security
for
women.
Human
security
for
all.

The
real
security
need
for
African’s
is
security
from
poverty,
ignorance
and
disease.
wrote
our
brilliant
social
analyst,
Claude
Ake.

Africa’s
independent
states
arrived
at
independence
fully
militarized
by
their
significant
involvement
in
the
two
World
Wars.
As
a
continent
with
the
colonial
and
militarist
history
that
we
have,
we
urgently
need
to
place
the
good
of
our
people
first,
and
above
the
acquisition
of
guns.
The
horrors
of
postcolonial
conflicts
show
these
leaving
no-­‐one
untouched

these
now
feature
90%
civilian
casualties,
up
from
10%
in
the
wars
of
the
early
20th
century,
and
20-­‐40%
involvement
of
women
as
fighters,
not
to
mention
their
prominence
as
victims
and
casualities
of
war.
The
realities
of
resource
inequalities,
gender
injustices,
sexual
and
identity
politics
in Africa’s
wars
need
to
be
kept
at
the
centre
of
Africa’s
future
security
architecture.
This
will
require
more
than
adding
women
to
security
forces

it
requires
changing
the
militarist
paradigm
of
statecraft
we
have
inherited
and
which
have
afflicted
us
through
the
Cold
War
era
- ­‐during
which
Africans
continued
to
die
in
vast
numbers.
Since
9/11,
and
the
US
declaration
of
the
Global
War
on
Terror
the
US
has
pursued
significant
war
efforts
that
affect
us
deeply.

Despite
our
human
development
failures,
Africa
is
still
increasing
its
military
expenditure,
long
after
much
wealthier
nations
have
started
to
reduce
theirs.
Why?
Why
continue
to
serve
as
an
outdated
weapons
dump,
when
we
all
know
that
the
largest
portion
of
the
debt
we
carry
was
accumulated
by
discredited
military
regimes
?
Spending
on
weapons
that
kill
other
Africans
has
been
allowed
to
displace
our
development
agendas,
retard
long
term
investment
in
human
security.

We
resist
military
re-­‐occupation,
to
the
extent
that
the
AFRICOM
idea
has
been
pushed
back
to
evolve
from
George
Bush’s
original
poorly
conceived
idea
of
a
fully-­‐
fledged
base
on
this
continent.
Instead,
under
the
Obama
government
we
have
into
a
series
of
new
partnership
agreements
complete
with
regular
training
exercises
all
over
the
region,
numerous
operations
with
grandiose
names.
What
would
a
future-­‐
oriented
regional
security
strategy
grounded
in
prioritising
African
interests
and
concern
look
like?
If
we
open
our
internal
frontiers
to
facilitate
the
mobility
of
people
as
well
as
resources,
will
we
still
need
so
many
national
armies?

Do
we
need
the
many
armies
that
we
have,
given
the
weakness
of
some
and
the
threat
that
others
have
posed
for
democratic
governance?
Let
us
at
least
have
the
sense
to
question
the
direction
of
the
last
50
years,
in
which
the
cost
of
war
have
significantly
retarded
development
and
exacted
huge
costs,
leaving
collective
traumas
that
are
yet
to
be
healed,
as
we
move
towards
the
idea
of
sustainable
peace

and
the
human
security
that
we
can
then
address
instead
of
purchasing
the
next
rounds
of
weaponry.

2063?

Imagine
a
continent
in
which
no
grandchild
has
been
raised
in
fear,
subjected
to
abuse,
poverty,
hunger,
and
growing
up
with
the
physical
and
emotional
scarring
that
drains
creativity.
In
which
all
the
mothers
survive
pregnancy
and
we
no
longer
know
what
it
is
to
bury
a
child.

Imagine
a
world
in
which
Africa’s
billions
are
freed
from
the
burden
of
surivalism

freed
to
lift
themselves
up
and
pursue
the
immeasurable
creative
potential
that
freedom
from
overwork
and
overexpoitation
would
unleash
for
us,
and
on
the
world.

Africa
in
2063
will
have
undergone
the
paradigm
shift
we
seek

we
will
have
used
our
maturity
at
50
to
radically
alter
the
terms
of
our
integration
into
the
world
order.

Africa
in
2063
will
be
a
place
where
Africa’s
wealth
enriches
all
of
Africa’s
people.
It
will
be
a
place
that
has
pushed
back
the
land
grabbing
of
the
early
21st
century,
to
reclaim
the
30
billion
hectares
appropriated
by
foreign
and
private
interests
in
the
last
5
years.
We
will
have
transformed
land
use,
access
and
ownership,
so
that
our
vast
wealthy
lands
are
used
in
sustainable,
collectively
intelligent
and
environmentally
sound
ways,
enabling
women
and
men
to
move
beyond
indebtedness,
and
pursue
much
high
goals
and
dreams.

The
global
regime
of
trades
and
tariffs
will
have
been
overturned,
and
our
elites
will
have
stopped
lining
their
pockets
and
ensured
that
Africa’s
people
benefit
from
Africa’s
wealth,
and
the
inhabitants
of
our
oil
zones
will
no
longer
have
to
plead
“Leave
the
oil
in
the
soil”!
Instead
our
rich
biodiverse
ecosystem
and
the
livelihoods
of
local
peoples
will
be
protected
for
the
common
good.

What
will
inspire
the
radical
systemic
change
that
will
lift
us

liberate
us
- ­‐
to
think
beyond
survival?

Renaissance
is
recognition
and
redistribution,
cultural
freedom
backed
up
with
structural
change
that
allows
people
t
benefit
from
more
judicious
and
accountable
use
of
our
resources.

“For
us
Africans,
literature
must
serve
a
purpose:
to
expose,
embarrass,
and
fight
corruption
and
authoritarianism.
It
is
understandable
why
the
African
artist
is
utilitarian.”
Ama
Ata
Aidoo,
Ghanaian
feminist
novelist
once
said.

As
a
young
woman,
Ama
Ata
Aidoo
the
freedom
fighter
vowed
never
to
write
love
stories.
Let’s
delight
in
the
fact
that
over
the
years
she
has
changed
her
mind
about
the
value
of
writing
about
love,
as
her
rich
edited
collection
of
highly
original
and
diverse
‘African
Love
Stories’
demonstrates.
She
has
traveled
her
path
and
had
the
courage
to
grow
and
change
while
retaining
her
deep
commitment
to
Pan
Africanism.
Love
flourishes,
after
all
is
said
and
done.

By
2063
our
creative
writers
will
still
inspire
and
rally
us
all,
and
call
government
to
account.
But
they
will
never
doubt
the
need
to
stay
in
love
with
Africa,
to
be
renewed
daily
in
our
love
for
Africa,
for
all
Africa’s
beauty-­‐full
people
born
and
unborn
and
our
descendents
will
have
more
love
and
more
joy
to
share
every
single
day.

What
is
abundantly
evident
is
that
we

women
and
men
of
Africa
are
not
lacking
in
vision,
creativity
or
imagination,
though
at
times
we’ve
lost
touch
with
Africa’s
genius,
or
suppressed
and
denied
that
talent
resides
among
women,
the
poor
and
the
oppressed.
Amilcar
Cabral
saw
this
potential
and
so
should
we.

In
2063
strong
and
well
resourced
research,
cultural
and
educational
institutions
will
be
there
to
inspire
and
challenge
us,
enabling
us
develop
the
intellectual
and
emotional
capacities
to
dream
of
an
even
better
future.

We
look
forward
to
a
future
in
which
our
talents
and
creativity
are
no
longer
wasted
and
frustrated
by
the
exigencies
of
survival
and
hampered
by
lack
of
access
to
resources.

I
humbly
appeal
for
our
African
Union
to
be
a
people’s
union
that
will
support
the
establishment
of
strong
and
inclusive
pan-­‐African
culture,
media
and
research
institutions,
and
strengthen
those
that
have
already
been
established
in
response
to
the
challenges
of
our
times,.
I
appeal
for
us
to
facilitate
the
redistribution
of
our
material
wealth
among
our
people
for
our
collective
liberation,
for
democracy,
for
equality,
and
for
justice.

Thank
you
for
your
attention.




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