The echoes of a unified Africa
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Great minds conceive great ideas. A blend of great ideas has the potential to make a great nation. So the greatest asset of every nation is its gift of ideological differences. These differences must not be taken as a course for permanent, destructive division. Rather it should be seen as part of the beauty of our diverseness: 'unity in diversity'.
This fact extends beyond the boundaries of the individual countries that make up the African continent. It is high time we as Africans embraced it, because this is the popular line of thought these days.
The idea itself is by no means new though, only that recent development seems to have injected a renewed sense of vigour. It shows that the continent of Africa has come of age; too much talk does not take us anywhere. We have to get down to business; doing things as they should be.
It was therefore indeed gratifying to have two of Africa's most important 'symbol of struggle' been represented at our country's 43rd independence anniversary celebrations.
Presidents Mwanawasa and Pires are both formidable players in their own right, given the role their respective countries played in the liberation struggle.
This explains the originality of the pan-Africanist inclination of their host, the Gambian leader, President Alha. Dr Yahya Jammeh. Zambia (formally Northern Rhodesia) forms the core of the bitter struggle against the ruthless Boar-led Apartheid regime in Southern Africa. And Cape Verde, one of the territories that made up the colonial era Guinea Bissau, was not spared in the bitter struggle against colonialism - the portuguese fashion. It is interesting to note that President Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires formed a physical part of the heroes of the liberation struggle in that country.
National occasions like independence celebrations has the effect of rekindling a unified sense of togetherness among us, Africans. They remind us, even if on a temporal basis, of the commonness of our struggle against neo-colonial imperialism. So, having these two men of distinguishable repute to grace the independence anniversary of a nation at the centre of the continental struggle for unity is quite fascinating, but not at all surprising.
It markedly reiterates that all is not lost for the people of Africa. We still have true, true pan-Africanist leaders, even if they are in short supply. Gambians should be proud to be blessed with a leadership that is true to this noble course.
We can do everything to deny the truth, which is that we are united in our struggle in seeking common solution. But we can never succeed in any attempt to distort this fact.