One of the leading Pan African academics and anti-colonialists has spoken about some of the major challenges facing the continent and what should be done to actualize the dream of the United States of Africa.
Speaking to the Daily Observer on the sidelines of the Banjul colloquium on slavery and reparation, Professor Mireille Fanon-Mendes, France-based Martinique, said she was happy to come to The Gambia and participate in the Banjul colloquium. Professor Fanon is a towering figure in academic circles, living in the shadows of his iconic father Frantz Fanon, the Afro-Caribbean psychiatrist, whose works are influential in the fields of post-colonial studies.
Quoting from what she described as one of the most significant books that left a lasting legacy on the conscience of Africans, The wretched of the earth, the Martiniqican professor referenced the book to draw a parallel between the West and Africa. She spoke extensively on the so-called paradigm of domination which she said must be outdone with if Africa is to realise the dream of true renaissance.
Challenge for Africa
As it is now, Professor Fanon argued, her father’s words about some of the challenges and the distant reality of a United States of Africa will take a long time to achieve, pointing out that it will not happen in her lifetime. “Yes, unfortunately, I don’t think I will live to see that happening now,” Professor Fanon said.
Commenting on the theme of the Banjul Colloquium, she said unless Africans confront themselves and stop thinking like the West and address the challenges head-on, the continent will not achieve concrete solutions. Like the Jews in Israel, Professor Fanon said, Africans also deserve financial compensation for the dehumanising treatment meted out to them during the slave trade.
by Ebrima Baldeh