The Revival of Panafricanism Forum organized the official launch of its 2012 panafrican conferences on Saturday, March 3rd during a sober but moving ceremony in the Washington metro area at the Crown Plaza Hotel, at 3 Research Court, Rockville. The organizers put together an all women engaging panel whose topic was “Militarization, Global Recession, Eurozone Crisis and the Relevance of Panafricanism in the 21st Century”, with two dynamic social activists and panafricanists, Dr. Mjiba Frehiwot and Affiong L. Affiong a few days before the women’s international day which is celebrated every year on March 8. The two panelists who not only believe but embody the panafricanist life in their involvement with the cause both in Africa and in the Diaspora presented respectively “Panafricanism is the Only Solution”, and “Africa’s Challenges and the Relevance of Panafricanism.”
Dr Mjiba Frehiwot an alumnus of Howard University and a member of the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party gave a relevant practical history of panafricanism with evidence of its implementation under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah in post independent Ghana. She outlined the feasibility of the same measures today as she showed the significance and the need of the various organizations and infrastructures first established in Nkrumah’s Ghana. The parallels she traced between the two eras were compelling. African needs self determination now, just as much or even more than it needed it then. Hers was a powerful call to action: Africans whether continental or living abroad can no longer afford passivity, indifference has become a luxury hardly justifiable or affordable.
Affiong L. Affiong the Executive Director of the Moyo PanAfrikan Solidarity Center in Accra and London and co-founder of the Moyo wa Taifa, a Pan African Women’s Network echoed the previous panelist’s sentiments and made a point of reminding us whose shoulders we are standing on. She called out the names of our forefathers and predecessors in the fight for a self determined people governing themselves without any outside regulatory measures or body: a truly sovereign Africa. Affiong discussing Africa’s challenges and the relevance of panafricanism in the 21st century, strongly suggested that Africans should come up with a plan of their own because everybody else already has one for Africa, even newcomer China. Affiong awoke the audience to the fact that the so called help provided to Africa by international institutions such as the UN, AFRICOM, IMF and the likes is only there to serve the interest of the west. She empathically called for each African to become accountable, and promoted the involvement of each child of Africa in her liberation. It is not enough to complain about our leadership and their European puppeteers: It is time to stand up and do something about the status quo.
The event was opened and closed by the enthralling and blood chilling performances in songs and Poems by Anna Mwalagho a local artist who belted out the famous (South) African national anthem “Nkossi Sikeleli Africa” Acapella, pleading God to help us in this seemingly impossible endeavor. She also recited two poems honoring women in this women’s month.
By Carine Belinga