African Problems and the Cold War

Courtesy Reuters

Since we achieved our independence, several distinguished foreigners have visited our young Republic, and among the many questions they have asked have been those concerning our approach to Pan Africanism, our views on policies intended to keep Africa free of the restrictive forces of the cold war, and the measures we would suggest to implement our policy of neutrality. In the lines which follow we will endeavor to answer these significant questions.

There can be little doubt that there is a present need for coöperation among the newly independent African states, that a working arrangement, at least on a regional basis, is overdue. Unfortunately the situation inherited from the colonial powers, while making plain the necessity for such agreement, has tended to hinder it. Within each nation there are serious discontinuities arising from the existence of different ethnic groups, language differences, disparities in ideological orientation and basic economic conceptions. At the same time national boundaries were artificially drawn to meet external political requirements. Today we find that tribes are split in two, cities are divided and people of the same language and cultural traditions are separated into two and sometimes three different nations.

To resolve this last issue, so prominent in the minds of many African leaders, Pan Africanism has been put forward as an all-embracing remedy. (Some people call the same idea African Unity.) Apart from the proposition that few real-life problems are so simple that they possess only one solution, no two African states can agree on a single interpretation of the terms. To discuss the common heritage and institutions of Ghana, the Belgian Congo and Ethiopia is clearly unrealistic. More important, however, are the character and complexity of the problems facing us at home. To speak of African Unity in the face of existing economic and social disunity is to avoid the central task to which we are committed-the earliest possible economic and social betterment of our people. This task has as one important aspect the unification

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.