Nationalism and Its Discontents


From J. Ayo Langely, ed., Ideologies of Liberation in Black Africa, 1856-1970, London: Rex Collins, 1979


Constitution of the National Congress of British West Africa, 1923

Whereas, realising the need of a common medium for the expression of their common Political disabilities, the four British West Africa Colonies of the Gambia, Sierra Leone, the Gold Coast, and Nigeria sent to Accra in the Gold Coast in the month of March 1920 Delegates for the purpose of a conference as to such disabilities and the proper and constitutional means of redressing them AND WHEREAS from the 11th day of March to the 29th day of the same month in the year 1920 aforesaid the conference sat and passed certain resolutions, and, finally, being fully convinced of the importance of continuing and perpetuating its work resolved itself into the National Congress of British West Africa. AND WHEREAS it is desirable to set out clearly the policy, aims, object and claim of the Congress IT IS HEREBY DECLARED...



2) That all British West Africans shall be regarded as members of the Congress. Active members shall be those who pay dues for the upkeep of the Congress.

3) That other persons of the African descent may on application be admitted as honorary members of the Congress...



17) That the policy of the congress shall be to maintain strictly and inviolate the connection of the British West African Dependencies with the British Empire, and to maintain unreservedly all and every right of free citizenship of the Empire and the fundamental principle that taxation goes with effective representation.


18) That among the objects of the Congress shall be the promotion of the common interests of the British West African Dependencies politically, economically, educationally, socially, and otherwise; and to promote and effect unity of purpose and of action among them; to establish Universities, Colleges, Academies and Schools for the racial education and culture of the people; to promote commercial and industrial intercourse of the people and to work for better conditions generally in all British West Africa.

19) The aims of the Congress shall be to aid in the development of the political institutions of British West Africa under the Union Jack, so as to eventually to take her place beside the sister nations of the Empire, and, in time, to ensure within her borders the Government of the people, by the people, for the people; to secure equal opportunity for all; to preserve the lands of the people for the people; and to save them from exploitation in any shape or form.

20) The Congress claims that apart from the fact that the National Congress of British West Africa represents substantially the intelligensia and the advanced thought of British West Africa, and that the principles it stands for are some of those fundamental ones that have always actuated communities that have arrived at the stage of national consciousness, it also represents the bulk of the inhabitants of the various indigenous communities and with them claims, as sons of the soil, the inherent right to make representations as to existing disabilities, and to submit recommendations for the necessary reforms.


Manchester, 1945



To secure equal opportunities for all colonial and coloured people in Great Britain, this Congress demands that discrimination on account of race, creed or colour be made a criminal offence by law.

That all employments and occupations shall be opened to all qualified Africans, and that to bar such applicants because of race, colour or creed shall be deemed an offence against the law.


In connection with the political situation, the Congress observed:

(a) That since the advent of British, French, Belgian and other Europeans in West Africa, there has been regression instead of progress as a result of systematic exploitation by these alien imperialist Powers. The claims of 'partnership', 'Trusteeship', 'guardianship', and the 'mandate system', do not serve the political wishes of the people of West Africa.

(b) That the democratic nature of the indigenous institutions of the peoples of West Africa has been crushed by obnoxious and oppressive laws and regulations, and replaced by autocratic systems of government which are inimical to the wishes of the people of West Africa.

(c) That the introduction of pretentious constitutional reforms in West African territories are nothing but spurious attempts on the part of alien imperialist Powers to continue the political enslavement of the peoples.

(d) That the introduction of Indirect Rule is not only an instrument of oppression but also an encroachment on the right of the West African natural rulers.

(e) That the artificial divisions and territorial boundaries created by the imperialist Powers are deliberate steps to obstruct the political unity of the West African peoples.


Economic. As regards the West African economic set-up, the Resolution asserted:

(a) That there has been a systematic exploitation of the economic resources of the West African territories by imperialist Powers to the detriment of the inhabitants.

(b) That the industrialisation of West Africa by the indigenes has been discouraged and obstructed by the imperialist rulers, with the result that the standard of living has fallen below subsistence level.

(c) That the land, the rightful property of West Africans, is gradually passing into the hands of foreign Governments and other agencies through various devices and ordinances.

(d) That the workers and farmers of West Africa have not been allowed independent trade unions and co-operative movements without official interference.

(e) That the mining industries are in the hands of foreign monopolies of finance capital, with the result that wherever a mining industry has developed there has been a tendency to deprive the people of their land holdings (e.g. mineral rights in Nigeria and Sierra Leone now the property of the British Government).

(f) That the British Government in West Africa is virtually controlled by a merchants' united front, whose main objective is the exploitation of the people, thus rendering the indigenous population economically helpless.

(g) That when a country is compelled to rely on one crop (e.g. cocoa) for a single monopolistic market, and is obliged to cultivate only for export while at the same time its farmers and workers find themselves in the grip of finance capital, then it is evident that the Government of that country is incompetent to assume responsibility for it.

Commenting on the social needs of the area, the Resolution said:

(a) That the democratic organisations and institutions of the West African peoples have been interfered with, that alien rule has not improved education, health or the nutrition of the West African peoples, but on the contrary tolerates mass illiteracy, ill-health, malnutrition, prostitution, and many other social evils.

(b) That organised Christianity in West Africa is identified with the political and economic exploitation of the West African peoples by alien Powers.

1. The principles of the Four Freedoms and the Atlantic Charter be put into practice at once.

2. The abolition of land laws which allow Europeans to take land from the Africans. Immediate cessation of any further settlement by Europeans in Kenya or in any other territory in East Africa. All available land to be distributed to the landless Africans.

3. The right of Africans to develop the economic resources of their country without hindrance.

4. The immediate abolition of all racial and other discriminatory laws at once (the Kipande system in particular) and the system of equal citizenship to be introduced forthwith.

5. Freedom of speech, Press, association and assembly.

6. Revision of the system of taxation and the civil and criminal codes.

7. Compulsory free and uniform education for all children up to the age of sixteen, with free meals, free books and school equipment.

8. Granting of the franchise, i.e. the right of every man and woman over the age of twenty-one to elect and be elected to the Legislative Council, Provincial Council and all other Divisional and Municipal Councils.

9. A State medical, health and welfare service to be made available to all.

10. Abolition of forced labour, and the introduction of the principle of equal pay for equal work.



The delegates believe in peace. How could it be otherwise, when for centuries the African peoples have been the victims of violence and slavery? Yet if the Western world is still determined to rule mankind by force, then Africans, as a last resort, may have to appeal to force in the effort to achieve freedom, even if force destroys them and the world.

We are determined to be free. We want education. We want the right to earn a decent living; the right to express our thoughts and emotions, to adopt and create forms of beauty. We demand for Black Africa autonomy and independence, so far and no further than it is possible in this One World for groups and peoples to rule themselves subject to inevitable world unity and federation.

We are not ashamed to have been an age-long patient people. We continue willingly to sacrifice and strive. But we are unwilling to starve any longer while doing the world's drudgery, in order to support by our poverty and ignorance a false aristocracy and a discarded imperialism.

We condemn the monopoly of capital and the rule of private wealth and industry for private profit alone. We welcome economic democracy as the only real democracy.

Therefore, we shall complain, appeal and arraign. We will make the word listen to the facts of our condition. We will fight in every way we can for freedom, democracy and social betterment.



We affirm the right of all colonial peoples to control their own destiny. All colonies must be free from foreign imperialist control, whether political or economic.

The peoples of the colonies must have the right to elect their own Governments, without restrictions from foreign Powers. We say to the peoples of the colonies that they must fight for these ends by all means at their disposal.

The object of imperialist Powers is to exploit. By granting the right to colonial peoples to govern themselves that object is defeated. Therefore, the struggle for political power by colonial and subject peoples is the first step towards, and the necessary prerequisite to, complete social, economic and political emancipation. The Fifth Pan-African Congress therefore calls on the workers and farmers of the Colonies to organise effectively. Colonial workers must be in the front of the battle against imperialism. Your weapons-the strike and the boycott- are invincible.

We also call upon the intellectuals and professional classes of the colonies to awaken to their responsibilities. By fighting for trade union rights, the right to form co-operatives, freedom of the Press, assembly, demonstration and strike, freedom to print and read the literature which is necessary for the education of the masses, you will be using the only means by which your liberties will be won and maintained. Today there is only one road to effective action-the organisation of the masses. And in that organisation the educated colonials must join. Colonial and subject peoples of the world, Unite!


Accra, April 15-22, 1958


We, the African States assembled here in Accra, in this our first Conference, conscious of our responsibilities to humanity and especially to the peoples of Africa, and desiring to assert our African personality on the side of peace, hereby proclaim and solemnly reaffirm our unswerving loyalty to the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of the Asian-African Conference held at Bandung.

We further assert and proclaim the unity among ourselves and our solidarity with the dependent peoples of Africa as well as our friendship with all nations. We resolve to preserve the unity of purpose and action in international affairs which we have forged among ourselves in this historic Conference; to safeguard our hard-won independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity; and to preserve among ourselves the fundamental unity of outlook on foreign policy so that a distinctive African Personality will play its part in co-operation with other peaceloving nations to further the cause of peace.

We pledge ourselves to apply all our endeavours to avoid being committed to any action which might entangle our countries to the detriment of our interests and freedom; to recognise the right of the African peoples to independence and self-determination. and to take appropriate steps to hasten the realisation of this right; to affirm the right of the Algerian people to independence and self-determination and to exert all possible effort to hasten the realisation of their independence; to uproot forever the evil of racial discrimination in all its forms wherever it may be found; to persuade the Great Powers to discontinue the production and testing of nuclear and thermo-nuclear weapons; and to reduce conventional weapons.

Furthermore, mindful of the urgent need to raise the living standards of our peoples by developing to the fullest possible advantage the great and varied resources of our lands, We hereby pledge ourselves to co-ordinate our economic planning though a joint economic effort and study the economic potentialities, the technical possibilities and related problems existing in our respective States; to promote co-ordinated industrial planning either through our own individual efforts and/or through co-operation with Specialised Agencies of the United Nations; to take measures to increase trade among our countries by improving communications between our respective countries; and to encourage the investment : of foreign capital and skills provided they do not compromise the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of our States.

Desirous of mobilising the human resources of our respective countries, in furtherance of our social and cultural aspirations, We will endeavour to promote and facilitate the exchange of teachers, professors, students, exhibitions, educational, cultural and scientific material which will improve cultural relations between the African States and inculcate greater knowledge amongst us through such efforts as joint youth festivals, sporting events, etc.; We will encourage and strengthen studies of African culture, history and geography in the institutions of learning in the African States; and We will take all measures in our respective countries to ensure that such studies are correctly orientated.

We have charged our Permanent Representatives at the United Nations to be the permanent machinery for co-ordinating all matters of common concern to our States; for examining and making recommendations on concrete practical steps for implementing our decisions; and for preparing the grounds for future Conferences.

Faithful to the obligations and responsibilities which history has thrown upon us as the vanguard of the complete emancipation of Africa, we do hereby affirm our dedication to the causes which we have proclaimed.




1. Exchange of Views on Foreign Policy

The Conference of Independent African States,

Having made the widest exchange of views on all aspects of foreign policy,

Having achieved a unanimity on fundamental aims and principles,

Desiring to pursue a common foreign policy with a view to safeguarding the hard-won independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Participating States,

Deploring the division of the greater part of the world into two antagonistic blocs,


1. Affirms the following fundamental principles:


A. Unswerving loyalty to and support of the Charter of the United Nations and respect for decisions of the United Nations; 

B. Adherence to the principles enunciated at the Banding Con Conference, namely:

(i) Respect for the fundamental human rights and for the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

(ii) Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations.

(iii) Recognition of the equality of all races and the equality of all nations, large and small.

(iv) Abstention from intervention or interference in the internal affairs of another country.

(v) Respect for the right of each nation to defend itself singly or collectively in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.

(vi) Abstention from the use of arrangements of collective defence to serve the particular interests of any of the big Powers. Abstention by any country from exerting pressure on other countries.

(vii) Refraining from acts or threats of aggression or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country.

(viii) Settlement of all international disputes by peaceful means such as negotiation, conciliation, arbitration or judicial settlement, as well as other peaceful means of the parties' own choice in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.

(ix) Promotion of mutual interest and co-operation.

(x) Respect for justice and international obligations.

2. Affirms its conviction that all Participating Governments shall avoid being committed to any action which might entangle them to the detriment of their interest and freedom;

3. Believes that as long as the fundamental unity of outlook on foreign policy is preserved, the Independent African States will be able to assert a distinctive African Personality which will speak with a concerted voice in the cause of Peace in co-operation with other peace-loving nations at the United Nations and other international forums.


2. The Future of the Dependent Territories in Africa

The Conference of Independent African States,

Recognising that the existence of colonialism in any shape or form is a threat to the security and independence of the African States and to world peace,

Considering that the problems and the future of dependent territories in Africa are not the exclusive concern of the Colonial Powers but the responsibility of all members of the United Nations and in particular of the Independent African States,

Condemning categorically all colonial systems still enforced in our Continent and which impose arbitrary rule and repression on the people of Africa,

Convinced that a definite date should be set for the attainment of independence by each of the Colonial Territories in accordance with the will of the people of the territories and the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Calls upon the Administering Powers to respect the Charter of the United Nations in this regard, and to take rapid steps to implement the provisions of the Charter and the political aspirations of the people, namely self-determination and independence, according to the will of the people; 2. Calls upon the Administering Powers to refrain from repression and arbitrary rule in these territories and to respect all human rights as provided for in the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

3. Calls upon the Administering Powers to bring to an end immediately every form of discrimination in these territories;

4. Recommends that all Participating Governments should give all possible assistance to the dependent peoples in their struggle to achieve self-determination and independence;

5. Recommends that the Independent African States assembled here should offer facilities for training and educating peoples of the dependent territories;

6. Decides that the 15th April of every year be celebrated as Africa Freedom Day.


3. The Question of Algeria

The Conference of Independent African States,

Deeply concerned by the continuance of war in Algeria and the denial by France to the Algerian people of the right of independence and selfdetermination despite various United Nations resolutions and appeals urging a peaceful settlement, notably the offer of good offices made by the Moroccan and Tunisian Heads of State,

Considering that the present situation in Algeria constitutes a threat to international peace and the security of Africa in particular,

1. Recognises the right of the Algerian people to independence and self-determination;

2. Deplores the grave extent of hostilities and bloodshed resulting from the continuance of the war in Algeria;

3. Urges France

(a) to recognise the right of the people of Algeria to independence and self-determination;

(b) to put an end to the hostilities and to withdraw all her troops from Algeria;

(c) to enter into immediate *peaceful negotiation with the Algerian Liberation Front with a view to reaching a final and just settlement;

4. Appeals to all peace-loving nations to exercise pressure on France to adopt a policy which is in conformity with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations;

5. Appeals to the friends and allies of France to refrain from helping France, whether directly or indirectly, in her military operations in Algeria;

6. Affirms its determination to make every possible effort to help the Algerian people towards the attainment of independence;

7. Recommends that the representatives of the Independent African States at the United Nations be instructed by their various Governments to consult each other constantly and acquaint members of the United

Nations with true states of affairs in Algeria and solicit their support for a just and peaceful settlement and to recommend to the Independent African States measures which may from time to time become necessary to be taken and in particular find ways and means whereby the Independent African States may enlighten world opinion on the Algerian situation including the appointment of a mission as soon as possible to tour the capitals of the world to enlist world support of Governments.


4. Racialism

The Conference of Independent African States,

Considering that the practice of racial discrimination and segregation is evil and inhuman,

Deeply convinced that racialism is a negation of the basic principles of human rights and dignity to the extent where it is becoming an element of such explosiveness which is spreading its poisonous influence more and more widely in some parts of Africa that it may well engulf our Continent in violence and bloodshed,

Noting with abhorrence the recent statement made by the head of the South African Government on his re-election to the effect that he will pursue a more relentless policy of discrimination and persecution of the coloured people in South Africa,

1. Condemns the practice of racial discrimination and segregation in all its aspects all over the world, especially in the Union of South Africa, in the Central African Federation, Kenya and in other parts of Africa;

2. Appeals to the religious bodies and spiritual leaders of the world to support all efforts directed towards the eradication of racialism and segregation;

3. Calls upon all members of the United Nations and all peoples of the world to associate themselves with the Resolutions passed by the United Nations and the Bandung Conference condemning this inhuman practice;

4. Calls upon all members of the United Nations to intensify their efforts to combat and eradicate this degrading form of injustice;

5. Recommends that all Participating Governments should take vigorous measures to eradicate where they arise vestiges of racial discrimination in their respective countries.


5. Steps to be taken to Safeguard the Independence, Sovereignty and the Territorial Integrity of the Independent African States

The Conference of Independent African States,

Determined to safeguard the hard-won independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of each of its members,

Believing that the getting together and consulting among Independent African States, as in the present Conference of Accra, is essential for the effectiveness of their contribution to world peace,

1. Declares the determination of all Participating Governments

(a) to respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of one another,

(b) to co-operate with one another to safeguard their independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,

(c) to co-operate in their economic, technical and scientific developments and in raising the standard of living in their respective peoples,

(d) to resort to direct negotiations to settle differences among themselves and if necessary to conciliation or mediation by other African Independent States;

2. Condemns all forms of outside interference directed against the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Independent African States.


6. Togoland under French Administration

The Conference of Independent African States,

Having examined the Memorandum on the situation in Togoland under French Administration submitted by the Juvento Party, and the statement made by the Representative of this Party during the hearing granted to him in the Conference,

Bearing in mind the objectives of the International Trusteeship System and the objectives proclaimed by the Bandung Conference,

Having regard to the extremely important responsibilities laid upon the Legislative Assembly to be elected on 27th April, 1958, as to the future of the territory by paragraphs 7 and 8 of the operative part of the United Nations Resolution of 29th November, 1957,

1. Expresses grave concern regarding the present electoral laws and system of the Territory;

2. Strongly urges that the Administering Authority will co-operate fully with the United Nations Commissioner in order to ensure fair and democratic elections in the Territory.


7. Cameroons Under French Administration

The Conference of Independent African States,

Having examined the Memorandum on the situation in the Cameroons under French Administration submitted by the Union of the Population of Cameroons, and the statement made by the Representative of this Party during the hearing granted to him in the Conference,

Bearing in mind the objectives of the International Trusteeship System and the objectives proclaimed by the Bandung Conference,

1. Condemns the use of military force against the unarmed people in the Trust Territory of the Cameroons under French Administration as contrary to the spirit of the United Nations;

2. Calls upon the Administering Powers to comply with the Charter of the United Nations and satisfy the legitimate aspirations of the people concerned by opening direct negotiations with their representatives;

3. Appeals to the United Nations to intensify its efforts in helping the people of the Cameroons to achieve their legitimate political aspirations.


8. Examination of Ways and Means of Promoting Economic Co-operation between the African States, based on the Exchange ofTechnical, Scientific and Educational Information, with Special Regard to Industrial Planning and Agricultural Development

The Conference of Independent African States,

Having discussed the economic and social conditions in their respective countries,

Considering that these countries have great and various economic resources, mineral, agriculture and animal,

Considering that there are now possibilities for commercial exchange between Independent African States and that these possibilities should be greatly encouraged,

Considering that steps should be taken to bring about economic emancipation in these countries,

Considering that hitherto non-African forces have arbitrarily divided the African Continent into economic regions, and that the Conference does not recognise this division,

Considering further that Africa could be developed as an economic unit,

Noting that the incorporation of dependent African territories in the economic systems of colonial Powers is not in the best interests of these peoples, 

Recommends to the Participating African States:

1. The establishment within each Independent African State of an Economic Research Committee to survey the economic conditions and to study the economic and technical problems within the State;

2. The establishment of a Joint Economic Research Commission,

(a) to co-ordinate information and exchange of views on economic and technical matters of the various Independent African States;

(b) to find measures whereby trade among African countries could be developed and encouraged;

(c) to make proper and detailed investigation as to the possibilities of co-ordinating the economic planning in each State towards the achievement of an all-African economic co-operation;

(d) to find ways and means for common industrial planning within the African States and the possibilities of making available mineral resources and other African products among the African States;

(e) to lay down proposals by which Independent African States can receive foreign capital and employ foreign experts, and to encourage co-operation with other countries in such manner as not to affect their independence, sovereignty and unity;

3. To take steps. in order to collect and exchange knowledge and technological information among themselves;

4. To establish joint African enterprises;

5. To hold economic conferences and African exhibitions;

6. To strengthen their co-operation with the Specialised Agencies of the United Nations and especially with the newly proposed Economic Commission for Africa;

7. To make joint efforts as far as practicable to construct means of communications between African States;

8. To investigate the possibility of eventual establishing of an African common market;

9. To provide facilities for exchange of labour and labour information and to encourage co-operation among national trade union organisations;

10. To strengthen the co-operation with the International Labour Organisation;

11. To take joint action for the prevention of diseases among human beings, in agriculture and in animal husbandry, and to act against the ravages of locusts;

12. To ensure the establishment of equitable social and economic policies which will provide national prosperity and social security for all citizens.


9. On the Cultural level, the formulation of concrete Proposals for the Exchange of Visiting Missions between the various Countries, both Government and non-Government, which may lead to first-hand Knowledge of one Country to another, and to a mutual appreciation of their respective Cultures

The Conference of Independent African States,

Having made the widest exchange of views on all aspects of the cultures of all Participating Countries,

Desiring to promote the widest dissemination of the cultures of all Participating Countries,

A. Upholds the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and reaffirms the principles approved by the Bandung Conference of April, 1955, concerning Cultural co-operation, and accordingly;

1. States that colonialism is prejudicial to national culture and as such hinders any possible cultural co-operation;

2. Calls for the development of Cultural Co-operation among African States in the larger context of world co-operation and in the spirit of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation;

B. Recommends to all Participating Members;

1. To promote and facilitate the exchange of teachers and professors;

2. To encourage the establishment of cultural centres in each other's country on the approval of the country in which such a centre may be established and in conformity with its laws, regulations and practices;

3. To encourage and facilitate the exchange of their students, each providing a certain number of scholarships for students from other African countries;

4. To facilitate the exchange of exhibitions, educational, scientific and cultural material including books, periodicals, bulletins, audio visual aids and other cultural and educational material;

5. To ensure that syllabi of history and geography applied in the schools and educational institutions of each include such material as may help to give each student an accurate information of the way of life and culture in the other African countries;

6. To spare no efforts to revise history and geography, text books and syllabi used in their schools with the view to removing any incorrect information due to colonial or other foreign influences;

7. To co-ordinate their school systems at all levels and to recognise the certificates, diplomas and degrees awarded by their educational institutions and universities of equivalent status;

8. To encourage reciprocal visits by their different organisations of youths, teachers, Press, labour women, artists, sports, etc., granting them all possible facilities;

9. To strive to include principal African languages in the curriculum of the secondary school and colleges with the view to facilitating the cultural co-operation envisaged;

10. To hold inter-African periodic and ad hoc conferences for their educators, scientists, men of letters, journalists, etc., with the view to discussing common problems and to extend all possible facilities for such purposes;

11. To conclude mutual cultural agreements among them for the promotion of cultural co-operation;

12. To encourage in their universities and institutes of higher learning research on African culture and civilisation creating fellowships for this purpose;

13. To encourage the establishment of African publishing centres and to make concerted efforts to publish an African journal edited and contributed to by Africans introducing Africa's culture, civilisation and development to the world and to the various African countries;

14. To set up an annual prize for works which promote closer solidarity among the African States, the ideas of liberty, friendship and peace and which disseminate knowledge about African civilisation and culture;

15. To encourage the translation of books dealing with African culture and civilisation into their principal languages, e.g. creating fellowships for this purpose;

16. To establish an annual inter-African sports meeting and an annual youth festival;

17. To set up, each in its respective country, a local organisation whose functions will be the promotion and development of cultural co-operation among African countries.


10. Consideration of the Problem of International Peace and Conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and the Reaffirmation of the Principles of the Bandung Conference

The Conference of independent African States,

Alarmed at the prospect of nuclear and thermo-nuclear energy being used by the Great Powers for military purposes,

Desiring to strengthen their contribution to world peace and security,

Realising that world peace is a prerequisite for the progress and prosperity of all peoples,

Taking into account the fact that no African nation is at present represented in the international bodies concerned with the problems of disarmament,

1. Calls upon the Great Powers to discontinue the production of nuclear and thermo-nuclear weapons and to suspend all such tests not only in the interest of world peace but as a symbol of their avowed devotion to the rights of man;

2. Views with grave alarm and strongly condemns all atomic tests in any part of the world and in particular the intention to carry out such tests in the Sahara;

3. Appeals to the Great Powers to use atomic, nuclear and thermonuclear energy exclusively for peaceful purposes;

4. Affirms the view that the reduction of conventional armaments is essential in the interest of international peace and security and appeals to the Great Powers to make every possible effort to reach a settlement of this important matter;

5. Condemns the policy of using the sale of arms as a means of exerting pressure on Governments and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries;

6. Urges the United Nations to ensure that the African nations are represented equitably on all international bodies concerned with the problems of disarmament;

7. Considers that meeting and consultation on international affairs should not be limited to the big Powers;

8. Expresses its deep concern over the non-compliance with United Nations resolutions, calls upon the Member States to respect such resolutions, and urges a just solution of the outstanding international problems;

9. Expresses its deep concern over the question of Palestine which is a disturbing factor of World Peace and Security, and urges a just solution of the Palestine question;

10. Expresses its deep concern over the South-West African and similar questions which are disturbing factors of World Peace and Security, and urges a just solution to them.

11. The Setting up of a Permanent Machinery after the Conference

The Conference of Independent African States,

Firmly convinced that a machinery for consultation and co-operation is essential,

1. Decides to constitute the Permanent Representatives of the Participating Governments at the United Nations as the informal permanent machinery,

(a) for co-ordinating all matters of common concern to the African States,

(b) for examining and making recommendations on concrete practical steps which may be taken to implement the decisions of this and similar future conferences, and

(c) for making preparatory arrangements for future conferences of Independent African States;

2. Agrees that meetings of Foreign Ministers, other Ministers or experts be convened from time to time as and when necessary to study and deal with particular problems of common concern to the African States;

3. Agrees that the Conference of the Independent African States should be held at least once every two years;

4. Agrees that the next Conference shall be held within the next two years and accepts the kind invitation of the Government of Ethiopia to hold the next Conference in Addis Ababa.


Algiers, July/August 1969



Taking as basis for study, reflection and discussion, the inaugural address by His Excellency, Houari Bournedienne, President of the Revolutionary Council, President of the Council of Ministers of the Algerian People's Democratic Republic, and current Chairman of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, the Symposium of the First Pan-African Cultural Festival held in Algiers from 21st July to Ist August 1969 fully discussed the theme of the Symposium i.e.

- The realities of African culture

- The role of African culture in national liberation struggle and in the consolidation of African Unity

- The role of African culture in the economic and social development of Africa.


Culture starts with the people as creators of themselves and transformers of their environment. Culture, in its widest and most complete sense, enables men to give shape to their lives.

It is not freely received but is built up by the people. It is the vision of man and of the world and is thus systems of thought, philosophies, sciences, beliefs, arts and languages.

It is likewise the action of man on himself and on the world to transform it, and thus covers the social, political, economic and technical fields.

Culture is essentially dynamic: in other words it is both rooted in the people and orientated towards the future.

We must go back to the sources of our values, not to confine ourselves to them, but rather to draw up a critical inventory in order to get rid of archaic and stultifying elements, the fallacious and alienating foreign elements brought in by colonialism, and to retain only those elements which are still valid, bringing them up to date and enriching them with the benefits of the scientific, technical and social revolutions so as to bring them into line with what is modern and universal.

Colonialism is an evil that has been experienced and endured by all our people, first in its most distinctive form, the slave trade, which devastated almost all the African continent, and in its most tangible and insolent form, political domination, over which we must strive to triumph.

But its machinery is complex and cannot be simplified into a single operation. It is a well-known economic, social and political fact that colonialism is a total action, both in its essence and its spirit.

In order to survive it has to justify itself morally and intellectually by force and coercion to extend its hold over all fields of human activity.

In order to exist as such, it must exercise in addition to its concrete and material hegemony, a social and intellectual hold-particularly over the ruling classes on which it relies.

It consequently thinks that it can challenge men with impunity and deny their very essence.

The peoples of Africa believed and spontaneously felt that liberty is one and the same as nationhood, and that the welfare and progress of our people have to be achieved around our specific personality. They naturally accepted that liberty, nation and personality are essentially the origin and product of culture.

Culture is the essential cement of every social group, its primary means of intercommunication and of coming to grips with the outside world: it is its soul, its materialisation and its capacity for change.

Thus culture is the totality of tangible and intangible tools, works of art and science, knowledge and know-how, languages, modes of thought, patterns of behaviour and experience acquired by the people in its liberating effort to dominate nature and to build up an ever improving society.

An imposed culture generally bred a type of African intellectual not at home in his national realities because of his depersonalisation and alienation.

The African man of culture, the artist, the intellectual in general must integrate himself into his people and shoulder the particularly decisive responsibilities incumbent upon him. His action must inspire that radical transformation of the mind without which it is impossible for a people to overcome its economic and social underdevelopment. The people must be the first to benefit from their economic and cultural riches.

But culture is the sum total of experiences and concrete expressions, linked to the history of peoples. Thus culture, from our point of view, must embrace the particular expressions that characterise each major civilization. But our Africanity is determined by profound similarities and common aspirations.

Africanity obeys the law of a dialectic of the particular and the general of specificity and universality, in other words of variety at the origin and unity at the destination.

African culture, art and science, whatever the diversity of their expression, are in no way essentially different from each other. They are but the specific expression of a single universality.

Beyond similarities and convergent forms of thought, beyond the common heritage, Africanity is also a shared destiny, the fraternity of the liberating struggle and a common future which should be assumed by all in order to master it. Africanity springs from the double source of our common heritage and our common destiny and that is why it is worthwhile, at the present stage of our historical development, to examine a number of problems linked with the origin, the existence and the development of our culture.

Culture is a dynamic means of edifying the nation over and above tribal or ethnic divisions and African Unity above all forms of chauvinism. Culture, which is created by the people, may be confiscated by a dominating class. Now culture should be a constant search for the people's creative consciousness. Any African cultural policy should therefore be based on the necessity of enabling the people to become informed, educated, mobilized and organized so as to make them responsible for their cultural heritage and its development. The preservation of culture has saved Africans from the attempts made to turn them into peoples with no soul nor history. Culture protected them. It is quite obvious that they would henceforth wish to use it to forward their progress and development, for if culture--a permanent and continuous creation-is a definition of personalities and a link between men, it also gives an impetus to progress. This is the reason why Africa devotes such care and accords such value to the recovery of its cultural heritage, to the defence of its personality and the creation of new branches of its culture.

It would have been easy for certain people and convenient for others if we had not set out conditions for our political independence-we could have been satisfied with merely that and have borrowed thought, language and art from those who had the good fortune to enjoy a harmonious internal development. We might have also been satisfied with a folkloric cultural past, a poor man's culture, and have given up all thought of true freedom and real independence. But the colonized peoples have never given up their inner identity.

In this, the national language plays an irreplaceable role, it is the mainstay and the medium of culture, the guarantee of popular support both in its creation, and its consumption.

Once we had recovered our sovereignity, it was a first essential duty for us to revive the national languages inherited from our forefathers, without in any way calling to question the profound unity of our nations.

Language is one of these features in the life of peoples which embody their genius.

It develops with them, and they cannot be deprived of it without being out of it, wounded and handicapped.

Nevertheless, and in order to survive and fight, a part of our peoples had to learn the language of our colonizers.

There is no one language which is basically more suited than another to be a mainstay of science and knowledge. A language translates and expresses the lives and thoughts of men. From the time when our development was suspended, our cultures trampled underfoot and the teaching of our languages often forbidden, it has been obvious that we must double our efforts to make African languages efficient instruments for our development.

The analysis of our cultural realities reveals to us the dynamic elements in the life of peoples, in both their spiritual and material aspects.

Among these elements which made up our indomitable African personality, we should emphasize these values which have come down to us in spite of the vagaries of our history and the colonialist attempts at depersonalization. From them can be abstracted a sense of ethics revealing a profound inborn sense of solidarity, hospitality, mutual aid, brotherhood and the feeling of belonging to the same humanity.

These values and this sense of ethics are to be found expressed in our African languages, in our oral and written literatures, in our tales, legends, sayings and proverbs, transmitting the wisdom and experiences evolved by our peoples.

The knowledge of our history will scientifically lay the foundations of our personality and thus constitute a factor of progress, enabling us to show our capabilities and examine our possibilities.

The methods of organizing African society are lessons for us and will enable us to be ourselves while acceding to the modern world.

The ingenuity of our techniques, if there is need to mention it, show our creative capacity.

Our arts, paintings, sculptures, architecture, music, songs, dances and our plays are a testimony to our existence and that of our culture.

This culture, which has for long been considered by colonialism to be outlandish and only relegated to museums, is today a living expression in the world. This world in which we want to take our place and the future which we have a mission to build, are dominated by problems of development and progress.

We reaffirm that our culture would be lifeless if it ignored modern science and technology. It requires therefore a personal original contribution to the one and the same heritage, the same dynamic progress and social resolution.


It is the duty of African States to answer total colonization with a total liberation struggle.

Unity of Africa is rooted first and foremost in History. Under the colonial domination, African countries found themselves in the same political, economic, social and cultural situation. Cultural domination entailed the distortion of the personality of a part of the African peoples, their history, systematically disparaged and suppressed, their religious and moral values, attempted to replace progressively and officially their language with that of the colonizer, thus rendering them powerless and stripping them of their raison d'etre.

Consequently, African culture, though checked in its development at the level of the masses, was enshrined by its language, manners, songs, dances, beliefs, etc... But despite the underestimation it suffered, African culture has revealed itself to be a vital rampart for resisting colonial intrusion and has in this way stood the test of time alongside the African spirit.

Colonization favoured the formation of a cultural elite for assimilating and imbibing colonial culture, even sustaining it and often serving as guarantee. Thus, there was a serious and profound rift between the African elite and the African popular masses.

Only the adherence to the concepts of freedom, independence and nationhood enabled the conflict to be placed in its real context. The dual culture lapsed with the advent of liberation movements, wars of independence and firm and unshakeable opposition to colonial servitude. Africa's struggle has provided both material and spiritual structures within which African culture can develop and thus prove the natural dialectical correlation between national liberation and culture.

For the African countries which won their freedom and for those that are in armed conflict with the colonial powers culture had been and will remain a weapon. In all cases, armed struggle for liberation was and is a pre-eminently cultural act.

The experience of liberation movements shows that the integration of the intellectuals into the masses gives a great authenticity to their work and vitalises African culture.

Both the winning of true independence and the armed struggles still in progress have permitted a cultural renaissance. The fight for freedom, in all its forms, has logically become the constant factor of cultural Africanity. Thus Africanity is a reality essentially deriving from men born of the same land and living in the same continent, bound to share the same destiny by the inevitable process of decolonization at all levels and complete liberation, notwithstanding regional or national specificities.

Because it is involved in the same struggle, because it is a prerequisite of national and continental liberation, in a word, because it is primary and final motive of man and because it alone is likely to constitute the first basis of resistance to threats hanging over Africa, Africanity goes beyong national and regional concerns.

Africa's present necessities require from artists and intellectuals a firm commitment to Africa's basic principles and its desire for freedom. Today's cultural act should be at the centre of today's striving for authenticity and for the development of African values.

The cultural policy of neo-colonialism calls for an objective and concrete critical analysis of our present cultural situation. Neo-colonialism, aware of the still negative aspects to this situation, has conceived a new well-concerted form of action which, although no longer violent, is no less ominous and dangerous, subtle and insidious as it is for the development and future culture of Africa.

Real dangers are menacing our culture as regards both the perpetration of alien norms, and that of mental prototypes of institutions and political life.

A cultural front should therefore take the place of the front of resistance, for culture remains the vital and essential force of the nation, the safeguard of our existence and the ultimate resource of our combat.

Therefore only Africanity can bring about a resurrection and rebirth of an avant-garde African humanism, confronted by other cultures; it will take its place as part of universal humanism and continue from there. Our artists, authors and intellectuals must, if they are to be of service to Africa, find their inspiration in Africa.

Complete independence is thus the basic condition for the development of culture in the service of masses.


Heirs to a civilization that is thousands of years old and rich in untold economic possibilities, we stand ready today to continue in the total recovery of our personalities, the struggle that won us our independence.

The assertion of our profound identity and the utilization of our material riches for the good of the people will enable us to participate actively in the building of a universal civilization as freed and free partners.

Culture, simultaneously representing a style of life, an economic and social relationship determined at a particular moment in human evolution, forms a totality with political life. As a permanent and continuous creation and the expression of the perenniality of a people, African culture definitely intends to put itself to the service of the liberation of Africa from Colonialism in all its forms and from all forms of alienation, and to serve the economic and social betterment of the people. Safeguarded and experienced by the people, it becomes a motivating element in social and economic development and a factor in the transformation of the environment.

A society or a culture can stay itself while undergoing economic development, providing it takes the necessary steps.

A place must necessarily be made for science and technology as for economic rationality, the need to look ahead and other prerequisites of our age. This is because no culture is passively operative. In order to place its resources to the aid of development, it must be revived and brought up to date by contact with technology which tends to create a universal civilization. A society should both return to its essential being or else crumble away, and to its usefulness, or lose its existence and autonomy. It perseveres and adapts itself by a continuous dialectic effort of giving and contributing between national culture and universal values.

Moreover, it is absolutely necessary to watch over the defence and preservation of African dignity and personality. But this looking back or constant reference to the living sources of Africanity must avoid a complacent and unfruitful evocation of the past, and must, on the contrary, imply an innovating effort and an adaption of African culture to be modern requirements of well-balanced social and economic development.

The following objectives were adopted-to free African society from the socio-cultural conditions hindering its development and to rid African culture of alienating factors by integrating it, in particular with popular action.

African culture, faithful to its origins, must be revived and brought into the modern world by contact with science and technology in order to develop its operative capacities for, while technology progresses by accumulation, culture progresses by creation and fidelity. All means of doing this should be set in motion.

Africa must recover from a retardation which is primarily cultural. This entails:

(a) A change in attitude towards the material world, towards quantification and scientific rationalism. The role of education may have a determinant, beneficial or baneful influence according to the importance one attaches to technical instruction.

(b) The movement of political power towards a genuine revolution in the climate of opinion.

(c) The combined effort of members of the community which will only be possible if the citizens really take their future in their own hands in an atmosphere of freedom and happiness.

In addition to Arabic, which has been for some years an official language of the OAU, it is recommended that studies be undertaken to promote the use of other widely spoken languages.

The immediate tasks impingent upon all of us are to make African languages into written languages and the medium of scientific thought, to ensure that education, adult literacy and the emancipation of women are open to all Africans.

Any delay in the reorganization of the present educational system will result in a delay in the training of responsible public servants and this justifies the continuation of foreign technical and cultural aid. We must get out of this vicious circle as quickly as possible as this aid, if prolonged, could turn into a scarcely disguised form of domination.

The principal aim of higher education is to form the trained personnel needed for both economic and cultural production, and these people need to make themselves understood by both the workers and the masses. This higher education should then, wherever possible, be given in the national language. These tasks will be all the better carried out for being supported by mass information media belonging to Africa (Radio stations, TV, cinemas, Theatres and cultural centres in factories, offices, etc.) and by an increase in the number of cultural events and exchanges.

These values will enable us to face, without frustration or alienation, the inevitable social transformation entailed by the process of development. We must use those that can contribute to economic progress and the mobilization of the masses, so as to arouse the enthusiasm needed for major collective effort.

In this gigantic effort to recover Africa's cultural heritage and adapt it to the needs of technological civilization, the artist, the thinker, the scientist and the intellectual have all their part to play, i.e. to contribute, within the framework of popular action to revealing and making known the common inspiration and common heritage which go to make up Africanity. Generally speaking, Africa must return to its original modes of perception, its techniques, its media of communication and bring them up to date so as to turn them into powerful means of dominating Nature and of harmonizing the development of African society.

Likewise, it rests with us to avoid the obstacle of the academic and futile search for a dilettante culture leading to unproductive and decadent aestheticism.

We should therefore take systematic and appropriate measures to imbue our youth with African culture, so that the young people of our continent may understand its profound values and may be better armed to resist certain demoralizing cultural manifestations, and better prepared to become integrated into the masses.

In this way, African culture, true to itself and drawing strength from the deep sources of its wealth and of its creative genius, not only intends to defend its personality and its authenticity but also to become an instrument in the service of the people in the liberation of Africa from all forms of alienation, an instrument of a synchronized economic and social development. It will thus bring about the technico-industrial promotion of Africa, and also a living and fraternal humanism far removed from racialism and exploitation.

Culture, as a decisive force in economic and social development, constitutes the surest means for our peoples to overcome their technological, i.e. economic, handicap and the most effective force in our victorious resistance against imperialist blackmail.

It has become now both urgent and necessary to free Africa from illiteracy, to promote the permanent education of the masses in every field, to develop in them a scientific, technological and critical spirit and attitude and to render popular culture fully effective.

All our efforts should be towards a true revolution in Africa's cultural activity.

The popular character of our culture should promote a specific conception of scientific organization and the rationalisation of our productive activities, as well as the methods of appropriating the means of production (land, natural resources, industry, etc.) and the distribution of the goods produced.

Africanity should be apparent in a concrete and tangible manner in the joint use of our national forces and natural resources to promote a harmonious and accelerated economic, social and cultural development throughout the continent.


The symposium made the following suggestions for the dynamic utilisation of the elements of African culture:

1. To reinforce and intensify Africa's cultural activities by giving the OAU Committees for Education, Culture, Science and Health a more active and continuous role. 2. To create cultural magazines edited in the working languages of the OAU and if possible in other African languages.

3. To assemble a corpus of the arts and an encyclopaedia of the African continent and support fine arts organizations in the member countries of the OAU and the publication of an encyclopaedia of literature and the arts; to establish courses in the universities to teach the values and the realities of African culture.

4. To promote and co-ordinate research in all spheres of traditional medicine and African pharmacopoeia in order to modernize them by giving them a scientific foundation and by ridding them of their esoteric and empirical character so that they may become a source of enrichment for modern medicine; to promote, encourage and co-ordinate scientific research in Africa.

5. To set up a Pan-African Institute for the film industry. In this field, Africa should produce its own mode of expression and choose suitable means to make its expression available to the people. The African States should, therefore, organize themselves to produce, release and market their own films and to fight against the limits which are holding up the development of a truly African cinema.

6. To establish organizations for the publication and sale in Africa of books, school handbooks, records and newspapers so as to fight speculation and make them instruments for mass education. The symposium supports the OAU's decision to set up a Pan-African News Agency; so as to intensify the exchange of news between African countries.

7. To establish suitable organizations to integrate African arts into industry and business.

8. To protect the intellectual property of Africans by appropriate legislation.

9. To take all necessary steps, including that of calling upon international institutions, so as to recuperate the works of art and archives seized by the colonial powers; to take necessary steps to stop the drain of cultural assets leaving the African continent.

10. To increase cultural exchanges through such means as exhibitions, conferences, seminars and meetings of young people, women and workers, intellectuals, militants and officials for a greater mutual understanding.

11. To organize inter-African economic and technical aid.

12. To promote the use and the teaching of national languages necessary for the authentic expression of African culture as a popular tool for the spreading of science and technology; to give competitive prizes for practical techniques invented by Africans, so as to stimulate creativity in the technological field.

13. To reform and develop education at all levels so as to give it the efficient means for the fulfilment of its mission to promote and develop the African peoples. The contents of this teaching, the methods, and the school books must take into account our national realities, and the necessity of reinforcing our unity and solidarity by a greater degree of mutual understanding.

14. To translate into our languages the scientific, philosophical, historical and literary works which constitute the common heritage of mankind; to encourage the translation of African literary works into foreign languages.

15. To encourage and develop in the African continent handicrafts free from commercial speculation.

16. To associate the women and youth of African more actively and massively in the transmission and the full flowering of our cultural heritage.

17. To establish prizes to recompense the more genuine and useful works of the African artists and writers.

18. To give firmer support to the African national liberation movements to promote an artistic, political and ideological renewal;

19. To arrive at a full understanding, and to make the masses and international opinion aware of the value and the impact of the struggle for national liberation.

20. To expose the real facts of the liberation struggles and publicize them widely by every means of communication available to the African States.

21. To enable the African liberation movements to participate actively in unified cultural action, within the framework of African cultural institutions.

22. To enable African experiences in cultural decolonization in every field--history language, education, etc.--to be studied and made known in the different African countries.

23. To give Africa and her history pride of place in research, in meetings of experts and African men of science, and in school and university programs.

24. To judge African arts according to the standards of the African continent and in accordance with the requirements of unity and the liberation struggle; to create appropriate cultural institutions in Africa for this purpose.

25. To encourage African artists in their mission of reflecting the concerns of the people so as to bridge the gap created and maintained by colonial alienation between the intellectual elite and the masses.

26. To enable African artists and intellectuals to re-establish the historical truth, while participating in the combat of our people and also to help the liberation struggles by making people aware of them, both inside and outside Africa.

27. To bring about participation of the people in the decisions, the organization and management of economic, social and cultural matters.

28. To define the methods by which the people can recover all natural resources and essential means of production.

29. To transpose Africanity into:

(a) a unified African Trade Union movement

(b) the development of mass organizations (youth organizations, women's organizations, etc.)

30. To promote a programme of a technical co-operation between the African countries, especially to offset the ravages due to the 'braindrain'.

31. To provide primary education to all children regardless of sex, race or religion.

32. To mount a massive campaign for functional adult literacy.

33. To develop those cultural media which are the most directly accessible to the people (cinemas, theatres, radio and television).

34. To establish cultural units in the countryside and in business organizations, capable of:

(a) spreading elementary scientific knowledge

(b) spreading a knowledge of works of art in both African and other traditions

(c) stimulating cultural activities in the rural areas through the use of mass media; and building museums to enrich the mind of peoples living in the less developed areas.

35. To make a survey of African folklore and popularising it among the masses.

36. To promote the Panafricanisation and regionalization of the universities and the technical institutes which are the meeting point of youth; these cultural centres must give the opportunity to all African students to pursue their studies in the best conditions.

37. To set up a system of exchange of documents and experience in mass education between the member countries of the OAU.

38. To exchange programmes of economic, social and cultural nature between the African radio, TV stations and film libraries, particularly through the medium of the URTNA.

39. To hold inter-regional cultural seminars and of painting and handicraft exhibitions with a view to fostering the economic and social development of the continent.

40. Contribution to UNESCO project on African History.



July 1966

- - -Your Excellencies, we have achieved many things in Africa in recent years, and can look back with some pride de at the distance we have travelled. But we are a long way from achieving the thing we originally set out to achieve, and I believe there is a danger that we might now voluntarily surrender our greatest dream of all.

For it was as Africans that we dreamed of freedom; and we thought of it for Africa. Our real ambition was African freedom and African government. The fact that we fought area by area was merely a tactical necessity. We organized ourselves into the Convention People's Party, the Tanganyika African National Union, the United National Independence Party, and so on, simply because each local colonial government had to be dealt with separately.

The question we now have to answer is whether Africa shall maintain this internal separation as we defeat colonialism, or whether our earlier proud boast--'I am an African'-shall become a reality. It is not a reality now. For the truth Is that there are now 36 different nationalities in free Africa, one for each of the 36 independent states-to say nothing of the areas still under colonial or alien domination. Each state is separate from the others: each is a sovereign entity. And this means that each state has a government which is responsible to the people of its own area-and to them only; it must work for their particular well-being or invite chaos within its territory. Can the vision of Pan-Africanism survive these realities? Can African unity be built on this foundation of existing and growing nationalism?

I do not believe the answer is easy. Indeed I believe that a real dilemma faces the Pan-Africanist. On the one hand is the fact that Pan-Africanism demands an African consciousness and an African loyalty; on the other hand is the fact that each Pan-Africanist must also concern himself with the freedom and development of one of the nations of Africa. These things can conflict. Let us be honest and admit that they have already conflicted.

In one sense, of course, the development of part of Africa can only help Africa as a whole. The establishment of a University College in Dar es Salaam, and of a University in Lusaka, means that Africa has two extra centres of higher education for its 250 million people. Every extra hospital means more health facilities for Africa; every extra road, railway or telephone line, means that Africa is pulled closer together. And who can doubt but that the railway from Zambia to Tanzania, which we are determined to build, will serve African unity, as well as being to the direct interest of our two countries?

Unfortunately, however, that is not the whole story. Schools and universities are part of an educational system--a national educational system. They promote, and they must promote, a national outlook among the students. Lessons are given on the Government, the geography, and the history, of Tanzania, or of Zambia. Loyalty to the national constitution, to the elected leaders, to the symbols of nationhood-all these things are encouraged by every device.

This is not only inevitable; it is also right. None of the nation states of Africa are 'natural' units. Our present boundaries are-as has been said many times-the result of European decisions at the time of the Scramble for Africa. They are senseless; they cut across ethnic groups, often disregard natural physical divisions, and result in many different language groups being encompassed within a state. If the present states are not to disintegrate it is essential that deliberate steps be taken to foster a feeling of nationhood.



Feb. 3 1967, Tanzania


The policy of TANU is to build a socialist state. The principles of socialism are laid down in the TANU Consitution and they are as follows:


WHEREAS TANU believes:

a) That all human beings are equal;

b) That every individual has a right to dignity and respect;

c) That every citizen is an integral part of the nation and has the right to take an equal part in Government at the local, regional and national level;

d) That every citizen has the right to freedom of expression, of movement, of religious belief and of association within the context of the law;

e) That every individual has the right to receive from society protection of his life and property held according to law;

f) That every individual has the right to receive a just return for his labour;

g) That all citizens together possess all the natural resources of the country in trust for their descendents;

h) That in order to ensure economic justice the state must have effective control over the principal means of production;

i) That it is the responsibility of the state to intervene actively in the economic life of the nation so as to ensure the well-being of all citizens, and so as to prevent the exploitation of one person by another or one group by antoher, and so as to prevent the accumulation of wealth to an extent which is inconsistent with the existence of a classless society.

NOW, THEREFORE, the principal aims and objects of TANU shall be as follows:

a) To consolidate and maintain the independence of this country and the freedom of its people;

b) To safeguard the inherent dignity of the individual in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

c) To ensure that this country shall be governed by a democratic socialist governmetn of the people;

d) To cooperate with all political parties in Africa engaged in the liberation of Africa;

e) To see that the Government mobilizes all the resources of this country towards the elimination of poverty, ignorance and disease;

f) To see that the Government actively assists in the formation and maintenance of cooperative organizations;

g) To see that wherever possible the Government itself directly participates in the economic development of this country;

h) To see that the Government gives equal opportunity to all men and women irrespective of race, religion or status;

i) To see that the Government eradicates all types of exploitation, intimidation, discrimination, bribery and corruption;

j) To see that the Government exercises effective control over the principal means of production and pursues politices which facilitate the way to collective ownership of the resources of this country;

k) To see that the Government cooperates with other states in Africa in bringing about African unity;

l) To see that Government works tirelessly towards world peace and security through the United Nations Organization.



The TANU Leadership Code

1. Every TANU and Government leader must be either a peasant or a worker, and should in no way be associated with the practices of capitalism or feudalism.

2. No TANU or Government leaders should hold shares in any company.

3. NO TANU or Government leader should hold directorships in any privately owned enterprise.

4. No TANU or Government leaders should receive two or more salaries.

5. No TANU or Government leader should own houses which he rents to others.

6. For the purposes of this Resolution, the term 'leader' should comprise the following:

Members of the TANU National Executive Committee; Ministers; Members of Parliament; senior officials of organizations affiliated to TANU; senior officials of parastatal organizations; all those appointed or elected under any clause of the TANU Constitution; councillors; and civil servants in the high and middle cadres. (In this context, "leader" means a man, or a man and his wife; a woman, or a woman and her husband.)

Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, Grove Press, 1963.


From the Preface, by Jean-Paul Sartre

Not so very long ago, the earth numbered two thousand million inhabitants: five hundred million men, and one thousand five hundred million natives. The former had the Word; the others had use of it. Between the two there were hired kinglets, overlords and a bourgeoisie, sham from beginning to end, which served as go-betweens. In the colonies the truth stood naked, but the citizens of the mother country preferred it with clothes on: the native had to love them, something in the way mothers are loved. The European elite undertook to manufacture a native elite. They picked out promising adolescents; they branded them, as with a red-hot iron, with the principles of Western culture; they stuffed their mouths full with high-sounding phrases, grand glutinous words that stuck to the teeth. After a short stay in the mother country, they were sent home, whitewashed. These walking lies had nothing left to say to their brothers; they only echoed. From Paris, from London, from Amsterdam we would utter the words 'Parthenon! Brotherhood!' and somewhere in Africa or Asia lips would open '...thenon!...therehood!'" It was the golden age.

It came to an end; the mouths opened by themselves; the yellow and black voices still spoke of our humanism but only to reproach us with our inhumanity. We listened without displeasure to these polite statements of resentment, at first with proud amazement. What? They are able to talk by themselves? just look at what we have made of them! We did not doubt but that they would accept our ideals, since they accused us of not being faithful to them. Then, indeed, Europe could believe in her mission; she had hellnized the Asians; she had created a new breed, the Greco-Latin Negroes. We might add, quite by ourselves, as men of the world: 'After all, let them bawl their heads off, it relives their feelings; dogs that bark don't bite.'

pp. 7-8

From "Concerning Violence"

In the colonial coutnries where a real struggle for freedom has taken place, where the blood of the people has flowed, and where the length of the period of armed warfare has favored the backward surge of intellectuals towards bases grounded in the people, we can observe a genuine eradication of the superstructure built by these intellectuals from the bourgeois colonialist environment. The colonialist bourgeoisie, in its nacissistic dialogue, expounded by the members of its universities, had in fact deeply implanted in the minds of the colonized intellectual the essential qualties remain eternal in spite of all the blunders men may make: the essential qualities of the West, of course. The native intellectual accepted the cogency of these ideas, and deep down in his brain you could always find a vigilant sentinel ready to defend the Greco-Latin pedastal. Now it so happens that during the struggle for liberation, at the moment that the native intellectual comes into touch again with his people, this artificial sentinel is turned into dust. All the Mediterranean values--the triumph of the human individual, of clarity, and of beauty--become lifeless, colorless knickknacks. All those speeches seem like collections of dead words; those values which seemed to uplift the soul are revealed as worthless, simply because they have nothing to do withthe conrete conflict in which the people is engaged.

p. 47

From "The Pitfalls of National Consciousness"

History teaches us clearly that the battle against colonialism does not run straight away along the lines of nationalism. For a very long time the native devotes his energies to ending certain definite abuses: forced labor, corporal punishment, inequality of salaries, limitation of political rights, etc. This fight for democracy against the oppression of mankind will slowly leave the confusion of neo-liberal universalism to emerge, somtimes laboriously, as a claim to nationhood. It so happens that the unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and, let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps.

National consciousness, instead of being the all-embracing crystallization of the innermost hopes of the whole people, instead of being the immediate and most obvious result of the mobilization of the people, will be in any case only an empty shell, a crude and fragile travesty of what it might have been. The faults that we find in it are quite sufficient explanation of the facility with which, when dealing with young and independent nations, the nation is passed over for the race, and the tribe is preferred to the state. These are the cracks in the edifice which show the process of retrogression, that is so harmful and prejudicial to national effort and national unity. We shall see that such retrograde steps with all the weaknesses and seirous dangers that they entail are the historical result of the incapacity of the national middle class to rationalize popular action, that is to say their incapacity to see into the reasons for that action....The national middle class which takes over power at the end of the colonial regime is an underdeveloped middle class. It has practically no economic power, and in any case it is no way commensurate with the bourgeoisie of the mother country which it hopes to replace. In its narcissism, the national middle class is easily convinced that it can advantageously replace the middle class of the mother courntry.

pp. 148-149