There is no doubt that if the African Union (AU)’s Agenda 2063 is implemented as is, that it is likely to create an economically and socially advanced Africa. However, the Agenda does not adequately address some fundamental conditions that would facilitate or impede its realisation. These are fourfold.
The first fundamental flaw of Agenda 2063 is that it does not place or situate African Agency as the primary force or endogenous propellant of Africa’s development. In this context, African Agency is the absolute psycho-cultural grounding and ideological ownership of this African Agenda devoid of compromises to any external imperatives.
African Agency is grounded on the supremacy of African endocentric thought and motive forces as the propellants of development as a self-directed imperative. Without Africans’ internalisation of this need and their assumption as a self-directed imperative and without Africans’ internalisation of this need and their assumption of complete responsibility for self-actuated development, the societies produced by Agenda 2063 will remain dependent and insecure. But, in fact, the Agenda does not address or even recognise the absolute necessity for any successful African-actuated process of transformation. The document and its producers do not seem to be aware that the major missing link in Africa’s development since independence in the 1960s has been the marginalisation, diminutions and de-activation of African Agency in African development. However, without the unquestioned ascendancy, centrality and directive role of African Agency, African development understood as Africans self-equipment for radical transformation can never occur.
The second flaw is that the Agenda does not directly address aspects of contemporary globalisation that represent ideological and developmental constraints on Africa’s participation from strength and power in this illiberal and unequal globalised system. Without question this currently ascendant imperious Western ideology and system of globalisation, which dictates that all countries and peoples adopt capitalism and Western Liberal democracy, presents profound challenges to the possibility of Africa’s autonomous self-propulsion and the promotion of its prosperity, power and participation in this new global system. If Africa is not simply going to be just a cipher, an onlooker, a cog in the wheel and a helpless and hapless disadvantaged participant in a constraining global system that disempowers and diminishes it, the current globalisation system has to be radically changed. To do this, Africa has to self-consciously create a new continental ideology and strategy of African Development Capacitation that equips, promotes and ensures its powerful participation in a new truly plurali-versal globalised world of autonomous but mutually interdependent national, regional and continental entities that all subscribe to and practice the principles of equitable participation.
However, in the history of human experience, freedom, respect, equity, dignity and successful development are never freely given or willingly conceded by dominators. They are won and imposed on the world by free-peoples. Consequently, Africa can only accomplish this new world order of pluri-versal globalism by its determined ideological, political and technological self-empowerment for autonomous self-propulsion and defence against established and would-be dominators of Africa.
The third fundamental flaw of Agenda 2063 is that it does not adequately address some critical aspects of the ideological and political environment of contemporary Africa that are extremely hostile and that will make the realisation of its objectives difficult and, in fact, impossible to achieve if they are not addressed and resolved. This refers to the nature and conditions of contemporary African states. Today it can be unequivocally affirmed that most African states are disabled states and no longer full sovereign entities. They are neo-colonial states or political and administrative contraptions responsible not to their citizens but to the so-called international community through their subordination to the diktats of the multilateral imperialist agencies – the World Bank and IMF. These agencies are today directly involved as dictators in African states’ decision-making, policy conception and choices and programme funding and execution. Consequently, African states today are severely constrained and are no longer full sovereignties exercising untrammelled sovereignty of nation-states. In these circumstances, as recolonised, constrained and disabled state systems, they are incapable of seriously executing any transformational programme such as Agenda 2063.
As is well known, in the 1980s, the multilateral agencies undertook the systematic attack on and subversion of the Lagos Plan of Action with the Berg Report and through the imposition of SAP they destroyed African economies and disempowered African states.
Consequently, it should be expected that this new-colonial concert of imperialist globalisation would vigorously oppose and fight any efforts of their African client states to re-assert their full sovereignty to autonomously make policies and development choices that would diminish and terminate the oppressive roles of these neo-colonial agencies. Only a liberated African leadership and a liberated African state can achieve the objectives of Agenda 2063.
The fourth flaw is that the Agenda does not adequately address the nature, current structure and operations of African economies as exocentric systems that have no capacity to promote minimum development. This current neo-colonial economic system yields an Africa that is developmentally incapacitated, dependent, poverty generating and substantively disempowered. Unless this current non-developmental economic system is totally uprooted, destroyed and replaced with a new endocentric economic system that is based on African development capacitation, resource-based industrialisation and domestic prosperity generation Africa cannot achieve the objectives of Agenda 2063.
It is for these reasons that it is proposed to expand and incorporate into Agenda 2063, a new strategy and process of endocentric development that is referred to as African Liberated Development to produce a Liberated Africa as a truly transformed, advanced, integrated, powerful and globally active Africa by 2063.
This presentation has reviewed the emergence, evolution and activities of Pan-Africanism as a movement and ideology for the achievement of unity, solidarity, freedom, dignity and development of all Africans – diasporan and continental from the later 19th century to the present – in the context of an evolving global system, and now a full blown and constraining environment of globalisation. It was argued that Africa, as a united front organised as OAU (Organisation of African Unity) made some signal achievements in various areas, especially decolonisation and liberation, overthrow of the racist apartheid, peace-keeping and conflict resolution, cultural revival and economic growth, especially economic co-operation through the integrative activities of the regional economic communities.
However, it was noted that organised pan-Africanism (OAU) and the African states did not make significant advances in economic emancipation and development in terms of the establishment of endogenous development capacitation forces to undertake self-actuated development. This was aggravated by the Western globalisation system, the constraints of its imperious economic and ideological diktats (free enterprise and Western-type democracy) and the agenda and activities of its multilateral front institutions the – World Bank and the IMF – to undermine African freedom and prevent its establishment of the capacity for self-actuated development and prosperity generation.
But the Pan-Africanist determination to confront challenges and continue the efforts to create a united, free, dignified and developed Africa remained steady and led to the formation of the African Union, which produced Agenda 2063 as a bold vision, blueprint and practical framework for Africa’s socio-economic transformation and global activism.
*Professor Ehiedu E.G. Iweriebor is from the Department of Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, Hunters College, City University of New York, USA. The is an excrept from his paper titled: ‘Pan-Africanism, Globalisation and Renascent Africa’, which he presented at the five-day conference on the review of Namibia foreign policy in Windhoek, which ended yesterday, 29 July.