Clarion Call to Eighth Pan-African Congress (8th PAC)

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Don’t Agonise, Organise: Africa’s Movement Towards the African People’s Political and Economic Unity and Emancipation The Fifth Pan-African Congress, which was held in Manchester (U.K.) in 1945, marked a watershed for the African Freedom Movement, followed as it was by the process of rapid political deco-lonisation of Africa and the inauguration of the Organi-sation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. Therefore, the 1960s witnessed unprecedented euphoria in Africa and the attendant hopes and aspirations for an African Awakening, with representative self-government after the centuries during which the Motherland was ravaged by the Arab slave trade and the construction of European expansionism with its attendant trans-Atlantic slave trade and colonialism. Even then, the existence of white settler colonialism and apartheid in Southern Africa remained a poignant reminder that the struggle for African liberation was not yet complete. Understandably, the Sixth Pan-African Congress held in Dar-es-Salaam in 1974 had, as one of its main preoccupations, the subject of the liberation struggle in Southern Africa. But, likewise, realities of neo-colonialism had become bare by the 1970’s; less so the vain hope, in those heady days of the liberation struggle (in Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe), that the armed struggle would be a necessary antidote for neo-colonialism in Africa as a whole. The Seventh Pan-African Congress held in Kampala in 1994, took place just as formal colonialism in Africa was ending, with the end of apartheid in South Africa. But as the Clarion Call to the Seventh Pan-African Congress observed, Africa is “engulfed in wars of differing intensities”; the uni-polar world dominated by the United States has brought about new and daunting challenges in the fight against neo-colonialism; and “the IMF and World Bank supervise an economic order which does not provide means for African development and growth but structurally adjusts Africans into increasing poverty and hardship”. A little more than a decade since the Seventh Pan-African Congress, the African condition has become more precarious. So, in the tradition of the seven Pan-African Congresses held before, we are hereby calling for the full participation by all African patriots, Pan-African organisations, institutions and individuals within the Pan-African world in the Eighth Pan-African Congress (8th PAC) to be held in Harare, Zimbabwe, in October 2006. This will be an occasion to take over from the Seventh Pan-African Congress, that is, to develop on the achievements and gains of the 7th PAC, to improve on the shortcomings of the same, to consider new strategies for the tasks ahead and to re-dedicate ourselves to the movement of African people’s for reparations, political unity and economic liberation, both on the continent and in the diaspora. As part of the process towards the Eighth Pan-African Congress, an International Steering Committee (ISC) is already in the making and mobilisation is underway in the various regions of the Pan-African world in the period building up to the main event in Harare in October 2006. The Eighth Pan-African Congress seeks the support and participation of all Africans, including the African Union and its affiliates both on the continent and in the diaspora. But the Eighth Pan-African Congress remains autonomous from state institutions and agencies, answerable only to the mass organisations, institutions, affiliates and individuals who will come together to establish both a democratic dispensation and an institutional framework through which the Pan-African movement can survive and thrive in the decades ahead.