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By Booker Omole

 

It is nearly ten years, since the 8th East African Regional Pan African Congress gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, to address critical issues facing Africa and the African diaspora. This historical event served as a platform for the Communist Party of Kenya (CPK), then known as the Social Democratic Party of Kenya (Marxist-Leninist), to reaffirm its commitment to the ideals of Pan-Africanism from a Marxist-Leninist perspective. The ongoing offensive of imperialism and wars puts the topic at the centre of the discourse among progressives and revolutionaries. In this article, we explore the CPK's vision for Pan-Africanism and the path toward a united socialist Africa.

 

Through successful wars of independence that humiliated colonialist forces in Africa, frustrating them politically and prompting them to launch a new counter-offensive, primarily through economic means in the form of neo-colonialism. Under the guise of financial assistance from imperialist countries, our former colonizers have installed some of the most corrupt leaders in Africa to carry out their self-serving agendas. These neo-colonialists have become our new oppressors, and as the oppressed majority, we cannot align our interests with those who oppress us.

 

In our disunity, our adversaries find vulnerabilities to further subdue us. However, in unity, we possess boundless strength. When we fully harness this strength, the imperialists will once again be frustrated in their economic aggression. In the words of Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu, one of the greatest African revolutionary thinkers, we must defeat our enemy, imperialism, from every angle and ensure it never rears its ugly head again.

 

The only enduring form of unity is ideological unity, and CPK firmly maintains that the only liberating ideology against the cruelty of capitalism is scientific socialism. This ideology should serve as the guiding force behind our Pan-Africanism unity. To advance this cause, CPK recognizes the crucial role of a revolutionary African intelligentsia within the Pan-African movement. This intelligentsia is responsible for political education, ideological struggle, and activism – all vital elements in cultivating a revolutionary African consciousness. This concept draws inspiration from the historical Pan-African conferences and congresses of the 20th century, where Africa's revolutionary intelligentsia convened to chart the path forward for Pan-Africanism.

 

Pan-Africanism: Movement, Ideology, and Objective

Pan-Africanism encompasses three distinct aspects: as a movement, ideology, and objective. While the movement has evolved since the late 19th century to unite Africans globally in their quest for African unity, it's the third aspect, Pan-Africanism as an objective, that stands as the cornerstone of CPK's vision. This objective is clear: it is the total liberation, unification, and development of Africa under scientific socialism.

 

As Kwame Nkrumah aptly pointed out in "Class Struggle in Africa," Pan-Africanism is inherently linked to the global struggle for socialism. It is a goal not just for Africans but for all those committed to justice, positive change, and revolutionary transformation. Pan-Africanism is rooted in African distinctiveness, but it invites the solidarity of honest individuals and progressive political formations worldwide.

 

Today, Africa suffers from super-exploitation. Its labour is undervalued, its natural resources are plundered, and it is subjected to the insidious effects of capitalism. Africa, a continent incredibly rich in mineral resources, reaps minimal benefits from its wealth. Its minerals are extracted and sold at low prices, a practice deceptively dubbed "free trade."

 

The capitalist system, which few exalt as ideal, is upheld by a select few who control the global production process. They dominate land, factories, media, and the most powerful militaries, using their power to exploit the masses of people. For revolutionaries, gradual reform is not the answer. The only solution is the complete destruction of capitalism on a global scale. Africa has a pivotal role to play in this transformation, as it is divided into 54 individual nation-states. This division, stemming from colonial designs, continues to serve neo-colonial interests, rendering each state vulnerable to imperialist bullying.

 

Where there is oppression, there must be resistance. The recent popular coups in Africa have exposed the deep-seated influence of US imperialism, extending its tentacles into regional organizations like ECOWAS. Such influence manipulates narratives to serve Western dominance rather than genuinely protect democracy and justice. We stand in solidarity with countries experiencing progressive coups, such as Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, where the people rise against oppression, corruption, and economic exploitation. The class struggle continues to unfold in the objective reality against the collective will of the bourgeoisie academics that predicted the era of the end of history.

 

Revolutionary Mass-Based Political Parties

To liberate Africa from the grip of neo-colonialism and imperialism, the continent requires a continental vanguard party of the working class—a revolutionary, mass-based political party. African youth, interconnected by modern technology spanning borders and oceans, possess the potential to turn this vision into a reality. They must coordinate on a global scale to seize political and economic power from corrupt leaders and imperialist forces. This task is formidable but absolutely essential, not only for Africa's salvation but also for initiating global change. To succeed in our pro-people socialist project, we must dismantle the comprador.

 

The Communist Party of Kenya is acutely aware of the urgency of this mission, which informs the two parallel but interconnected processes the party is engaged in, toward establishing a continental vanguard of the proletariat. CPK has conducted meetings with over fifteen African countries, facilitated by the Africa Left Network (ALNEF) and Pan Africa Today (PAT), with the most recent gathering taking place during the Dilemmas of Humanity conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

The super-exploitation of Africa plays a pivotal role in driving the capitalist engine and must be terminated as it fosters racism and economic injustice. Scientific socialism, as championed by CPK, is the sole system capable of eradicating these injustices. This transformation necessitates the redistribution of wealth from the few to the many and a coordinated effort among Pan-African political parties on a global scale. This approach directly opposes Pan-Africanism rooted in corporatism, supported by imperialism, and upheld by the comprador class. Through their perspective, they advocate for African unity similar to that of Europe, a unity built on plunder and the suffering of the impoverished majority from the South. Such unity only serves the current ruling elite and their foreign sponsors, enabling them to continue exploiting Africa and using it as a dumping ground for their substandard products.

 

A Revolutionary Political Program for Africa

To advance the Pan-African movement, a revolutionary political program is needed. Through the Pan-African Socialist Alliance (PASA), where CPK is a founding member, the party has recommended the following steps:

1. Closure of Foreign Military Bases: Immediate closure of foreign military bases on African soil and the establishment of one African military command.

2. Opposition to Settler Colonialism: Active resistance against settler colonialism, including support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement regarding Israel.

3. End of Financial Blackmail: Cease all payments to international financial institutions like the IMF, World Bank, and the Paris Club.

4. Land Reclamation: Implement large-scale land reclamation, particularly in areas with significant land ownership by colonial descendants.

5. Challenge Patent Rights: Oppose imperialist patent rights, especially in pharmaceuticals and agriculture, as they violate human rights.

6. Climate Justice: Link the fight against climate change to the destruction of capitalism and the development of scientific socialism.

7. Open Borders: Advocate for the opening of borders across Africa to redirect resources towards productive and constructive purposes, promoting continental citizenship and scientific socialism.

 

A Unified Socialist Africa and Beyond

The CPK underscores the importance of a unified socialist Africa as the ultimate goal. This vision entails a global community where humankind contributes based on ability and receives based on needs, transcending capitalism's exploitation and inequality.

 

In conclusion, the CPK's perspective on Pan-Africanism offers a clear and resolute vision for Africa's future. It calls for unity, the destruction of capitalism, and the establishment of a socialist system that will not only benefit Africa but contribute to a more just and equitable world. The journey toward a united socialist Africa may be arduous, but, as history has shown, it is a cause worth fighting for.

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