Pan-Africanism and African Development: Kwame Nkrumah’s speech

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As a tribute to this great man, please find below the full text of his memorable and prophetic speech delivered on 24 May 1963 in Addis Ababa at the opening of the summit of the now defunct Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

UNITED WE STAND
Excellencies,
My dear colleagues,
My brothers,
My Friends,
I am pleased to be in Addis Ababa on this highly historic occasion. I bring with me the hopes and fraternal congratulations of the Government and people of Ghana to His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie and all the African Heads of State gathered in this ancient capital on this epoch-making day in our history. Our goal is African unity now. There is no time to lose. We must now unite or perish. I am confident that through concerted efforts and our firm resolve, we will lay the foundations here on which a continental union of African states will be built.

At the first meeting of African Heads of State, where I had the honour of receiving our guests, there were only eight representatives of independent states. Today, five years later, we are gathered in Addis Ababa, as representatives of thirty-two African States, as guests of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie the First and the Government and People of Ethiopia. To His Imperial Majesty I wish to express, on behalf of the Government and People of Ghana, my deep appreciation of such a highly cordial welcome and generous hospitality.

The increase in our numbers, in this short space of time, is a glaring testimony to the indomitable and irresistible drive of our peoples towards independence. It is also a sign of the revolutionary aspect of world events in the second half of our century. In the task that lies ahead of us for the unification of our continent, we must keep up this pace, or we will be left behind. This task cannot be tackled at a pace that belongs to another era than our own. If we were to lag behind in the unprecedented momentum of contemporary actions and events, it would mean that we were heading for failure and consuming our own ruin.

A whole continent has given us the mandate to lay the foundations of our union at this conference. It is our responsibility to carry out that mandate by creating here and now the foundations on which the indispensable superstructure must be built.

On our continent, it did not take us long to discover that the struggle against colonialism does not end when national independence is achieved. This independence is only the prelude to a new and more complex struggle to win the right to direct our own economic and social issues, free from the crushing and humiliating shackles of neo-colonial domination and intervention.

From the beginning, we have been in danger of being frustrated in our efforts when rapid change was an imperative, and we have risked instability when sustained effort and precise rules were indispensable. There are no sporadic acts, no pious intentions that can solve our present problems. Nothing will serve us except action as carried out by a united Africa. We have already reached the stage where we must unite or fall back into the state where Latin America has unwillingly fallen prey to imperialism after a century and a half of political independence.
As a continent, we have emerged into independence at a different time, when imperialism has become stronger, more implacable, more experienced, more dangerous also in its international associations. Our economic evolution demands an end to colonialist and neo-colonialist domination in Africa.

But if we have understood that taking control of our national destinies requires that each of us has political independence, and if we have concentrated all our strength to achieve this, then we must also recognise that our economic independence lies in our African Union and requires the same concentration on political achievements.

Yet the Unity of our continent, as well as our independence, will be delayed, if not lost, if we give in to colonialism. African Unity is, first and foremost, a political realm that can only be conquered by political means. The social and economic expansion of Africa will only take place within this political kingdom, and the reverse is not true. The United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, were the result of political decisions by revolutionary peoples, before they became powerful realities of social strength and material wealth.

How, if not through our joint efforts, will the richest and still enslaved parts of our continent be freed from colonial occupation and be able to join us in the total development of our continent? Each step in the decolonisation of our continent has given rise to more resistance in those areas where colonialism has colonial garrisons. All of you who are here know this.

The great design of imperialist interests is to strengthen colonialism and neo-colonialism, and we would be deceiving ourselves most cruelly if we were to consider that their actions are distinct and unrelated. When Portugal veils the borders of Senegal, when Verwcerd devotes a seventh of South Africa’s budget to the army and the police, when France builds as part of its defence policy an intervention force which can intervene more particularly in French-speaking Africa, when Welensky talks of joining Southern Rhodesia to South Africa, when Great Britain sends arms to South Africa, all this is part of an overall plan elaborated with the greatest care, and directed towards one single objective: the further subjugation of our still dependent brethren and an assault on the independence of our sovereign African states.

Against these plans, do we have any other weapon than our Unity? Is this Unity not essential to safeguard our own freedom and to conquer the freedom of our oppressed brothers, the liberation fighters? Is it not unity alone that will forge us into an effective force, capable of creating its own progress and making a valuable contribution to world peace? What is the independent African state? Which of you will claim that your financial structure and banking institutions are fully dedicated to your national development? Which of you can claim that your material resources and human energies are available for your own national aspirations? Which of you will not come forward and confess a substantial degree of disappointment and disillusionment in the execution of your agricultural and urban development plans?

In an independent Africa, we are already beginning to feel the instability and frustration that existed under colonial rule. We quickly learn that political independence is not enough to free us from the consequences of this colonial domination.

The movement of the masses of Africa for liberation from this kind of domination was not just a revolt against the conditions they imposed.

Our peoples supported us in our struggle for independence because they believed that the advent of African governments would cure the ills of the past in a way that could never have been achieved under colonial rule. Therefore, if, now that we are independent, we do not allow the same conditions that existed during the colonial era to persist, all the resentment that will overthrow colonialism will mobilise against us.

The resources are there. It is up to us to mobilise them to devote them to the active service of our peoples. If we do not do this through concerted efforts, within the framework of our common planning, we will not progress at the pace that today’s events and the will of our peoples demand. The symptoms of our troubles will only grow and the troubles themselves will become chronic. By then it will be too late even for Pan-African Unity to provide us with stability and tranquillity in our efforts to create a continent of social justice and material well-being. If we do not create African Unity now, we who sit here today will be the victims and martyrs of neo-colonialism tomorrow.

Everything on all sides proves to us that the imperialists have not withdrawn. Sometimes, as in the Congo, their intervention is overt, but usually it is hidden behind the mask of many institutions that meddle in our internal affairs to foment dissension on our territory and create an atmosphere of tension and political instability. Until we root out the roots of this discontent, we will be aiding these neo-colonialist forces and becoming our own enforcers. We cannot ignore the lessons of history.

Our continent is probably the richest in the world, in terms of the production of minerals and raw materials for industry and agriculture. From the Congo alone, Western firms exported copper, rubber, cotton and many other products to the tune of $2,773,000,000 in the decade 1945-1955; from South Africa, gold mining companies made $814,000,000 in profits in the six years 1947-1951.

Certainly our continent surpasses all others in its hydro-electric power potential, which some experts estimate at 42 per cent of the world total. What need is there for us to remain employed in cutting wood and drawing water for the industrialised areas of the world?

Of course, it is said that we have no capital, no industrial technology, no communication channels, no domestic markets, and that we cannot even agree among ourselves on how best to use our resources for our own social needs.

And yet all the world’s stock exchanges are preoccupied with the gold, diamonds, uranium, platinum, copper and iron ores that exist in Africa. Our capital flows in torrents to irrigate the entire Western economic system. Fifty-two per cent of the gold reserves now held at Fort Knox, where the United States of America stores these reserves, are believed to have come from our shores. America supplies over 60 per cent of the world’s gold. Much of the uranium used for nuclear power, the copper used for electronics, the titanium used for supersonic projectiles, the iron and steel used by heavy industries, the other minerals and raw materials used by the lighter industries – in fact the very bases of the economic power of foreign powers – come from our continent. Experts have estimated that the Congo Basin alone can produce enough food crops to meet the needs of almost half the world’s population. And we are sitting here talking about regionalism, gradual progress, one step at a time. Are you afraid to grab the bull by the horns?

For centuries, Africa has been the cash cow of the Western world. Wasn’t it our continent that helped the West to build up its accumulated wealth?

It is true that we are now throwing off the yoke of colonialism as fast as we can, but parallel to our success in this direction, imperialism is making an intensive effort to continue exploiting our resources, stirring up dissension among us.

When the colonies on the American continent sought freedom from imperialism in the 18th century, there was no threat of neo-colonialism, as we know it today in Africa. The American states were therefore free to form and shape the Unity that best suited their needs and to write a constitution that could maintain their Unity, free from any form of external intervention, while we have to take into account these foreign interventions. Under these conditions, how much more do we need to come together in African Unity, which alone can free us from the clutches of neo-colonialism and imperialism.

We have the resources. It is primarily colonialism that has prevented us from accumulating effective capital, but we have not managed to use our power in independence to the full, to mobilise our resources in order to make the most effective start on a far-reaching economic and social expansion. We are too exclusively devoted to guiding the first steps of each of our states to fully understand the fundamental need for a union rooted in common resolve, common planning, and common effort. A union that does not take these fundamental necessities into account is only a delusion. Only by pooling our productive capacity and the resulting wealth can we raise capital. Once triggered, this momentum will only grow. With capital managed by our own banks, devoted to our real industrial and agricultural expansion, we can move forward. We shall accumulate industrial equipment, we shall create steel mills, iron foundries and factories; we shall unite the various states of our continent by creating communication routes; we shall astonish the world with our hydro-electric power; we shall drain the swamps and marshes, we shall purify the infested areas, we shall feed the deficient, we shall rid our populations of parasites and diseases. It is in the power of science and technology to make the Sahara itself blossom and transform it into a vast cultivated field, bearing verdant vegetation for our agricultural and industrial expansion. We will tame radio, television, giant printing presses, to bring our peoples out of the dark abyss of illiteracy.

Only ten years ago, all this would have been the words of visionaries, the fantasies of idle dreamers. But we are in an age when science has transcended the limits of the material world and technology has invaded the silence of nature.

Time and space have been reduced to meaningless abstractions. Giant machines cut roads, clear our forests, build dams, airfields, monstrous trucks and planes dispatch all products; powerful laboratories manufacture cures; the most complex geological surveys are developed; powerful electric power stations are built, colossal factories rise into the sky – and all at incredible speed. The world has ceased to progress along bush tracks, on donkeys or camels. We can no longer afford to regulate our needs, our development, our security, to the walking pace of camels and donkeys. We can no longer afford not to cut down the exuberant bush of outdated attitudes that obstruct our way to the great modern paths of the broadest and fastest achievements of economic independence and the highest elevation of the way of life of our peoples.

Even for other continents that do not have the resources of Africa, the time has come when human distress must end. For us, it is simply a matter of seizing our rightful inheritance with certainty, using the political power created by our unity: all we need is to develop with our common power the enormous resources of our continent. A united Africa will provide a stable sector for foreign investment, which we encourage as long as it does not behave as an enemy of our African interests, for such investment must enhance the expansion of our continent’s economy, the employment of our labour force, the technical training of our workers, and Africa will welcome it. By dealing with a united Africa, capital providers will no longer have to anxiously assess the risks of dealing in one period with governments that may no longer exist in the immediate period. Instead of dealing or negotiating with so many separate states, they will be dealing with a single united government that will pursue a harmonious continental policy.

Is there any other way than this? If we fail at this stage and allow time to elapse for neo-colonialism to consolidate its position on our continent, what will be the fate of our liberation fighters? What will be the fate of the other African territories that are not yet free?

Unless we can create powerful industrial complexes in Africa – which is only feasible in a united Africa – we must leave our peasantry at the mercy of foreign markets who are finishing their crops and we will have to face the same impatience that overthrew the colonialists. What use are education and mechanisation to the farmers? What use is even capital if we cannot provide the peasant with a peasant, the workers, the farmer, what will they gain in political independence, as long as we cannot provide them with a fair return on their labour and a higher standard of living?

As long as we cannot create large industrial complexes in Africa, what benefits will the worker in the cities and in the countries that cultivate overcrowded lands have gained from political independence? If they are to remain unemployed or tied down to tasks reserved for unskilled labour, what use will be made of the sophisticated facilities created for education, technical training, in the service of the energy and ambition which independence enables us to offer them?

There is hardly a single African state that does not have a border problem with neighbouring states. It would be pointless for me to enumerate them, for these problems are already familiar to you. But may Your Excellencies allow me to suggest that this fatal vestige of colonialism is in danger of dragging us into internecine wars, as our industrial expansion proceeds without plan and without co-ordination just as it did in Europe. Until we succeed in putting an end to this danger, through mutual understanding of the fundamental issues and through African unity which will make the present borders obsolete and superfluous, we will have fought in vain for independence. Only African unity can heal this infected wound of border disputes between our various states. Excellencies, the remedy to these ills is in our own hands. It confronts us at every customs barrier, it cries out to us from the bottom of every African heart. By creating a true political union of all the independent states of Africa, with executive powers to exercise political leadership,

we can respond with hope and confidence to every critical circumstance, every enemy, every complex problem.

Not that we are a race of supermen, but because we have reached the age of science and technology, of poverty, ignorance and disease will have ceased to be masters but will simply be the elusive enemies of humanity. We have reached the age of socialised planning, where production and distribution of goods will have ceased to be governed by chaos, self-interest, but will be directed by social needs. Along with the rest of humanity, we are awakening from the dreams of utopia to put on paper practical plans for progress and social justice.

Above all, we have arrived at a time when a land mass of a continent like Africa, with its population approaching 300 million, is necessary for the economic capitalisation and efficiency of modern production methods and techniques. None of us, working alone and individually, can achieve integral development. Certainly, in the present circumstances, we shall not be able to give sufficient assistance to sister states which are striving, against the most difficult conditions, to improve their economic and social structure. Only a united Africa operating under a united government can have the power to mobilise the material and moral resources of our various countries and to use them effectively and energetically so as to bring about a rapid change in the condition of our people.

If we do not approach the problems of Africa with a common front and a common resolution, we shall waste our time in bargaining and empty arguments until such time as we are again colonised and become instruments of a colonialism far more powerful than the one we have suffered hitherto.

This union we must achieve, without necessarily sacrificing our various sovereignties, large or small, we have, even now and here, forged a political union based on a common defence, a common foreign affairs and diplomacy, a common nationality, an African currency, an African monetary zone and an African Central Bank. We must unite in order to achieve the complete liberation of our continent. We must create a common defence system, led by an African supreme command, to ensure the stability and security of Africa.

We have been entrusted with this sacred task by our peoples; we cannot fail them and betray their trust. We would make a mockery of the hopes of our peoples if we showed the slightest hesitation or delay in dealing objectively with this issue of African Unity.

The supply of arms or other military aid to the colonial oppressors of Africa must be seen not only as aid to those who seek to defeat the liberation fighters in their struggle for African independence, but as an act of aggression against all of Africa. How can we deal with this aggression, if not by the full weight of our united power?
Many of us have made non-alignment an article of faith on our continent. We have no desire, no intention of being drawn into the cold war, but given the present state of weakness and insecurity in which our states find themselves, in the context of world politics, this search for bases and spheres of influence brings the cold war into Africa, with its dangers of nuclear extermination. Africa must be declared a nuclear-free zone, free from the demands of the cold war. But we cannot make this demand imperative if we do not formulate it from a position of strength that we can only achieve through our unity.

Instead of adopting such an attitude, several independent African states are bound by military pacts with the former colonial powers. The stability and security that such processes seek to establish are illusory, as the metropolitan powers seize the opportunity to support their neo-colonialist rule by involving the African power in a military arrangement. We have seen how neo-colonialists use their bases to entrench themselves and even attack neighbouring independent states. Such bases are centres of tension and potential danger points for military conflict. They threaten the security not only of the country where they are located, but also of neighbouring countries. How can we expect to make Africa a nuclear-free zone, free of Cold War pressures, when our continent is involved in military matters in this way? Only by balancing a common defence force with a common desire to realise an Africa free from the bonds imposed by foreign diktat or military and nuclear presence. This will require a supreme African command with authority over the entire continent, especially if military pacts with the imperialists are to be abandoned. This is the only way to break the direct links between the colonialism of the past and the neo-colonialism that ………… currently exist between us.

We do not intend to create and we do not conceive of an African supreme command designed according to the political powers that now govern much of the world, but as an essential and indispensable instrument for stability and security in Africa.

We need unified economic planning for Africa. Until the economic power of our continent is concentrated in our hands, the masses can have no real interest, no real concern to collaborate in safeguarding our security, in maintaining the stability of our regimes, and in putting their strength at the service of our objectives. With the pooling of our resources, our energies and our talents, we have the means, once we show the will, to transform the economic structures of our various States and to move them from poverty to abundance, from inequality to the satisfaction of the needs of our peoples. Only on a continental basis will we be able to establish a plan for the proper use of all our resources and for their dedication to the full development of our continent.

How else can we retain our own capital for our own economic development? How else can we create an internal market dedicated to the services of our own industries? If we belong to different economic zones, how can we break down the barriers to the movement of currency and trade between African states, and how will the economically stronger among us be able to help the weaker and less developed states?

It is important to remember that independent financing and development is not possible without an independent currency. A monetary system that is supported by the resources of a foreign state is ipso facto subordinate to the trade and financial arrangements of that foreign country. Because we have no customs and monetary barriers to having been subjected to the different monetary systems of foreign powers, the rift between us in Africa has automatically widened.

How, for example, can related communities and families linked by commercial ties successfully help each other if they are divided by national borders and currency restrictions? The only way they can do this is by using smuggled currencies and enriching international racketeers and swindlers who thrive on our financial and economic difficulties.

No independent African state today has the possibility of following an independent path of economic development on its own, and many of us who have tried have been almost ruined or have had to be brought back into the fold of our former colonial masters. This situation will not change until we have a unified policy operating on a continental level. A first step towards a coherent economy should be the creation of a unified currency area, starting with an agreement on the parity of our currencies. To facilitate this arrangement, Ghana would agree to adopt the decimal system. Once we see that our agreement on a common fixed parity works successfully, there seems to be no reason why we should not create a common currency and a single bank of issue. Once we have a common currency issued by a single bank of issue, we should be able to stand on our own two feet, for such an arrangement would be fully supported by the combined national product of the states that make up our union. After all, the purchasing power of the currency depends on the productivity and productive exploitation of the nation’s natural, human and physical resources.

While we ensure our stability through a common defence system and our economy is directed away from foreign domination by means of a common currency, currency zone and central bank of issue, we can determine whether we have the greatest potential for hydro-electric power and whether we can harness it and other sources of energy for the benefit of our own industries. We can begin to plan our continental industrialisation and build a common market for nearly three hundred million people.

This common continental planning, in the service of Africa’s agricultural and industrial development, is a vital necessity.

So many blessings must come from our Unity, so many disasters must come from our continued disunity, that if we fail to unite today, posterity will not blame our failure solely on a failure of reasoning linked to a lack of courage, but on the fact that we have capitulated to the combined forces of neo-colonialism and imperialism.

The hour of history that has brought us to this assembly is a revolutionary hour. It is an hour of decision. For the first time, the economic imperialism that threatens us is being challenged by the irresistible will of our people.

The masses of the peoples of Africa are crying out for unity. The peoples of Africa demand that the borders that divide them be removed. They are demanding an end to border disputes between sister African states that stem from the artificial barriers erected by colonialism, which had the formal intention of dividing us. It is its will that has left us prey to this border irredentism and that has pushed back our ethnic and cultural fusion.

Our peoples are crying out for this Unity, so that they do not risk losing their heritage in the perpetual service of neo-colonialism. In this fervent push for Unity, they understand that only this achievement will give full meaning to their freedom and to our African independence.

It is this firm popular resolve that must lead us to a Union of Independent African States. In the slightest delay lies a danger to our well-being and to our very existence as free states. It has been suggested that our march towards Unity should be gradual and proceed in a piecemeal fashion. This view conceives of Africa as a static entity tasked with solving « frozen » problems that can be eliminated one by one, so that when this task is completed, we will come together and declare: « now all is well; let us now achieve our Union ». This view ignores the impact of external pressures and the danger that delay may intensify our isolation or exclusion and widen our differences, so that we will be cast further adrift, further apart and into the clutches of neo-colonialism, so that our Union will be no more than an evanescent hope and

our Union will be no more than an evanescent hope, and the Grand Design for the complete redemption of Africa may collapse forever.

Some have also expressed the view that our difficulties can be resolved simply by greater collaboration through cooperative association in our intra-territorial relations. This way of looking at our problems is to deny the correct conception of their internal and reciprocal relationships. It consists in denying, however, in a future open to African progress in African independence. It betrays the feeling that a solution can only be found in the continuation of a reliance on external sources, by means of bilateral agreements which organise assistance, in economic and various other forms.

One fact is certain: although we have collaborated and partnered in various areas of joint endeavour even before the colonial era, this has not given us the continental identity and the political and economic strength that could help us effectively address the complex problems facing Africa today. When it comes to external assistance, a united Africa would be in a much better position to attract it. There is also in an arrangement of this nature the new advantage that makes it even more necessary to go down this road, that assistance will flow to a united Africa from all sides because our bargaining power will be infinitely greater. We will no longer have to depend on aid with restrictive conditions. The whole world will be at our disposal.

What do we expect now in Africa? Are we waiting for charters like those of the United Nations? Do we expect a type of organisation modelled on the United Nations, whose decisions are based on resolutions that experience has shown have sometimes been held null and void by member states? Is it to be an organisation in which groups will form and pressure will be exerted in accordance with the interests of the various groups? Or is it the intention that Africa should become a loose organisation of states on the model of the American states, where the weaker states are likely to be at the political or economic mercy of the stronger or more powerful ones, and where all states are at the mercy of a few powerful nations or groups of foreign nations? Is it an arrangement that in the future could allow, for example, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, Liberia, Egypt or Ethiopia to use the pressure of superior economic or political power to impose, for example, on Burundi, Togo or Nyasaland, a direction of their trade towards Mozambique or Madagascar?

We all want a united Africa, and not only in the concept of unity, but also in our desire to move forward together in solving all the problems that can only be solved on a continental basis.

When the first United States Congress met in Philadelphia several years ago, one of the delegates struck the first chord of unity when he declared that they were meeting in the « state of nature ». In other words, he was not in Philadelphia as a Virginian or a Pennsylvanian, but as an American who was at that time a new and strange experience. May I also attest today, Excellencies, that we are not here as Ghanaians, Guineans, Egyptians, Algerians, Moroccans, Malians, Liberians, Congolese or Nigerians, but as Africans. They are Africans who are gathered together with the firm intention of staying together until they have decided among themselves what guarantees a new continental governmental arrangement can give them now and in the future.

If we succeed in establishing a new set of principles as the basis for a new charter or statute for the creation of continental unity in Africa and social and political progress for our peoples, then, in my view, our conference must signal the end of our various regional groups and blocs. But if we fail and let this noble and historic opportunity slip away, then we will unleash a build-up of dissension and division that the African people will never forgive us for. We would be doomed by the popular and progressive forces and movements within Africa. So, I am sure that we will not disappoint these expectations.

Your Excellencies, if I have spoken at some length, it is because it is necessary for us to explain the real situation, not only to each of those present here, but also to the peoples who have entrusted us with the fate and destiny of Africa. We must therefore not leave here until we have put in place an effective mechanism for the realisation of African unity. To this end, I propose the following measures for your consideration:

As a first step, a declaration of the principles that unite and bind us, to which we must all faithfully and loyally adhere, and which will lay the foundations of Unity. We also need an official declaration, whereby the independent states of Africa decide themselves and now on the creation of a Union of African States.

A second and equally urgent measure for the realisation of African unification is the establishment, as of now, of a Pan-African Committee of Foreign Ministers, before we leave this Conference, a date must be fixed before this Committee meets.

This committee must create, on behalf of the Heads of our governments, a permanent body of officials and experts responsible for implementing the organisation that is to ensure the functioning of the African Union government. This body of officials and experts should be composed of two of the best minds from each independent African state. The various charters of the current groupings and other relevant documents could be presented to these officials and experts. A Presidium of Heads of Government of the independent African states should then be convened to adopt a Constitution and other recommendations that will trigger the launching of the African Union Government.

We must also decide where this body of officials and experts will work as the new central headquarters, or capital, of our Union Government. The fairest suggestions would be for a central city, either in Bangui, in the Republic of Central Africa, or in Leopoldville, in Congo. Our colleagues may have other proposals. In any case, this Committee of Foreign Ministers, officials and experts must be able to create:

1) a commission to draw up a constitution for a government of unity of African states;

2) a commission to draw up a continental plan which would organise a unified and common economic and industrial programme for Africa; this programme should include proposals for the creation of:

a) a common market for Africa ;
b) an African currency;
c) an African monetary zone
d) an African Central Bank
e) a continental telecommunications system;

3) A commission to draw up a detailed plan for a common foreign policy and diplomacy;

4) A commission to present plans for common defence systems;

5) A committee to present proposals for the creation of a common African citizenship.
These commissions shall report to the Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, which in turn shall submit their recommendations to the Presidium within six months. The Presidium, meeting in conference at the Union’s headquarters, shall consider and approve the recommendations of the Committee of Foreign Ministers.

In order to secure the immediate funds needed for the work of the permanent officials and experts at the Headquarters of the Union, I suggest that a special committee be set up to prepare a draft budget.

Your Excellencies, by means of these measures, I consider that we shall be irrevocably on the way to creating a Union Government for Africa. Only a united Africa, with a central political leadership, will be able to give effective material and moral support to our liberation fighters in Southern Rhodesia, Angola, Mozambique, South West Africa, Betchuanaland, Swaziland, Basutoland, Portuguese Guinea, etc., etc., and of course South Africa. The whole of Africa must be liberated now. It is therefore imperative for us to create here and now a Liberation Bureau in the service of African fighters.

Its main objective, to which all governments must subscribe, will be to accelerate the emancipation of the rest of Africa which is still under colonial and racist domination and oppression. We must take joint responsibility for assisting and funding this office. When they become independent, these territories will automatically join the union of African states and thus strengthen the structure of ……… Africa. We will leave here having laid the foundation for our unity.

Excellencies, nothing could be more appropriate than the birth of the unification of Africa on the soil of the State that has stood for centuries as the symbol of African independence.

Let us return to our African peoples, not empty-handed or laden with trumpeting resolutions, but with the firm hope and absolute certainty that at last African Unity has become a reality. We shall then begin the triumphant march towards the Kingdom of the African personality, and towards a continent of prosperity, progress, equality, justice, activity and happiness. This will be our victory, achieved in a continental government of a Union of African States. This victory will give our voice greater strength in world affairs and enable us to weigh more heavily on the side of peace in the balance of power.

The world needs a peace in which it can enjoy the full benefits of science and technology. Many of the ills that the world currently suffers from are the insecurity and fear engendered by the threat of nuclear war. The new nations especially need peace to make their way into a life of economic and social well-being in an atmosphere of security and stability that will allow for moral, cultural and spiritual ……….

If we in Africa can set an example of a united continent and a common policy and resolve, we will have brought about the peace to which all men and women aspire today, the greatest contribution in our possession that will immediately and forever dispel the growing shadow of global destruction that threatens humanity.

AFRICA MUST UNITE.

SPEECH BY
DR. ASAGYESFO KWAME NKRUMAH
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA

SUMMIT OUA 24 MAY 1963

Source: The New Tribune

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