Pan-Africanism – Aya Chebbi

Africa is usually depicted as moving from the days of an independence era through four decades of neo-colonial exploitation, to recent waves of revolutions against domestic dictatorships and continuing poverty, as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

However, we cannot shrink the future of Africa in accepting its reality. We need to acknowledge even the small meaningful changes and growth, in the hope of transforming it.

 

 

In this quest for hope and transformation, North Africa needs to be integrated in the continent’s entire transformation. The rest of Africa should be aware of the transformation North Africa could bring to the continent politically, strategically and economically. 

The origins of exchanges, interactions and ties, which we have gradually been losing between North Africa and the rest of the continent, date back to antiquity, including cultural, scientific, diplomatic, military and commercial movements. If we look back to independence movements when the Algerian revolution was embraced as part of the African revolution, there was no division between black Africa and Arab Africa. It was a strong connection as the Algerians were considered African heroes by most Africans and vice versa, the Algerians considered the liberation struggle in the rest of Africa as part of their struggle. , Muammar Gaddafi played a momentous role in supporting the anti-apartheid movements in South Africa and Zimbabwe and behaved generously to the rest of Africa based on his record of the last few years. 

Therefore, as a starting point to revive the ties of history, North Africa is hoping to receive solidarity, unity and support from the rest of Africa in its ongoing political and social change.

On the other hand, North Africa has yet to realize that its future lies in Africa. It needs to use the changing economic and social conditions to positively affect its relations with the rest of Africa. Tunisia, unfortunately, continues to reinforce its close ties with Europe, both economically and politically, without balancing these partnerships with its African counterparts. The European Union has, in fact, decided to give Tunisia an overall budget of around €550 million including approximately €250 million in donations and €300 million in the form of macro-financial assistance to support economic and social development efforts in the country, during its democratic transition.

However, Morocco is making the strategic choice of "south-south cooperation," recognizing the enormous potential of some African states to become the highest growth economies in the world. Despite the limits of its economy, Morocco has managed to create and develop a substantial business within by increasing cooperation with its new continental partners. 

In fact, North African countries need to assess Africa’s place in their foreign policies. The movement of populations in both directions across the Sahara was significant to the transformation of state, economy and society in the ancient times. Therefore, we need to regain mutual understanding and accommodation between North and South by creating conditions for fostering mutual acceptance and cooperation. The future of Africa lies in the mobilization of its resources, goods and capital within the continent and across the Sahara. This will also help to have a rapid response to our different crises across the continent as we:

·         Re-visit the history of relations between North Africa and the rest of the continent with a foresight vision to integration.

·         Reflect on the central factors, including religion, mobility and commerce that have helped to shape the history of intra-Africa’s relations.

·         Reflect on the sub-regional cooperation and integration promoted in North Africa and their connections.

·         Reflect on the impact of the struggle for national liberation in North Africa as well as the new uprisings on the continent.

·         Explore which skills are critical to implement the priorities after defining our common goals.

 

The ties between North Africa and the rest of the continent have been crucial to the definition of the role and place of the sub-region in the pan-Africanist vision. Now, attention should be drawn again to North Africa’s place and contribution to Africa’s future because it is not an option anymore, but an economic necessity. 

 

 

Aya-blog

Aya Chebbi, a young Tunisian blogger, women's advocate and peace activist.

Aya's passion for Pan-Africanism explains her dedication to inspire and unite African youth for Africa's development.

 

 

 

 

Read More:  http://www.foresightfordevelopment.org/ffd-blog/pan-africanism

We should acknowledge even the small meaningful changes in Africa Aya writes

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