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517 CONCLUSION Beyond State and Geography BuildingtheAfricanUnionwiththeAfricanPeople toRealisetheAfricanRenaissance Mammo Muchie, Phindile Lukhele-Olorunju and Oghenerobor Akpor When something goes wrong in Somalia, the residents of Dead Man’s Creek, Mississippi, do not say ‘Something has gone wrong in Somalia’, they say, ‘Something has gone wrong in Africa.’ (Thabo Mbeki) ‘None of (the states), if taken individually, would be able to effectively represent Africa or fully restore its people. Africa’s contribution to humanity requires all African people to unite in achieving universal happiness.’ (Ahmed Sekou Toure) The borders drawn and left from the age of colonialism continue to generate conflict and dislocation, not peace and security. Colonialism, neocolonialism and coloniality have not ended fully yet. Africa’s integration must be a strategic weapon in the realisation of the vision and concept of a free Africa. Inter-African integration is needed to exploit the billion strong African market to transform and develop Africa. We still have the situation where there is more resources flowing out of Africa than flowing in. What is even more alarming is that to this day, Africans continue to flow to the rest of the world as slaves, conscripts, maids, servants, attendants, soldiers, labourers, refugees and unskilled workers. With a few exceptions, this pattern has not been broken yet. When other people flow into Africa, they come as explorers, missionaries , slave traders, imperial civilisers, investors, aid workers, consultants, settlers and tourists. This flow into Africa and flow from Africa shows the continent’s general status of humiliation and oppression today. The Ethiopiaism that inspired the first liberation movement in Africa, the ANC, by spreading self-worth, dignity, self-reliance, liberty and resistance to injustice remain unrealised. Post-coloniality is still a goal not a reality. 518 CONCLUSION This situation must be changed by the concept of a free Africa that the Ethiopianism of the 18th , 19th and 20th Century brought to guide the African struggle for total liberation. Africa must reclaim its dignity, thus capturing the agency to have the right to set the African agenda free from all kinds of influences from monetary to political and other pressures. The key is for Africa to capture the power of self-definition. Others’ definitions and ideas of Africa must not inform the self-definition of Africans, nor taint it. The AU must be founded upon the principles and values that Africans are to define who they are now, what they have been and who they wish to become. It is the synthesis of African self-images/subjectivities with African histories, traditions, and values, thoughts and knowledge that the AU should incorporate and be a vehicle for spreading. The concept of the AU should embody the idea of eradicating Africa’s humiliation by composing a free Africa through wide-ranging integration. Continued fragmentation can only mean continuing Africa’s humiliation. African integration, on the other hand, is a strategic move to reverse and finally eliminate Africa’s humiliation. Africa cannot solve its humiliation without dealing with its continued fragmentation. Africa can only stand up and grow by deepening the integration process. First and foremost, the task is to establish an African metaphysics that embodies a shared African project identity for unity and renaissance. Without developing an African identity, it is not easy to sustain the union project with any degree of stability and consistency. A shared African vision – worthy enough to shape, mediate and put in place effective mechanisms for resolving intractable conflicts and stimulate and inspire the capabilities of citizens and communities – is necessary in order to achieve harmony consistent with a shared conception of an African identity. Such a shared conception is necessary to develop and provide overriding expression to the African identity without giving offence to the numerous other identities Africans wish to express and have. Such a metaphysics that guides the project for the expression of an African identity is essential in order to forge the AU from the various states, racial, religious, language and ethnic groups. This overriding identity can be framed from the historical and social experience of Africans. The first is positive and is anchored on historical achievements of Africans from Ancient Egypt to the colonial encounter of Africa in the 1500’s. The second is the negative history of humiliation that still continues in different guises from the time of Africa’s degradation by enslavement. The metaphysics for anchoring the ontology of an African identity is framed 519 BEYOND STATE AND GEOGRAPHY by a...


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