Organisation of African Unity 50th anniversary solemn declaration

We, Heads of State and Government of the African Union assembled to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the OAU/AU established in the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 25 May 1963,

Evoking the uniqueness of the history of Africa as the cradle of humanity and a centre of civilization, and dehumanized by slavery, deportation, dispossession, apartheid and colonialism as well as our struggles against these evils, which shaped our common destiny and enhanced our solidarity with peoples of African descent;

Recalling with pride, the historical role and efforts of the Founders of the PanAfrican Movement and the nationalist movements, whose visions, wisdom, solidarity and commitment continue to inspire us;

Reaffirming our commitment to the ideals of Pan-Africanism and Africa’s aspiration for greater unity, and paying tribute to the Founders of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) as well as the African peoples on the continent and in the Diaspora for their glorious and successful struggles against all forms of oppression, colonialism and apartheid;

Mindful that the OAU/AU have been relentlessly championing for the complete decolonization of the African continent and that one of the fundamental objectives is unconditional respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each of its Member States;

Stressing our commitment to build a united and integrated Africa;

Guided by the vision of our Union and affirming our determination to “build an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven and managed by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena”;

Determined to take full responsibility for the realisation of this vision;

Guided by the principles enshrined in the Constitutive Act of our Union and our Shared Values, in particular our commitment to ensure gender equality and a people centred approach in all our endeavours as well as respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of our countries .


Ethiopianism-Ethiopiawinet Online Revival

august 9 ethiopianism

`Extra, Extra!
(Received August 9, 1:23 p.m.)
“Strong measures are being concerted at Capetown to restrain the coloured population, whose disturbance is attributed mainly to Ethiopianism.”
(Wanganui Chronicle, Volume L, Issue 12101, 10 August 1906)

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The Ethiopian Manifesto: Issued in Defence of the Black Man’s Rights in the Scale of Universal Freedom New York: Robert Alexander Young, 1829

Ethiopians! open your minds to reason; let therein weigh the effects of truth, wisdom, and justice, (and a regard to your individual as general good,) and the spirit of these our words, we know full well, cannot but produce the effect for which they are by us here from intended. Know, then, in your present state or standing, in your sphere of government in any nation within which you reside, we hold and contend you enjoy but few of your rights of government within them. We here speak of the whole of the Ethiopian people, as we admit not even those in their state of native simplicity, to be in an enjoyment of their rights as bestowed to them of the great bequest of God to man.

The impositions practiced to their state, not being known to them from the heavy and darksome clouds of ignorance which so woefully obscures their reason, we do, therefore, for the recovering them, as well as establishing to you your rights, proclaim, that duty-imperious duty, exacts the convocation of ourselves in a body politic; that we do, for the promotion and welfare of our order, establish to ourselves a people framed unto the likeness of that order, which from our mind’s eye we do evidently discern governs the universal creation. Beholding but one sole power, supremacy, or head, we do of that head, but hope and look forward for succour in the accomplishment of the great design which he hath, in his wisdom, promoted us to its undertaking.

We find we possess in ourselves an understanding; of this we are taught to know the ends of right and wrong, that depression should come upon us or any of our race, of the wrongs inflicted on us of men. We know in our- selves we possess a right to see ourselves justified therefrom, of the right of God; knowing, but of his power hath he decreed to man, that either in himself he stands, or by himself he falls. Fallen, sadly, sadly low indeed, hath become our race, when we behold it reduced but to an enslaved state, to raise it from its degenerate sphere, and instill into it the rights of men, are the ends intended of these words; here we are met in ourselves, we constitute but one, aided, as we trust, by the effulgent light of wisdom to a discernment of the path which shall lead us to the collecting together of a people, rendered disobedient to the great dictates of nature, by the barbarity that hath been practised upon them from generation to generation, of the will of their more cruel fellow-men. Am I, because I am a descendant of a mixed race of men, whose shade hath stamped them with the hue of black, to deem myself less eligible to the attainment of the great gift allotted of God to man, than are any other of whatsoever cast you please, deemed from being white, as being more exalted than the black? …

Beware! know thyselves [slaveholders] to be but mortal men, doomed to the good or evil, as your works shall merit from you. Pride ye not yourselves in the greatness of your worldly standing, since all things are but moth when contrasted with the invisible spirit, which in yourself maintains within you your course of action: That within you will, to the presence of your God, be at all times your sole accuser.

Weigh well these my words in the balance of your consciencious reason, and abide the judgment thereof to your own standing, for we tell you of a surety, the decree hath already passed the judgment seat of an undeviating God, wherein he hath said, “surely hath the cries of the black, a most persecuted people, ascended to my throne and craved my mercy; now, behold! I will stretch forth mine hand and gather them to the palm, that they become unto me a people, and I unto them their God.” Hearken, therefore, oh! slaveholder, thou task inflicter against the rights of men, the day is at hand, nay the hour draweth nigh, when poverty shall appear to thee a blessing, if it but restore to thy fellow-man his rights; all worldly riches shall be known to thee then but as a curse, and in thine heart’s desire to obtain contentment, when sad reverses come upon thee, then shalt thou linger for a renewal of days, that in thine end thou might not curse the spirit which called thee forth to life.

Take warning, again we say, for of a surety from this, God will give you signs to know, in his decrees he regards the fallen state of the sons of men. Think not that wisdom descries not from here your vanity. We behold it, thou vain bloated upstart worldling of a slaveholder, laugh in derision of thy earthly taught and worldly sneer; but know, on thee we pronounce our judgment, and as fitting thee, point out to thy notice this our sign. Of the degraded of this earth, shall be exalted, one who shall draw from thee, as though gifted of power divine, all attachment and regard of thy slave towards thee.

Death shall he prefer to a continuance of his race:-being doomed to thy vile servitude, no cohabitation shall be known between the sexes, while suffering under thy slavery; but should ungovernable passion attain over the untaught mind an ascendancy, abortion shall destroy the birth. We command it, the voice of imperative justice, though however harsh, must be obeyed. Ah! doth your expanding judgment, base slaveholder, not from here descry that the shackles which have been by you so undeservingly forged upon a wretched Ethiopian’s frame, are about to be forever from him unlinked. Say ye, this can never be accomplished? If so, must indeed the power and decrees of Infinity become subservient to the will of depraved man. But learn, slaveholder, thine will rests not in thine hand:

God decrees to thy slave his rights as a man. This we issue forth as the spirit of the black man or Ethiopian’s right, established from the Ethiopian’s Rock, the foundation of his civil and religious rights, which hereafter will be exemplified in the order of its course. Ethiopians, throughout the world in general, receive this as but a lesson presented to you from an instructive Book, in which many, many are therein contained, to the vindication of its purpose. As came John the Baptist, of old, to spread abroad the forthcoming of his master, so alike are intended these our words, to denote to the black African or Ethiopian people, that God has prepared for them a leader, who awaits but his season to proclaim to them his birthright. How shall you know this man? By indubitable signs which cannot be controverted by the power of mortal, his marks being stamped in open visage, as equally so upon his frame, which constitutes him to have been particularly regarded in the infinite work of God to man…..

Peace and Liberty to the Ethiopian first, as also all other grades of men, is the invocation we offer to the throne of God.

African RealPolitik

African RealPolitik.

The politics of power. Used to shape the material. Physical. Tangible. Parts of our everyday lives. Some would call it pragmatic? I don’t know if I buy that suggestion so simply.
But sometimes I think,
What about RealPolitik?

I was lucky enough, to be raised by a mum who cherished dreams more than most people I have met in my natural life. Having now found mild comfort, in a hazy Pan-African dream I often feel dismissed as “idealistic”. And I can’t say I always disagree but somehow I feel suspicious at heavy handed attitudes to imagination by folks who don’t see the world as I do. I feel guilty for my doubt when I inevitably attempt to resist your vision, and try to dismiss you.

But, it is hard to share dreams with another. Not everyone goes to sleep at the same time. Not everyone rests their cheek on a pillow. No two souls go to bed, with the same thoughts in their head. Imagine if priority. Your primary responsibility was is to care for young children. Who’s belly’s must be fed. Ideology might feel empty. It might sound neat, beautiful, fanciful & complete. But so very far. Out of reach. When put along side your reality. It might fill you with a sense of defeat.

You might yearn for RealPolitik.
Over what is abstractly “right”.
You might demand achieving goals.
Over the chants of revolution.
That promise much but leave you still hungry, as they grow in complexity & convolution.
You might wonder while you brothers & sisters wish to take up “arms”
Because they want to take back farms.
When we rarely discuss the struggling progress. Of our living Black Farms.
You might permit. Shoprite. Checkers. Big Supermarkets. To enter our communities.
For their cheap prices for food. For consumer benefit.
But you might also gasp, if you saw how they valuate our communities.
They would gladly sell us fish.
And make you think. That the Fishing Rod and the Boat. Are the tools of the rich.
Locking us into dependency. While we fall into complacency.
You yearn now, for RealPolitik.

Funny it is. That I have “read” about the importance of reading. Yet in very few moments have I heard about the importance of “writing” and “speaking”. Telling your story, my friend. Is an act of revolution. Consuming the tales of the lives of others that thrive might be what we are used to. But so much is in front of us. And around us. If we can learn to break through to your neighbours. And learn to listen to them too.

Far too many folks. And I am certainly no exception. Spend their hard earned skills. Working for “the man” who coaxes profit from our families. Sometimes, quickly & quietly – or slowly and violently – Killing.
Where we stand is always a land of opportunity.
But the fear of risk.
Bites hard into our skin. Leading us to side, by default. To the comfort of security.
But we need to inject. Onto this continent. Some RealPolitik. A movement building on the principles of tangible change of circumstance. Not blind dreams, reclaiming of African Kings and Queens. Do we still have time to take this chance? What are our practical goals to change our circumstance?

One only has a the length of a life to lead. I guess.
And even that, is a length, that one has little control over.
But when operating in a collective. The fullness of a life is multiplied.
By the Joy. Pain. Struggle & Victory.
Of those lit by the light.
Of the flames fueled by the pursuit of goals. Bringing change.
That fire can be fueled by RealPolitik.
If our community is hungry.
Our goal must be that none go unfed.
If our community is not healthy.
Our goal must be that all receive health care.
The debate around how that should happen will be. And should be lively.
But a solution. Is not a solution.
If it has no hope of being successful.
Solutions are accepted as such. Once they are successful.
That is RealPolitik.

Now African RealPolitik.
What could that be?
Something they might call pragmatic. But I don’t know if you’ll accept that so simply.
It could mean to build what it is to be African.
Into what many dream it could be.
While knowing that it is difficult to see the dream of another.
We can begin to understand each other.
Through the formation of goals. Tangible goals.
That we accept to be true through relentless effort towards their execution.
Goals that are driven from the public.
And not at the level of delicate policy.
Crafted over expensive coffee.
If we want to tell our stories.
We must commit to read work made by each other.
If our stories are absent from book stores.
We must open our book stores.
If our crimes do not reach the newspapers.
We must have our own publications.

But, where will the money come from?
Is a question that is not easy to answer.
Given the disproportionate financial burden. On those who must also do the most work.
Then our goal, for those who can, must be to free up resources.
For communities to be less dependent.
On the train tracks built by profit making machines.
And this will require sacrifice.

Without question.

It will also require honesty.
An honest reflection from those who benefit from status quo.
For Academies & Medical Schools. That pump great resources in training specialist Doctors.
All the while knowing. Our primary need is at the level of,
Primary Health..
How many times have we echoed the “The Hippocratic Oath”
In defiance of the basic needs of our people?
For Engineering schools. Like my own.
That, in spite of our unique set of problems & opportunities.
Fail to tailor the philosophy of our schools.
To connect with great need for the discipline in our context.
Young folks must go to great lengths. To find this for themselves.
All the while bombarded by expectation & threat of Failure.
What is our goal?
What are we working for?
What will be our RealPolitik?

Technology has provided us with great opportunities. Undoubtedly not without it’s costs.
But, on so many levels it holds promise for connectedness between peoples who have been forcibly separated for centuries.
It provides opportunity for learning.
And can provide space for truly democratic media.
We must push to make the online space, accessible to all.
With fragmented access to this tech.
I see little hope for a coherent African RealPolitik.

RealPolitik. African RealPolitik.

The politics of power. Used to shape the material. Physical. Tangible. Parts of our everyday lives. Some would call it pragmatic? I don’t know if I buy that suggestion so simply.
But sometimes I think,
What about RealPolitik?


And yet,
At the end of the page that I scribbled this piece. In it’s poetic prose.
I see the black of my ink. Dry upon the page.
Feeling ashamed at my fear. And unwillingness.
To take the risk and turn my thoughts of RealPolitik.
Into a tangible reality.
It feels, sometimes, so indulgent to dream.
While trapped in indifference. Complacency & Comfort.
But I guess somehow it is to be expected.
Even with the metal doors open.
Some birds remain clawed to their cage.

I wonder for what the sing?
I wonder if the fear of the weight of tragedy is worth facing it in the realness of reality.
I wonder from where must the strength come from?
To engage in African RealPolitik.

Source: African RealPolitik