by Kachingwe Singoyi*
Such a great honour to stand before you and represent Africa at this 6th ILPS International Assembly and outline the struggles of the African people.
Africa is a big scandal and the world doesn’t know much about the exploitation and oppression on the continent by imperial forces. During the decolonization process in Africa, most of the African countries independence struggle were hijacked and this was due to the fact that some of our liberation movement leaders didn’t take heed of Frantz Fanon’s advice on the decolonization process when he writes in the Wretched of the Earth saying“ there is need for liberation movement leaders to understand that colonialism was founded on white supremacy and black inferiority” to get independence African leaders needed to dismantle colonial institutions under which white supremacy and black inferiority was anchored on. Today in Africa, we are still neocolonialised because most of our independencies were negotiated, so from direct colonialism we went straight to neocolonialism. But we still had progressive leaders that had a socialist perspective and fought against neocolonialism but they were murdered, among them was Patrice Lumumba from Congo DRC, Patrice was the shortest serving Prime Minister who only served for 3 months and he was murdered by the Belgium Intelligence because he stood on socialism as the only ideology that would have guaranteed the ownership of the means of production by the African people.
Samora Machel from Mozambique was also murdered because he stood for the liberation of the African continent under socialism. Chris Hani from South Africa was a leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC). He was murdered because he believed the only way South Africa will be liberated is through socialism. Kwame Nkrumah, when Ghana was getting independence – mind you, Ghana is the first country that got independence in the Sub-Saharan Africa. It was the first country to get independence in the Sub-Saharan Africa. When Kwame Nkrumah was giving a speech on the day of independence in Ghana, he says, “The independence of Ghana means nothing without the liberation of the African continent because Africa is one.” And for this cause, the moment the last African country gets independence, Africa must unite under socialism. Unfortunately, he was equally deposed off through a coup d’etat organized by the CIA.
Fast forward neoliberalism, 1990. With the progressive leaders gotten rid of, reactionary forces were used to promote a neoliberal agenda on the African continent. So you get a situation where multi-national corporations are funding political parties. Imperial forces, imperial states, imperial governments are funding bourgeois democracy and telling us that we have to introduce multi-party democracy.
So we get into neoliberal capitalism of the 1990s. Funded by imperial forces, controlling our states, they made sure that they dictate the policies that we formulated because he who pays the piper calls for the tune. With the crisis of neoliberal capitalism, higher unemployments results into the creation of NGOs that are also funded by the Western multi-national corporations and come up with false solutions of eradicating poverty in [the] African continent. Our Ministers of Finance were supervised by IMF and World Bank through the Structural Adjustment Program.
The fact that most of our people couldn’t find employment. It meant that this reaction states didn’t get enough tax to fund neoliberal policies. So then they have to go back to the Western forces – most of our national budgets are funded by Western forces. Again he who pays the piper calls for the tune.
We get to have Barack Obama as the President of the United States. Imperialism again uses this black-faced USA president to coopt the young Africans through the project they were calling the Young African Leaders Initiative to promote the neoliberal agenda on the African continent. So any young African who tends out to be progressive is coopted into the Young African Leaders Initiative. So most of the uprisings that you’ve read on the African continent were led by the young people that were frustrated. They didn’t have a compass, they didn’t have an ideology. And most of those have been coopted in the Young African Leaders Initiative.
That’s the crisis of Africa today.
Then how do we resist? We are inspired by the undying spirit of the Palestinian People. We are inspired by the Venezuelan – Bolivarian revolution. We are inspired by the Cuban Revolution. We are inspired by the struggling masses out there to say, Africa must unite and struggle against imperialism. How then do we do that?
Remember, with colonialism came the depoliticization of our people, especially the young people. Most of the uprising you see on the African continent, they have no class approach to the struggle. It comes out of frustration. We then have to organize the masses across the continent with an ideology, with socialism.
Talking about the victories, I’m representing the Socialist Party of Zambia. The Socialist Party of Zambia is a victory on its own because with the Socialist Party and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, we had to organize a conference in Zambia to debate neocolonialism today and Pan-Africanism today, so that we can liberate the African continent. In that conference, three resolutions were arrived at. The first one that we have to set up a secretariat. The second one is that we have to set up political schools in Southern Africa, West Africa and North Africa. Right now, as I speak, the Socialist Party of Zambia and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, we’ve set up political schools in South Africa, in Ghana and North Africa to politically conscientize the youth, the women, the working class, the peasants in the struggle against imperialism with a class perspective.
It’s such a great honour to be here and build solidarity with a number of revolutionary movements that are represented here. It gives us a lot of vigour to struggle the more and liberate the African continent against imperialism.
Africa must unite!
*Kachingwe Songayi is a Pan-Africanist activist and head of political education of the Foundation for Civic Awareness in Zambia. As a Pan-Africanist activist, he travels across the continent of Africa and abroad advocating for the unity of social movements against neo-colonialism and imperialism.