What is Pan-Africanism?

Pan-Africanism, is a political movement, as well as a political ideology, which promotes the total independence of the African continent, and which encourages the practice of solidarity between Africans and people of African descent, wherever they are in the world, regardless of their ethnic origins, religious affiliations, or physical appearances

Pan-Africanism is at the same time a social, economic, cultural and political vision of the emancipation of Africans and a movement which aims to unify the Africans of the continent and of the African diaspora into a global African community. The heart of its principle is the certainty that the peoples of Africa and the diaspora share a common history and destiny and that their social, economic and political progress is linked to their unity. Its ultimate goal is the achievement of an integrated political organization of all the nations and peoples of Africa.

The word “Pan-African” first appeared in the late 19th century in preparation for the First Pan-African Conference in 1900. Historically, the idea developed in reaction to the consequences of the gradual dismantling of slavery in America. The expansion of Pan-Africanism can be found in the writings and speeches of some founding figures, including Edward Wilmot Blyden and Anténor Firmin. At the start of the twentieth century, other figures such as Bénito Sylvain, W. E. B. Du Bois and Joel Augustus Rogers contributed to the political affirmation of the Pan-African project.

With decolonization, it takes on a new dimension and is embodied by leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah. Even today, Pan-Africanism is expressed in Africa as in the former colonial powers in the political, economic, literary or even cultural fields. The largest pan-African organization today is the African Union.


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