Africa Unbound: Reflections of An African Statesman

By Alex Quaison-Sackey | Go to book overview
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IV
Positive Neutralism and Nonalignment

AS AFRICAN PERSONALITY asserts itself on the continent of Africa by searching for unity, so it asserts itself beyond its borders, among the nations of the world, by following a policy of positive neutrality and nonalignment. The two are, of course, related, as domestic and foreign policies so often are; but the latter policy is an unusual one in many ways, for it emerges from, and is consistent with, Africa's unique position as a continent not only struggling to free itself from European domination but unwilling to exchange a Western form of domination for an Eastern one. Positive neutralism, however, strikes many people as a contradiction in terms, especially since neutrality is usually associated with passivity. But the African policy is neither negative nor passive, as we shall see, although its development from earlier concepts may at first make it seem so. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah has said of positive neutralism, for example, that it does not "imply that the Government of Ghana will be a mere silent spectator of world events. On the contrary, the Government of Ghana will continue to take positive steps through the United Nations to promote and maintain peace and security among all nations. We shall always adopt whatever positive policies will do most to safeguard our independence and world peace." And President Modibo Keita of Mali has described the policy as "the refusal of a nation to lose its personality in a world

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