Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Resolutions of the 8th Pan African Congress: Accra, Ghana

Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Resolutions of the 8th Pan African Congress: Accra, Ghana

Article excerpt

We, the representatives of the global Pan African family, gathered in Accra, Ghana from 5th to the 7th of March 2015, to review progress made thus far since the Pan African Congress in 1994 and to take stock of the continual challenges confronting African persons of African descent globally. This represented the first session of the 8th Pan African Congress, with the second session to be convened by May 2016.

The President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E John Dramani Mahama, officially opened the 8th Pan African Congress and delivered a keynote address calling upon all African governments and people to take practical steps collectively--and in solidarity- for the unification and development of Africa.

We recognized that we belong to a historical tradition of congress and regional meetings that have convened over irregular periods since 1900, incorporating ardent Pan Africanists of various persuasions from the Global Pan African Family, who brought ideologies and political practice from a diverse set of circumstances in a search for a more positive future for all.

We affirmed the contributions of the 1994 pre-Congress of women that established the Pan African Women's Liberation Organization to address the specific needs and aspirations of women activists in the Pan African Movement.

We acknowledged that the world has significantly changed since the 1600 delegates, men, women and youth from twenty countries and six continents, gathered in Kampala and it is in that context that we understand the challenges and contradictions faced by the standard bearers of Pan-Africanism. It is also in that context that the Resolutions of the 7th Pan-African Congress were adopted, partially implemented or completely ignored.

We recognized the need for African leadership to immediately implement processes and structures that incorporate the 6th region of the African Union, the Diaspora, in implementing Agenda 2020 and Agenda 2063. Specifically, the head of the Secretariat, Tajudeen Abdul Raheem, was acknowledged for playing a significant role in laying the groundwork for the continental transition of the Organization of African Unity to the African Union in 2000. Similarly, he was a pivotal factor in ensuring that the social contradictions that resulted in open warfare in the Great Lakes Region were mediated by the involvement of all stakeholders governments and civil society--under the rubric "Africans to Solve African Problems."

This capacity to grasp complex situations with multiple interest and players was also deployed by the head of the Secretariat in expediting dialogue between the African Union, Civil Society and the Regional Economic Communities.

As a direct result of the persuasive powers of the PAC Secretariat head based on the resolution of the 1994 delegates, Ethiopia amended its policy to allow the majority of Africans to apply for a visa on arrival. Uganda and Tanzania subsequently followed suit. We unreservedly applaud Mauritius, Seychelles, Mozambique, Rwanda and Comoros that facilitate visa-free or visas on arrival for all African citizens. This is a significant step in the often expressed desire for a continental passport. Communication on these and other initiatives were shared on a regular basis via "Tajudeen Postcards," a short form of expression that cogently captured existing challenges and successes while sharing a brief historical narrative that provided an appropriate context. These briefs have been captured in book form under the title "Speaking Truth to Power" effectively serving as a potential guidepost for the future.

Structurally the Secretariat established a Youth Desk and Women's Desk, both of which were functional for approximately six years after the 1994 Congress. Due to existing external conditions which undermined earlier optimism regarding fundraising, the Secretariat was unable to fund these two operations after that time. However, both sectors have continued to contribute through the work of volunteers, with the Youth able to do so more regularly. …

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