African Unity: The Meaning of the Accra Conference
FOR MANY YEARS before the African independence movement gained momentum, the need for a wider union and a deeper communion among African states had been the subject of constant discussion. Interestingly enough, it was a Jamaican of African descent, Henry Sylvester Williams, who first began to promote the idea of Pan-Africanism and then, in 1900, sponsored the First Pan-African Conference, held in London. It was at this conference that another great leader of Pan-Africanism, Mr. William E. B. Du Bois, an American of African descent, made his famous statement: "The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line--the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea." Thereafter, men of the stature of Casely Hayford of Ghana, Herbert Macaulay of Nigeria, and Isaac Wallace-Johnson of Sierra Leone continued to advocate unity among both Africans and those of African descent; during the 1920's, these three were particularly active in working for West African federation, and had not Houphouet-Boigny's RDA been stripped of its federalist character during the late 1940's, it would have contributed to the work these men had begun years earlier.
It was after World War II, however, that discussion began to