Pan-Africanism was conceived by people of African origin in other countries (L); the original conception has been attributed to Henry Sylvester-Williams, a Trinidad barrister. In the 1920s an American Negro, Dr W. E. B. Du Bois, became its chief exponent; he organized five international conferences, three of them in Britain. The movement steadily gained a following in Africa itself. Its main aim is the political and economic unity of the peoples of the continent; it is inclined towards socialism and 'positive neutrality'. Many political organizations in Africa are committed to it, though for some this is only lip-service. Three All-African People's Conferences (in Accra, Tunis and Cairo) have been held since 1959. Among governments, those of Ghana and Guinea have pursued Pan-Africanism most strongly. Their 'union' in 1958 (13, 19) was intended as the nucleus of a wider union, pending which it was to operate loosely; it was later reinforced by Mali's adhesion, and named the Union of African States in 1961.
Regional groupings appear a more immediate prospect. The Pan- African Freedom Movement of East and Central Africa (Pafmeca -- 27), an unofficial African nationalist organization, favours a regional federation, which might extend to Nyasaland and Rhodesia as well as East Africa, while also supporting continental unity. Most ex- French republics have taken stands against full political union; but, paradoxically, their common opposition to some of the Ghana- Guinea group's aims -- especially in regard to the Congo (Á, 23) -- has contributed to their forming an association known as the Brazzaville group (14). This group is seeking economic co-operation between members; two customs unions already exist, grouping the states of former French West Africa (minus Guinea and Mali) and of French Equatorial Africa (14-16).
At conferences of independent African states in Accra in 1958 and Addis Ababa in 1960, unity of action was affirmed, and the cause of Africans still under white rule was championed in more specific forms. In 1961, however, a rift appeared between the independent states. Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Morocco and the United Arab Republic, which had held a conference at Casablanca under the impact of events in the Congo, did not attend a later conference in Monrovia at which the 12 Brazzaville states were joined by Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, Tunisia, Libya, Ethiopia and Somalia. But