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Decolonizing Africa and African Development

The Twenty-First-Century Pan-Africanist Challenge


Anthony Victor Obeng

The book is an intellectual and political response to Thomas Sankara’s challenge to the African people to dare to invent their own future, an echo of Patrice Lumumba’s call for them to write their own history. Exploring the history of Africa’s underdevelopment and the short-circuiting of the Pan-African movement, it argues for the revival of Pan-Africanism as a force for change and calls for a worthy successor to the Fifth Pan-African Congress.

As a background to this argument and call, the book revisits Pan-Africanism’s history and founding ideals and conducts ruthless forensic examinations of the de facto Bantustanization of much of Africa and parts of the Caribbean, the ‘alternative development’ fiascos of the late twentieth century, the contemporary ‘globalization’ and ‘democratization’ of African projects by imperialist interests, the ‘Pan-Africanisms’ of imperialism’s active collaborators and other obstructions to the decolonization of Africa and African development.

Finally, recognizing that the plights of many Afro-Latinos, Afro-Indians, Afro-Arabs and other ‘lost’ or neglected ‘tribes of Africa’ – as well as those of the victims of ‘black-empowered’ predators – call out for urgent Pan-Africanist responses, the book contains numerous start-up project ideas for action-oriented Pan-Africanists.

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About the author


After a stint in academic research at the Encyclopedia Africana Secretariat in Accra, Ghana, Tony Obeng moved into development research, with appointments at the African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development in Tangier, Morocco and the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex (1970–1972). This was followed by a teaching and research position at the United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning in Dakar, Senegal, under Samir Amin. He transferred to the Food and Agriculture Organization in 1980 as its focal point on policy and technical coordination with the Organization of African Unity, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and other intergovernmental organizations. His post-retirement activities include contributions to development conferences and seminars and to the book Towards Africa’s Renewal (2007), for which he wrote the chapter ‘Vassal States, Development Options and African Development’. His current developmental affiliations include the Third World Forum, the World Forum for Alternatives and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa.

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