The  current humanitarian crisis in Somalia has exposed the West’s hypocrisy while at the same time showing how narrow our modern day pan Africanism is.  If one does not believe that  the west are hypocritical then one has to look at how many billions where spend on the Libyan invasion and the amount of dollars spend on relief efforts  in Somalia where millions are facing death from a severe draught . 

No reason to celebrate 
Well the pan Africanists should not celebrate when one speaks out loud on the West’s hypocrisy because as far as Somalia’s relief efforts are concerned the West has outdone the Africans. What is even more disappointing is the silence on Somalia from our African leaders, who never miss an opportunity to grandstand at all big platforms lashing out at imperialism. Okay Somalia might be too dangerous to the liking of our leaders to actually visit the affected people but which national leader has even visited the affected Somalis in the safety of the neighbouring countries` refugee camps,  your guess is as good as mine, none.

Where it all went wrong
“We spoke and acted as if, given the opportunity for self-government, we could quickly create utopias. Instead injustice even tyranny is rampant everywhere”
Stealing from the words of Julius Nyerere that is exactly where the advocates of modern day pan Africanism lost the plot , when many countries attained self rule the pan Africanists in our leaders adopted a hear no evil and speak no evil policy, when tyranny and injustice was rampant, they remained silent as if they were deaf unfortunately this is the time Africa needed them the most. Not surprisingly they seem to only find their voices when the evil is being perpetrated by the West. Condemning dictatorships, leaders who disregard the rule of law, leaders who are brutal when dealing with their own citizens, leaders who steal elections is by no means aiding the West but in all essence living to the true pan Africanism ideals, ubuntu, hunhu if I may say. For some reason our leaders seem to side with each other rather than standing firm on principles, principles that they put signatures to, principles that guarantee peace, stability and a bright future for Africa. The African union has thus  reduced itself to nothing more than a social club for presidents to meet each other regularly at the expense of the suffering African taxpayer. The few leaders that have decided to speak out against some of Africa’s worst dictators have been castigated and  labelled puppets. Pan Africanism should not be reduced to just a fight against the West its much more than that 

Why the West
Its by no coincidence that every time the people of Africa are confronted by either a man made or a natural disaster they run to the West, Its for the simple reason that the West acts when called to do so. This doesn’t make their intentions pure, just like any other foreign policy theirs too is driven by selfish interest and Africa has to understand this and the sooner the better. Africa always seem to drag its feet and many times than not only to react when it’s a little too late.  When the children of Libya rose against Muammar Gaddafi, Africa chose to remain silent rather than taking a proactive stance, they did the same in Ivory Coast only to be overtaken by events later. We have only but ourselves to blame, our  inactivity or silence or both have always given opportunities for the West to intervene. If Africa is to be taken serious it has to start to take itself serious and I do not see any better starting point than Somalia. Our leaders should not only mobilize financial resources towards this end but also provide moral leadership by visiting the affected people and if its not safe for them to go there then there is also another problem they need to solve. They have to face the challenges head on and take a holistic approach to our common problems as Africa.

The future
Pan africanism should be more than a fight against the west it should be about the aspirations of Africans to live peacefully and prosper in our riches. While the objectives of Pan-Africanism have changed over time, the essence of pan africanism should remain steadfast which in more general terms should  be about laying the destiny of Africa to Africans. Its true that money buys you influence but unfortunately  African countries (say they) don’t have money. Until this power dynamic can be effectively challenged, it is in the interest of African nations to find a way of making existing systems work to their advantage, most importantly to work towards protecting African people and securing a better tomorrow.

Save Somalia