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African Liberation Day marked in style. (Diaspora).

This year's African Liberation Day (25th May), the 43rd in the series, was observed in a big way throughout the African Diaspora -- from Belfast in Northern Ireland to Aalborg in Denmark, and all over America.

In London, UK, the Day was observed by various Diasporan groups to celebrate their heritage.

One of the groups, the All Africa People's Revolutionary Party (AAPRP) -- originally founded by Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah -- and other pan-Africanist societies across London organised a two-day event to discuss ways in which Continental and Diasporan Africans could work together for the betterment of Africa and its peoples (both at home and in the Diaspora).

In a keynote address, Vivene Younger, a member of the central committee of the AAPRP, said Africans had the responsibility to work for a solution to the continent's problems. There was need, she said, to transform the thinking of the peoples of Africa.

"Africa is the richest continent on earth," Vivene said, "but wherever you find Africans (black people living inside and outside Africa), we are among the poorest, we are disorganised and many of us suffer from ideological confusions.

"Every conscious African who understands this reality," she continued, "has a moral obligation to become involved in seeking a permanent solution to our problems."

She was unhappy that key industries in Africa, such as banking and communication, continued to be concentrated in the hands of a small minority. "The economic systems and political policies of independent Africa," she said, "are managed and manipulated from outside, by international monopolies."

The theme for this year's commemoration was, "Smash neo-colonialism: no more coups in Africa; organise the masses for one unified socialist Africa".

Vivene said Africa had to stop the culture of military coups because it had become an impediment to development. Some of the coups, she said, had seen the emergence of puppet regimes who had little interest in developing education or strengthening the bargaining power of their workers employed by multinationals, or even raking any steps that would challenge the colonial pattern of commerce and industry.

"By concentrating on political struggles to end direct colonial rule or to force minority regimes to grant reforms, attention is diverted from economic and domestic issues," she added. "Many of the puppet rulers in Africa masquerade as revolutionaries and liberators, but serve the interests of their neo-colonialist masters."

She said Africans had a rich courageous history for which they should be proud.

"The greatest problems we face are disorganisation, disunity, ideological confusion, lack of understanding about our identity and lack of knowledge about our history. History is a crucial weapon for oppressed people. It helps us locate strategies in the past to improve today. We can analyse our collective strengths and weaknesses."

The two-day event was marked by performances by a range of cultural artists. The performances were interspersed with presentations from international speakers, many of whom dwelt on the need for unity towards an African renaissance.
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Author:Hakata, Michelle
Publication:New African
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:Jul 1, 2001
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