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Black Africa – The Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated State
By Cheikh Anta Diop
This work by one of Africa’s most prominent scientists and intellectuals Cheikh Anta Diop, is arguably his most important work due to its conciseness and brevity. In this work Diop calls for a reiterated theme which has been called for since before and after European imperialism and throughout the neocolonialism of the take away and exploitation of the natural resources on the vast African continent.
This theme of a federated state, or a ‘United States’ of Africa echoed in the writings of Nkrumah, Ahmad Sekou Toure, Col. Muammar Qaddafi, Thomas Sankara, Sgt. Gerald Rawlings and many others is discussed in this work in a more scientific manner examining the anthropological history of the continent, its potential for linguistic unity, but more importantly the need of the African continent to collectively exploit its vast energy resources.
Diop divides his work into three parts followed by a conclusion:
Part One: Historical Unity: the Restoration of African Historical Consciousness
In this section he discusses the origins of the history of Black Africa; linguistic unity, political unity and federalism, the privileged position of West Africa, new strategies to maintain European control over its former colonies and bicameral democracy.
Part Two: Compendium of Energy Resources
In this section Diop delineates the diverse and rich energy resources of Africa, such as hydraulic, solar, atomic, thermonuclear, wind, the thermal energy of oceans surrounding the continent, tidal energy, volcanic and geothermal energies. He demonstrates in this section how these energy resources stretch across vast areas of the continent demanding the need for federation in order for these resources to be exploited to their fullest. He also touches on a theme which is now facing the global community, and that is water.
The World Health Organization predicted that many of the wars of the future between states will be over water. In Africa from the Spanish Sahara to Darfur and from the deserts of Libya to southern Niger exist the world’s largest fresh water aqueduct which could potentially provide clean water to the entire African continent for a millennium. The only country which attempted to exploit this vast water supply and make it available to all African people was the Libyan Jamhuriyya under Col. Muammar Qaddafi. He began one of the most ambitious projects of extracting this water and turning the Sahara desert into tribal lands.
This venture was suddenly stopped with US/NATO led invasion of Libya and the subsequent murder of Qaddafi. One of the key causes of disease in Africa is the lack of clean water. Thus, the US/NATO lead overthrow of the Jamhuriyya was not only a crime against the Libyan people, but a crime against the entire continent.
Part Three: The Industrialization of Black Africa
In this section of the work Diop discusses the potential for sustainable development and industrialization in the key engines of the continent such as the Zaire River Basin, the Gulf of Benin, Ghana and the Ivory Coast, the Nilotic Sudan, the tropical zones of Mali, Niger and Senegal, the great lakes region of Ethiopia, the Zambez River Basin and southern Africa. He demonstrates in a scientific manner how these regions can only reach its full potential for industrialization collectively through regional federation.
Conclusion: In his conclusion Diop explores the methods of investment funds. scientific research as well as comparative production figures which would enable Africa to become a united federated union along the same trajectory of the European Union and the United States. However, his developmental model is not drawn from these northern states; but from further east in China and India. He concludes by citing 14 steps which would lead to African unity and federation.
For any person genuinely interested in the sustainable development of Africa where the continent can achieve its genuine potential making it THE engine for the world; should read this work.
Shaykh Muhammad Shareef bin Farid
15th Sha`ban, 1437 (May 22, 2016)
Bamako, Republique du Mali