By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: Col. Muammar Gaddafi, the deceased former president of Libya, was one of the world’s most acclaimed Pan -Africanists who received the Pan-African Pyramid (PAP) award for 2019.
During the awards ceremony at Fairway Hotel recently, the PAP Committee recognised Gaddafi for among other things his struggle to unite all African countries, the campaign to uniform African currency, passport and his overwhelming desire to unite all Africans both in Africa and in the Diaspora.
Gaddafi’s award was received by Mr. Salah Ghryani, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) and Head IT at the Libyan Embassy in Uganda, on behalf of the Gaddafi family and the Embassy.
The United States of Africa (USA), which is the ultimate goal of Pan-Africanism, is a proposed concept for a federation of some or all of the 55 sovereign states on the continent of Africa. The concept takes its origin from Marcus Garvey’s 1924 poem “Hail, United States of Africa.”
The idea of a multinational unifying African state has been compared to various medieval African empires, including the Ethiopian Empire, the Ghana Empire, the Mali Empire, the Songhai Empire, the Benin Empire, the Kanem Bonu Empire, and other historic nation states.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, majority of African land was controlled by various European empires, with the British controlling around 30% of the African population at its peak. Garvey’s ideas and formation systems deeply influenced former African leaders and the rebirth of the African Union, former the Organisation for African Unity (OAU).
In February 2009, upon being elected chairman of the 53-nation African Union in Ethiopia, Gaddafi told the assembled African leaders: “I shall continue to insist that our sovereign countries work to achieve the United States of Africa.” Before his death in October 2011, Gaddafi had reportedly proposed “a single African military force, a single currency and a single passport for Africans to move freely around the continent.”
Although other African leaders including Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni stated they would study the proposal’s implications and re-discuss it in May 2009, it never was. The focus for developing the United States of Africa so far has been on building subdivisions of Africa.
East African Federation (EAC) can be seen as an example of this.
Former President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, had indicated that the United States of Africa could exist from as early as 2017.
Gaddafi had also indicated that the proposed federation could extend as far west as the Caribbean, Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and other islands featuring a large African diaspora, could be invited to join.
At the 20th century’s end, Gaddafi, frustrated by the failure of his Pan-Arab ideals, increasingly rejected Arab nationalism in favour of Pan-Africanism, emphasizing Libya’s African identity.
From 1997 to 2000, Libya initiated cooperative agreements or bilateral aid arrangements with 10 African states.
In June 1999, Gaddafi visited Mandela in South Africa and the following month attended the OAU summit in Algiers, calling for greater political and economic integration across the continent and advocating the foundation of a United States of Africa. He became one of the founders of the African Union (AU), initiated in July 2002 to replace the OAU.
at the opening ceremony, he called for African states to reject conditional aid from the developed world, a direct contrast to the message of South African President Thabo Mbeki. At the third AU summit, held in Libya in July 2005, he called for greater integration, advocating for a single AU passport, a common defense system, and a single currency, utilizing the slogan: “The United States of Africa is the hope.”
His proposal for a Union of African States project, which was originally conceived by Marcus Garvey, HIM Emperor Haile Selassie and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana was rejected at the Assembly of Heads of States and Government (AHSG) summit in Lusaka Zambia (2001) by African leaders who thought it was “unrealistic” and “utopian”.
By the time of his death, Gaddafi’s anti-Western campaign was more clear than before. At the Second Africa-South America Summit in Venezuela in September 2009, he joined Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in calling for an “anti-imperialist” front across Africa and Latin America.
He proposed the establishment of a ‘South Atlantic Treaty Organization’ (SATO) to rival North Atlantatic Treaty Organization (NATO).
That month he also addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York for the first time, using it to condemn “Western aggression”
During Gaddafi’s 40 year leadership, he turned Libya from a desert place to a fully-fledged farm land suitable for competitive Agriculture to feed its people. He nationalized oil, meaning, the government had control over the resources. He sold it and used the money to provide services nationalized services. Libyans didn’t have to pay taxes.
His government used its resources to cater for what taxes would cater for, so Libyans had never borne the burden on vampirical taxation.
They received free health care, free Education from birth to PhD or as far as one wished, free housing for the poor and subsidies on things like food, fuel, clothing, etc.
Libya was one of the free countries in the world that did not have any form of debts whatsoever, but had instead lent several African and European countries billions of dollars . Gaddafi’s government made sure all Libyan investments like oil were all within Africa.
Libya had more money than its population could use and had billions stored a way around the world. All the money Libya stored in Europe including much of the gold in Libya were all looted by European governments.
Africa spends billions every year paying Europe for using satellite communication systems, in entertainment, security, business or just communications. Gaddafi got rid of that by paying and setting up a satellite system in Africa for free, saving Africa billions annually going to Europe.
Africa is divided into over 55 countries, with different currencies, which makes it hard for trade between African countries (and also makes African resources relatively accessible to foreign (white/Anglo-American) capital as most African currencies are pegged against the dollar, pound and Franc).
Gaddafi wanted to get rid of this and replace it with the DINAR (An African currency) for doing business in Africa, a currency whose value is not pegged against European currency, but instead pegged against gold, of which Africa has plenty.
During his lifetime, AU functions were fully funded by Libya, accommodation for leaders, transportation, and day to day activities at the AU headquarters. Now that is being done by European Union. But there is a saying that; “He who pays the piper sets the tune”.
Way before the BRICS came up with idea of forming their own development bank to rival World Bank and IMF, Gaddafi had already initiated high level talks into starting an African Development Bank (ADB) from where African governments would borrow money at low rates for development of infrastructure, academic institutions, medical institutions, research institutions among other things. This would have saved Africa from the IMF with the predatory lending habits of their structural adjustment programs which are notorious for keeping African countries in poverty while they take ownership of their natural resources.
With all the the facts above, America’s NATO had to kill Gadaffi through NTC camouflage. It’s just ‘yesterday’ that finally America’s direct support hand with Gen.Hafta, who has been working with CIA for over 20 years came to light. But if one compared the Libya of yester-years with today’s, surely, in America’s context of a begging Africa only for survival, a sophisticated Gadaffi had to die in just two years as they look for Joseph Kony in African jungles for over twenty years now…
Because of his great contribution to the cause of African Unity, ladies and gentlemen…. the 2019 African Revolutionary Leader award goes to Brother Col. Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, born 1942 died 20 October 2011…Live On African Lion, Forever!