THE ANTIDOTE TO AFRICAN’S PROBLEMS IS UNITY – PROF LUMUMBA

Professor Patrick Otieno Lumumba, Director and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the Kenya School of Law, has called on Africans to remain united to solve the problems of the Continent.

He said the greatest potentials of Africa are in the arena of unity.

He has therefore admonished African leaders to pursue the call for African Unity as championed by the Late Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and other Pan Africanists during the struggle for independence to salvage the image of the continent.

Dr Lumumba was delivering the last of the series of this year's Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Lecture at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) on the topic: "Social Cohesion: A call for African Unity."

The three-day lecture series, the 11th since its institution by the University in 1974 and later inaugurated in November 1976, was on the theme: "Africa Must Rise."

It was to honour Ghana's First President who would have been 107 years old this year.

He said unless the current breed of African leaders commits themselves to forming a united front, the continent is likely to be re-colonised.

He indicated that re-colonisation would be more pernicious than it happened before.

He stressed that unity does not mean that the traditional intuitions should be relegated but rather must be integrated in the modern way of doing things.

He said the combination of the ethic diversities in Africa was supposed to be a recipe for a montage, which the western world would envy but the continent had chosen to allow its cultural diversity to divide it.

Dr Lumumba noted that Africa today is as divided as the beginning of the struggle for independence despite the fact that the Organisation of African Union was created to unify the continent, giving the European the opportunity to manipulate.

He expressed dissatisfaction about the poor leadership style of African leaders, describing them as "perhaps, the curse of the continent".

He said there is the need for them to change their ideologies to realise that the political office they hold is an honour and a privilege to serve.

He said until African leaders liberate themselves from the change of greed and realise that longevity in office is not the solution to Africa's problems, the Continent would remain stagnant and not move in the positive direction.

Prof. Lumumba, also a human right advocate and prolific writer, said African leaders must also notice that political office is not for privatisation of public wealth neither is it meant to make them repository of wisdom.

He expressed worry that despite the many resources the continent is endowed with it, it had allowed itself to be taken advantage of and instead of harnessing the resources, they have become submissive to the former colonial masters and more recently to China.

Prof Lumumba said the Late Dr Nkrumah foretold that the antidote to the malady of disunity was unity.

He explained that "the call did not mean our cultural differences should be discarded but blended together as there is unity in diversity".

He said one of the reasons Africa could not unite is that politicians have been treated as demi gods for far too long and this, had made them believe they are gods and tend to do things their own way.

He apologised on behalf of those who overthrew Dr Nkrumah from office and described him as the greatest African leader to have ever lived.

He said the few years that Dr Kwame Nkrumah was in office, he championed the course of both the country and the continent in a positive direction.

Prof Lumumba ended his almost an hour lecture which was interspersed with a number of spontaneous rounds of applauds from the audience who were thrilled by his passion for African unity, with a call on Africans to rise up and passionately work towards the unity of the Continent.

The Vice Chancellor of UCC, Prof Domwini D. Kuupole said the lecture series was a tribute to the late President who founded the University and a platform for intellectual discourse on issues affecting the black world and the Pan Africanist agenda espoused by the Late Dr Nkrumah.

An honourary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.), Honoris Causa, was conferred on Prof Lumumba by UCC for his service to humanity and impact on the African continent.

This brings to 38 the number of personalities the University had so far honoured since its institution.

Prof Marfo Yiadom, Dean of UCC school of Business, Prof Ernest Owusu Ansah, Formenr Dean of Graduate Studies and Mr Henry Nsaidoo, Laboratory Technician at the Department of Chemistry were also honoured with citations and cash prizes for their contribution towards the success of UCC business activities.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK