Africa Day 2023: When Sudan was metaphor



Africa Day 2023: When Sudan was metaphor


By Akpo Ometan


The motley crowd of pan-African enthusiasts that gathered at the CRIMMD Library, Idimu, Lagos on May 25, 2023 to discuss the crisis in Sudan and Sudan-Nigeria relations was indeed a most engaging one.

For the better part of four hours, they engaged the subject, throwing up different insights and perspectives on the subject.

Tony Opara, Executive Editor at The Difference Newspaper set the ball rolling and then invited Richard Mammah, Chair of the Board of the pan-African newspaper that has annually hosted the event in Lagos since 2016 to make some remarks.


Mammah went down memory lane t trace the rationale behind why the newspaper elected to commence hosting the event and noted that it was principally because Nigeria did not show on the radar of African states that were engaged in celebrating it annually. He remarked that previous editions had been held at the Nigerian Institute for International Affairs, the Bankers Hall, the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute and the Nigerian Institute of Journalism.


In his presentation, keynote speaker, Prof Sylvester Odion Akhaine traced the genesis of Africa Day first to the work done by the pan Africanist pioneers that had instituted the Pan-Africanist Congresses. He remarked that one of the most impactful of all of the congresses was that in Manchester in 1945, which had the likes of Kwame Nkrumah and Obafemi Awolowo in attendance.


He thereafter talked about the movement towards securing Independence for the continent and the consequent emergence of the radical Casablanca Bloc of free African states and then the more sedate Monrovia Bloc that together fused into the Organisation of African Unity on May 25, 1963,; Africa Day.


Prof Odion Akhaine equally spoke on the contributions of Nigeria under the Murtala’Obasanjo military governments to ensuring that many more African nations got their flag independence and thereafter the progression into the current African Union after the bulk of the colonised African states (Western Sahara excluded) had secured their independence.


Other speakers at the session included Dr Raphael James of the CRIMMD Library, Betty Abah of CEE-Hope and the banker/blogger, Oluwole Olusanya. The event was moderated by the writer, Olamide Agemo.






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