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Reflection and Analysis of Obiagele Lake's “Toward a Pan-African Identity: Diaspora African Repatriates in Ghana”

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One of the most outstanding initiatives that the African Union (AU) has taken that distinguishes it from its predecessor (the Organization of African Unity) is the adoption of the African diaspora as its sixth region

First, by establishing the reasons for adopting the African diaspora as its sixth region from development perspectives, it explores how the African diaspora can engineer development processes in Africa and the challenges that the AU must address if the African diasporas are expected to play this role. In the second section, the article explores how Ghana provided a political base for Pan-Africanism and how Nkrumah laid an intellectual foundation for the movement.

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One of the most outstanding initiatives that the African Union (AU) has taken that distinguishes it from its predecessor (the Organization of African Unity) is the adoption of the African diaspora as its sixth region. This article has two principal sections. First, by establishing the reasons for adopting the African diaspora as its sixth region from development perspectives, it explores how the African diaspora can engineer development processes in Africa and the challenges that the AU must address if the African diasporas are expected to play this role. In the second section, the article explores how Ghana provided a political base for Pan-Africanism and how Nkrumah laid an intellectual foundation for the movement. It also examines how Rawlings and Kufuor built on Nkrumah's Pan-Africanist legacy by creating incentives for the returnees/repatriates from the diaspora

While probing the character of the returnees/repatriates phenomenon and politics in Ghana, there is an issue of controversies that center on dual citizenship, the right of return and abode, and voting rights of Ghanaians Living Abroad (GLA). Finally, the section investigates the receptivity of the traditional political system to the returnee/repatriate phenomenon in Ghana. .

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For Ghanaians who look to the future with the same intensity, travelers’ efforts to make sense of what happened and to honor their ancestors is a potential drag (Hartman 2002; Hasty 2002; Holsey 2008).African Americans’ ideas are hegemonic in African-African American dialogue and, in these discussions, African Americans “only want to talk about slavery”

The colleague added, for emphasis, that “there is more to Ghana than slavery!”. Thus, while some black Americans hold the opinion that slavery is not discussed enough in Ghana, some Ghanaians feel as if black Americans are preoccupied with the past, with little or no concern for or knowledge about contemporary Ghanaian challenges. This is probably what a Ghanaian acquaintance had in mind when he said (in a tone somewhere between exasperation and disdain) that Ghana had “too much culture”. Both the official and everyday preoccupation with cultural identity was, in his view, emotionally taxing and unproductive. Only the most intransigent ideologue would disagree that slavery is the lone event in Ghana’s history; but what remains unresolved is how to strike a balance between the desires and interests that diasporan and continental Africans express.

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In essence, a struggle against new forms of exploration and oppression awaited the African Diaspora, and the resolution concluded with a fitting echo of Du Bois, but also Malcolm X, when it declared: “We the African people are our own liberators and thinkers whose task is to make a mighty stride towards genuine freedom by any means necessary."

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Hartman, S. 2002 “The Time of Slavery”, South Atlantic Quarterly 101 (4): 757-777.

Matory, J. L. 1999 “The English Professors of Brazil: On the Diasporic Roots of the Yoruba Nation”, Comparative Studies in Society and History 41 (1): 72-73.

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