How we are building the Campaign Machine of the PAFM

Introduction

 

The Pan African Federalist Movement is being built around the Call for the First Pan African Federalist Congress. It is a grassroots coalition for African Unity.  Its approach is a Bottom-Up mobilization for the political unification of the States on the African continent and those in the CaribbeanIslands where “Africans of the Blood” make up the majority of the citizenry. This process is also inclusive of the millions and millions of Black people in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia who are decedents of enslaved Africans or of African who have voluntary migrated in those areas but are minorities in their States of residence.

 

Its goal is to involve the African masses in the discussions and decision making process on African Unity.  Because they are the legitimate owners of the Sovereignty of the African States we want to unite.  We believe it to be self-evident that they and only they have the true power to authorize the African states to voluntary surrender any portion of their sovereignty to an entity which they deem will be able to properly manage it in their best interest.

 

During the last fifty years plus, these States have proven their inability to manage significant portions of their sovereignty and had no other choice but to surrender them to their former colonizer’s government who are not accountable to our people.  A federalist compact between the African States will allow them to take back those portions of their sovereignty and voluntarily surrender parts of it that they deem fit to a Federal Government “of the African people, by the African people et for the African people”. 

 

It is our conviction that few genuine Pan Africanists will doubt that a federal government, answering directly to the African People, will do better in managing these portions of our sovereignty than the former colonizer governments.  The vast majority of existing AU and CARICOM governments have surrendered their peoples' sovereignty for various reasons.

 

Up until now only a very limited number of Africans have been involve in this discussion, referred to by some as the Grand Debate.  They have been either the African heads-of states and governments, the academics or people who were close to the leadership of the ruling parties in the different African Countries.  The debates on the Union Government prior to the AU Heads of States and Governments Summit of 2007 in Accra did not involve the African masses. It was the same for the 1963 Summit which gave birth to the OAU and the Lome 2000 meeting which gave the green light to the mutation of the OUA into the AU.  The African masses in the CaribbeanIslands did not get more consideration than their brethren of the African Continent in the same debate which led to the creation of the CARICOM.

 

It is also important to note that involving the African People in this process is very crucial to the viability of any form of union between their states.  Making the African masses the centerpiece of this initiative will create in them a sense of ownership of its product, the United African States.  This is a sine qua none condition for the legitimacy, in the eyes of the African people, of the Federal Government.  The weakness of many African States can be today attributed to their deficiency in legitimacy because they were imposed on our people by foreign powers.       

 

The lesson we Pan African Federalists have learned from Addis 1963, Lome 2000, and Accra 2007 is that it is fatal to depend on the current AU Heads of States and Government Assembly, where there is the highest concentration of Anti-Federalists, to unite politically the African States.  This is the main reason why this bottom up movement for African unity was launched.    

 

This document has two purposes:

-      bring more clarity into the nature of this initiative

-      draw from the Charter of the Congress and the lessons learned during the two years since the Call was launched and suggest a way in which an efficient campaign machine for the birth of the United African States within less than a generation can be put in place smoothly.

 

A)                The nature of this initiative

 

This initiative is a Campaign for one and only one issue, the creation of a federal union between all the states around the world where people who see themselves as Africans make up the overwhelming majority of their citizenry. This Union will also be fully inclusive of the 47 million Africans in North America who are decedents of enslaved Africans and will strive to likewise include comparable African populations in South America.

 

This campaign can in many ways be likened to the one of a candidate who is running for an office and has to go through primary elections.  It can therefore be divided in Six (6) stages which are:

-      Exploratory

-      Declaration of candidacy

-      Campaign for the Primary election

-      Convention to pick to flag bearer of the party or coalition

-      Campaign for the General Election

-      Transitional phase from victory to taking the oath

 

1)   The Exploration phase

 

Throughout this phase of the campaign, it is the viability of the candidacy that must be ascertained.  Can the candidate mobilize the human and material resources capable of sustaining his or her candidacy?  Does his or her core campaign message resonate with a substantial portion of the electorate?  The completion of this phase must allow the Candidate and his or her team to answer objectively to these questions by a yes, a most likely yes or no.  A no would warrant a drop out of the race. A most like yes or yes will mean that the candidacy can be made viable or is viable.

 

Our Candidate is: “the call for the urgent need to unite politically the African States within less than a generation”.  From the launching of the Call for the First Pan African Federalist Congress to the Pre congress we will be in the exploratory phase of our Campaign. The number of Local, National and Regional initiating Committees that will be created and are functional by the time the Pre congress takes place, will provide us with the answer of whether or not this campaign is viable. 

 

Besides determining the viability of the candidacy, it is also during this period that the Core leadership of the campaign is identified and in some cases recruited.  In other words, this phase allows the candidates to build the embryo of his or her campaign machine and mobilize the people who will be later on at the forefront of the campaign. For our campaign, those are:

-      A Solid international team to form the International Preparatory Committee(IPC),

-      Solid coordination teams for the Regional Committees, the National Committees and to a lesser extent the Local Committees.

 

The Local, National and Regional Initiating committees being established today constitute the embryo of our campaign machine for the Referendums on the form of union. The Pan African Federalist Movement will be the Support of this Campaign machine and will provide it with the adequate resources, human and material, needed to secure its victory.

 

2)   The declaration of the candidacy

 

2.1 -The pre congress can be compared to the official declaration of the Candidate to enter the Primaries races.  The decision to continue the campaign for the birth the Universal Pan African Nation that we are currently calling the United African States will be made by the participants of the Pre congress.  The option to continue or stop the preparation for the First Pan African Federalist congress will be based on the facts provided by the IPIC in its presentation of the history of this initiative and the assessment the progress it made. Based on these elements, the Pre congress participants should be able to decide on the worthiness to continue the campaign or the need to suspend it.  The decision to continue the campaign will constitute the official declaration of the Campaign for the Birth of the United African States within less than a generation.

 

2.2- The other important action the Pre congress will take is to operate the mutation from the International Provisional Initiating Committee (IPIC) to the International Preparatory Committee (IPC). The IPIC is only composed of Senegalese Pan Africanists.  This is understandable because they are the ones who initiated the Call for the First Pan African Federalist Congress.  However despite the good intentions of this group, it lacks the diversity, which is essential to its legitimacy to lead an international campaign of this magnitude.  This is why in the charter of the Congress it is clearly indicated that the creation of the International Provisional Initiating Committee (IPIC) is a transitory measure until the International Preparatory Committee (IPC) is duly put in place. This IPC will be composed of:

-      the actual members of the IPIC,

-      the Coordinators of the RICs and their Deputies

-      Individuals able to greatly contribute to the success of the Congress and later on the campaign for the Referendums on the form of union.

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2.3- Guidelines on the preparation of the congress should be developed by the various workshops during this meeting. These productions will be the basic documents for the congress. These documents should be studied and adopted by all the local, national and regional committees during the preparatory process of the congress.  These discussions should also include the mode of representation to the congress and the various bodies of the Pan African Federalist Movement (PAFM).

 

Once the IPC is put in place at the Pre congress, it will officially launch the Preparation for the First Pan African Federalist Congress and assume the responsibility to lead the Pan African Federalist Movement until the opening of the Congress.  The Pre congress will also select the date of the Congress. It will place a call for offers to host the congress to All the African States targeted in the unification as well as the AU and the CARICOM.

 

The various workshops of this meeting will produce, or set in motion, the production of all the basic documents the local, national and regional committees will need as guidelines for a proper preparation and participation of their delegates to the Congress.

 

A call addressed to the African people will be issued by the newly established IPC. It will serve as the official beginning of the First Pan African Federalist Congress Preparation.  It will indicate the date of the Congress and its goals.

 

3)   The Primaries

 

The period between the official launching of the Congress preparations and the opening of the Congress itself can be compared to primaries when there is only one obvious candidate for the party.  The similarity is that it is during this phase that the candidate prepares for the General election. Its is during this period that the candidate mobilizes the base, raises funds and put in place a definite campaign machine for the general election.  Our general election is the campaign, in each one of the targeted member states of this federal union, for the organization of a referendum on the form of union the citizens of these states want to see theirs form with the other African States. The IPC, the regional, national and local committees will constitute our campaign machine for these referendums.

 

During this period the IPC will make sure that the Core Regional Committees are established and functional. The Regional Committees will do the same regarding the national committees of the countries in their region. The National Committee will make sure that the local committees involving the masses at the grassroots level can reach out the majority of the people in the country in a short notice. The IPC in collaboration with the Regional Committees will also ascertain that functional national committees are created in the overwhelming majority of the Countries targeted as potential members of the Union.  A non negligible goal during this phase should be that most of the Regional initiating committees (RIC) and the National Initiating Committees (NICs) will operate their mutation to Regional Preparatory Committees (RPCs) and National Preparatory Committees (NPC).  How this mutation will be operated is going to be explained in the second portion of this document. 

 

Last but not least, it is during this phase that resource mobilization, at all the levels of the campaign machine, will be intensified.  It is also during this period that a plan for the management of the momentum of the Campaign so that it peaks at the right time, not too early, not to late, will be put into execution.

 

4)   The Convention

 

The First Pan African Federalist Congress could be compared to the Convention organized to launch the Campaign for the general elections once the candidate is officially chosen as flag bearer of the party or the coalition. 

 

The Congress will:

 

     Fine tune the campaign strategy for the birth of the UAS within less than a generation,

 

     Identify the main obstacles to the political, economic and military unification of the AfricanStates and the means and ways to overcome these hurdles,

 

     Design the communication strategy that can best popularize the federalist cause and secure the rallying of the majority of the African masses on the continent and abroad to pan African federalism;

 

     Fine tune the resource, human and material, mobilization strategy that was produced by the Pre congress.

 

     Put together an efficient International Campaign Machine for the referendums on the form of union;

 

     Decide on the time frame during which a referendum on the form of Union should be organized in each one of the targeted member states. 

 

     Decide on the number of States needed to form a viable political, economical and security Union able to enjoy full sovereignty and has enough clout to renegotiate the all the unfair treaties that were signed by the member states and demand for a permanent seat at the UN Security council with a Veto Power.

 

     Define a strategy for the involvement of the governments of the countries targeted for the union and the international organizations such as the AU, the CARICOM, the Regional Economic Communities, the African Parliament, the African Court of Justice etc in the campaign for the birth of the UAS in Less than a generation.

 

     Study the various attempts of unity of the African peoples and the recommendations that have been made in order to give them the maximum chance of success and draw from this all the lessons that can serve the Pan-African Federalism Movement.

 

 

5)   The general elections

 

The Campaigning for the organization of the Referendums on the form of Union can be compared to the general election phase in the sense that it is at this stage the people will be ask to chose between the Federalist option and the other forms of collaboration between the African States.  Each Regional, National and Local committee of the Pan African Federalist Movement will be employed in the campaign for these Referendums.  Regional, National and Local campaign machines will be put in place to create the necessary momentum capable of convincing the leaders of the targeted states at the Legislative and Executive level on the need to hold these referendums or use other means by which the voices of the people can be heard on the issue of the Grand Debate: African Unity.

 

6)   The Transition

 

Once the number of the states needed to declare the birth of the federal union is arrived at, the Second Pan African Federalist Congress/Convention will be convened to address issues such as, the location of the Capital city of the UAS, the Drafting and Ratifying process of the Constitution of the Union, the merging of the armies, the financial system and so on and so forth.  In a nutshell, all the tools a newly born State needs to have at its disposal to fully function from the get go will be created during this transitional phase.  The Pan African federalist Movement will cease to exist once the first administration of the United African States is sworn in because it mission will at this point be completed and its goal reach.  It will then give way to Federal political parties and coalitions that will compete for the adoption of their social model by a fully sovereign African people.

 

B)                Creation and mutation of the committees

 

The International Provision Initiating Committee (IPIC), the author of the call for the first pan African Federalist Congress has, through the Charter of the Congress, divided this initiative in two main periods.  The first one is an initiating phase and the second one the preparatory one.   There are two main reasons behind this division. The first one is to give to all individuals who are able and willing to join the campaign the opportunity to do so by creating or joining an already existing committee in their area of residence.  The second reason is to make it clear that to these individuals that they need to build a representative coalition for their participation in the congress.  To insure that this process is correctly follow the IPIC drafted a Charter for the Congress which explained how to set up RICs and NICs and mutate them into RPCs and NPCs.

 

It is however important to note that this is not a blue print that is set on stone.  It is rather the suggestion of a process.  The charter of the Congress should be adapted by the RICs and NICs to the concrete reality on the ground. They are also free to adopt a completely different process that best suits their reality.  The one thing that cannot be altered is that the finish products a the national level, the NPCs and the local level, the LPCs must be coalitions representative of all the organizations and individuals in the area who are interested in being part of the campaign for the birth of the United African States within less then a generation.

 

This portion of the document will focus on the general requirements for setting up an LIC, NIC or RIC and how the mutation process from these Initiating structures to the Permanent ones, the LPC, NPC and RPC should be operated.

 

A few very important remarks

 

Number on: From day the call was launched to the opening of the First Pan African Federalist Congress our main focus will remain the organization of a successful congress. A congress that will be representative enough to have the capacity to launch a Credible Campaign for the organization of a referendum on the Form of Union in each one of the African States targeted to be a member of the United African States (UAS).

 

Number two:We are committed to inclusiveness. All the Individual Africans and Organizations of Africans who are willing to participate in the preparation of the Congress should be given a chance to get involve. The only criterion that should be taken into account, when inviting them to join the Pan African Federalist Movement must be their resolute commitment to work for the political unification of the African States within less than a generation.

 

Number three: We are committed to Gender and Age and ethnic equality as well as to minority rights.  It is therefore very important to maintain parity and the presence of minority groups at all the levels of managerial teams of the Pan African Federalist Movement. A deliberate effort should be made to help group with power deficit (Women and Youth) and minorities to participate, at all levels, in the activities of the RICs and NICs as well as the Local Initiating Committees. 

 

Number four: We need to be creative in finding the means to support our activities. The bottom-up nature of this campaign implies that we must rely on the masses to provide for the needed human and material resources to carry this campaign to its finish line: the birth of the United African States within less than a generation. 

 

1)   The Regional Committees

 

In light of the Congress charter, the RIC should be started by 5 (five) people who live in the CapitalCity of the Hub-Country or in its vicinities. This core group will meet and establish the foundation of the RIC.  This group should take the time for its members to familiarize themselves with each other as well as documents like the Call for the Congress, the Terms of Reference and the Charter of the Congress. After this familiarization is completed, the members of this core group will each invite one or two people who can join them to complete the membership of the RIC. The RIC should not have more than 20 members. 15 Members is the Ideal. 

 

It is important to note that this suggestion of the IPIC through the charter of the congress has been righteously altered by the North America, Caribbean and Europe RICs. The easiness to organize Virtual meetings through Skype or other mediums has expended their capacity in the recruitment of the members of their RICs. In all those three RICs the NIC Coordinators (Caribbean and Europe) and the Super LIC Coordinator (North America) have been invited to join the RIC. The RICs in the other regions may want to emulate this example instead of following the process suggested by the IPIC in the Charter.

 

The Members of the RIC shall not be representatives of an organization within the RIC. They are members of the RIC as Individual Pan Africanist.  It is also highly recommended that Women and Youth be part of the RIC.

 

The RIC, in collaboration with the IPIC will be in charge of recruiting the Coordinators of the National Initiating Committees (NICs)

 

The mutation of the RIC to a Regional Preparatory Committee of the Congress will happen when most NICs in the region have been created, are fully functional and in the position of designating their official representative at the Regional Level. When this time is arrived at, the RIC coordinating team will call for a Constitutive Assemble of the RPC made up of:

-      The representatives of the NIC/NPC

-      The individuals who are members of the RIC

-      Individuals the RIC believe to be able to greatly contribute to the success of Pan African Federalist Movement.

 

 

2)   The National, Sub Regional, State and Local Committees

 

a)   The National Initiating Committee (NIC)

In collaboration with the IPIC and the RIC the person who is picked to act as the Coordinator of the NIC will identify five (5) Pan Africanists who preferably live in the CapitalCity of the Country or nearby.  These five people will form the CORE of the National Initiating Committee (NIC). The first few meetings of the NIC should only include these Core members of the NIC.  The need to familiarize themselves with each other and with the foundational documents of this initiative is the reason behind this suggestion. 

 

After going through this phase they can reach out to other Pan Africanist in their Country (preferably between 5 and 10 others and no more). This group of 10 to 15 people or maybe more (hopefully not more than 20) will form what we call the FULL NIC. This group must be either entirely drawn from the Civil Society or be inclusive of the most significant groups in the political spectrum of the country.  The FULL NIC must include Women and youth. The Members of the NIC can not be Representatives of an Organization. They are members of the NIC as Individual Pan Africanist. 

 

 

Once the full NIC is formed, it will then start to reach out to the political parties of the country (in power and in the opposition), the Trade Unions, the Civil Society Organizations, the Guild Organizations, the Employers Organizations, the Youth Organizations, the Women organizations etc.  Once these contacts are established, the NIC calls for the Constitutive General Assembly of the National Preparatory Committee (NPC). The attendance to this assembly will be open to:

-      the members of the NIC,

-      the representatives of the organizations which have accepted to be part of the Coalition

-      the individuals chosen by the NIC because they can greatly contribute to the success of Pan African Federalist Congress.

 

 At this assembly, a Coordinator, a deputy coordinator and the various officers needed to properly run the NPC will be selected.  The Coordinator and the deputy will be the representative of the Country at the Regional Level in the Regional Preparatory Committee (RPC) for the Congress. The NPC will be the one selecting and sending the national delegates to the First Pan African Federalist Congress to represent their country.  The size and composition of the national delegations will be decided by the Pre congress.

 

The NPC will have the duty of creating Local committees in the Cities, Towns, Universities, and Villages of the Country. These Local Committees are an Absolute Necessity because it is at this Level that the Masses will be involve in the African Unity Discourse and Decision making process.  They will be the levers of the PAFM during the Campaign for the Referendums on the Form of Union. 

 

The Option taken by the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria for putting in place their NIC is different than the one suggested above. This is understandable because of their size and/or administrative organization.  In the RDC the group taking the lead in the creation of their NIC has chosen to pick on or two people from each one of the country’s province to lead the Provincial Initiating Committee (PIC). Once the PICs have been created in the majority of the Provinces, they will call for a meeting in Kinshasa to officially form their NIC.  In Nigeria instead of the Provinces, the States are used as basis. The group leading the effort to establish the NIC-Nigeria is identifying people who can lead the creation of the State Initiating Committees (SICs). Once the Majority of the States is covered a meeting to officially install the NIC-Nigeria will be convened.

 

b)   The Sub Regional and State Committees

 

The suggested process for their creation is similar to the one for the NIC.

 

c)   The Local Committees

 

The creation of local committees is the ultimate goal of the National Committees.  Anyone who has the willingness and time to start a Local Initiating Committee in their Village, Town, City, University, factories, High School etc can do so. It is however important for this committee to be endorsed by the coordination of the national or regional committee. Here are the suggested steps to take for the creation of a LIC:

 

1)   Find 5 (five) to 10 (ten) other Pan Africanists who believe or can be convince in the Fierce Urgency to unite politically the African States and put en end to the New Scramble for Africa.  

2)    Once these people and their acceptance to join the LIC is secured, it is important to ask all of them to sign the Petition to Join the Pan African Federalist Movement which is posted at: http://etatsafricainsunis.org/petition-de-soutien/

3)   The next step is to call for a meeting to discuss the Terms of Reference of the Congress and its Charter for a deeper understanding of this Initiative: The campaign for the birth of the United African States within less than a generation.

4)   Once the LIC is stabilized at 10 to 15 members, its members should start reaching out to the different political parties in the area, the civil society organizations, the guild organization, the youth organizations, the women organizations, the individuals who can greatly contribute to the victory of our Campaign.

5)   After completing the outreach or arriving at a satisfactory level of involvement of the local community, the LIC calls for a General Assembly of all the Representative of the Organizations that are interested in participating in this Campaign as well as the individuals who were contacted.  The General Assembly will be the Constitutive Assembly of the Local Preparatory Committee (LPC) of the First Pan African Federalist Congress in the area.  

6)   This LPC will be in charge of implementing the decisions of the NIC/NPC.  It should start outreach and education efforts designed to involve the people in large in their neighborhoods, their universities, their schools. By organizing town hall meeting the LPC in collaboration with the NPC will make it its duty to raise the awareness of the African masses on the fierce urgency to unite the African States and put a Stop to the New Scramble for Africa. Repairing the African community broken by slavery, colonialism and other forms of foreign invasions will be another task of these local committees. The LPC will also need to hold Fund Raising and Petition Signing events.  All these are done to prepare for the Referendums on the Form of Union the African people, the legitimate owners of the sovereignty, want to see their States enter with the other African States. It is certainly obvious that the Pan African Federalist Movement will be Campaigning for the Federal Union. The core message throughout all the activities of the LPC should be the promotion of the “African Personality” and its contribution to human development.

7)   The LPC will be the level at which the Pan African Federalist Movement will implement the Garvey Model of associate political education and activism with entrepreneurial activities.

 

Conclusion

 

The size of the organization we are building, the diversity and number of people we want to get involve, and the herculean task we have assigned ourselves to accomplish warrant a great deal of flexibility for our campaign machine to function smoothly and efficiently.  It is therefore absolutely important for its leadership to be creative, open minded and egoless. 

 

The instructions and suggestions laid out in this document must be adapted to the concrete reality at the level where they are being implemented.  Since no one can predict every single scenario that will be at play throughout this campaign, those who occupy leadership roles in this machine must be ready to listen to alternative option for making things work better. 

 

Most of the people who will be involved in the campaign will be volunteers. Making sure that the tasks they will be assigned to accomplish are not too burdensome will be essential if we want to have them volunteer again and again until we achieve victory.

 

The leaders at all level of this campaign must take this Advice of Dr Nkrumah; “Africa needs a new type of citizen: A dedicated, modest, honest, informed man and woman who submerge self in service to the nation and mankind. A man, and woman, who abhor greed and detest vanity.  A new type of man, and woman, whose humility is his and her strength and whose integrity is his and her greatness".

 

Leaders at all levels of this campaign must also constantly keep in mind this prophetic statement of Franz Fanon; "Each generation must discover in a relative opacity its mission and accomplish or betray it." The mission of the generations that preceded ours was to secure political independence and respect for the civil rights of Africans in the countries where they are minorities. The mission of our generation is to unite the nonviable states that have been bequeathed to us by the colonizers and transform them into glorious members of the United African States (UAS), a positive sovereignty controlled by Africans.