ASI delegates set date for Founding Congress

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Pictured here are members of the ASI Interim Committee.

LONDON — Delegates from throughout the African continent and Diaspora met in London from October 7-9, 2006 and laid out a program for building a single international organization to forge a continent-wide “United States of Africa.”

The Founding Congress of the African Socialist International (ASI) — a worldwide organization dedicated to uniting the countries of Africa into a single nation under the leadership of the African working class in alliance with the poor peasantry — was set to be held in March of 2008 in Senegal, West Africa.

Signing on to the effort were African participants from South Africa, Sierra Leone, Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Cameroon, Uganda, Guyana, Belgium, Sweden, the U.K and the U.S.

One after another, delegates denounced the borders that were imposed within the African continent by European colonial powers at the Berlin Conference of 1884-85 as the primary impediment to African development and well-being.

ASI Interim Committee Secretary General Luwezi Kinshasa declared, “For so long, African riches and talents have shaped, against our own will, every aspect of modern civilization in the hands of our oppressors. With all of the scattered fronts of the African Liberation Movement united into a single fighting revolutionary organization, the world will be changed forever.”

The ASI Interim Committee adopted the task of bringing Africans from around the world to participate in the organization’s Founding Congress in 2008. They also agreed to support and participate in the International Tribunal on Reparations for African People scheduled for June 2007 in Berlin.

Sbusiso Xaba, President of the Pan Africanist Youth Congress (PAYCO) of Azania (South Africa) called for the quantification of the reparations owed by white countries and corporations to African people worldwide, to include the materials, labor and development time lost during colonialism and slavery.

PAYCO is the youth branch of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, the group founded by Mangaliso Sobukwe, which inspired the mass movement forcing an end to apartheid in South Africa.

Speaking to delegates, Xaba reported that the conditions facing the indigenous population have not improved under the current ANC regime. “African workers have lost 20 percent in real earnings since 1995, many living on $2 per day.” Conference participants denounced the continuing white settler occupation of 80 percent of the land of Occupied Azania.

Also participating from Occupied Azania was Nkrumah Kgagudi, Secretary General of that country’s 25,000-member Metal and Electrical Workers’ Union. Kgagudi pledged his support for and participation in the ASI based on the group’s main resolution, which is posted on www.asiuhuru.org. He will lead the ASI’s initiative to build an International African Labor Union.

Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, former child soldier and journalist, reaffirmed his committment to the ASI, representing the more than 70,000 members of the Africanist Movement that he founded and leads. He noted, “Our membership, spanning the countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, is larger than the armies of the three countries combined.”

British government blocked participants from entering country but couldn’t stop historic conference

Other leaders of the Africanist Movement including the national coordinators from Guinea and Liberia were unable to attend because they were denied visas. British authorities also blocked delegates from Barbados, Nigeria and Ghana from entering the country to participate in the London Conference.

Conference convener, African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) Chairman Omali Yeshitela noted with outrage, the irony that Africans from Barbados and other parts of the Caribbean were encouraged by the British to “come home” to rebuild Britain’s industrial infrastructure after World War II, but are denied entry when coming to organize in their own interests.

In addition to setting the date for the Founding Congress of the ASI and pledging participation in the Reparations Tribunal, Conference delegates also passed resolutions to:

One, actively support and participate from their respective countries to share publishing and electronic media resources through the Burning Spear Newspaper and UhuruRadio.com and to establish internet cafes in African countries and communities with limited internet access.

Two, support the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania in its electoral and revolutionary activities in South Africa.

Three, build a sustainable electricity and clean water infrastructure in West Africa, to include micro electrical dams and rain water harvesting.

In closing the Conference, APSP Chairman Omali Yeshitela declared, “The struggle now has an entirely new configuration. We no longer work in isolation. We can share the human and natural resources of Africa to free our people!”

Look for more in depth coverage of the 2006 Conference to Build the African Socialist International in the next issue of the Burning Spear Newspaper.  

For more information on the African Socialist International, visit www.asiuhuru.org, telephone (44) 208 265 1731, or email to: uhuruasi@aol.com.

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