Intergovernmental Authority on Development

Now That We Have Moved in Words, Can We Move in Action? the AU, Member States and African Union Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons in Africa

When, in 1963, Kwame Nkrumah emphasised that Africans need to unite, he was vigorously reinforcing the pertinence of motioning the continent on the ideation of pan-Africanism, unity, and continental solidarity. There were evident implications of his rhetoric. The first is that the arbitrary borders of the continent could not continue to subsist. In his invocations, he insisted on the fact that it was pertinent to render 'existing boundaries obsolete and superfluous.' At the time this viewpoint was articulated, it met with wide agreement. Although certain leaders were persuaded that it was important to do away with the borders, others who had just gained independence from colonial powers emerged as nationalists and were determined to consolidate their victories at a national level, given that their people had fought hard to win independence from imperialism and colonial structures.