Neo-Sankarism and Pan-Africanism: Major Challenges in Burkina

What pan-Africanisms do the young generations of Africans claim? In Burkina Faso, the movement is also in vogue, it makes recruits and it produces emulators of a militant awakening with well-tooled jargons. From this point of view, the heritage of “Sankarism” weighs heavily in the balance. The political events of recent months have given us a glimpse of new perspectives where the revolutionary years are carving their furrow in the heart of the Pan-Africans of the “Land of Upright Men”.

1. Pan-Africanism: between salon theories and budding activism

Far from being scholars (teachers, intellectuals, authors, etc.) familiar with the sociopolitical and ideological history of African countries, African youth are engaged in a complex exercise about what they intend to stimulate in the spirit of governance. Social networks are the springboard for these all-out commitments. Pan-Africanism is much enhanced, despite the complex ideas that (re)shape it since the 1800s.

As in any objective gaze, negative and positive facades impose themselves on common judgment. If the dark side can be seen in the diatribes, the pamphlets and the taunts of the followers of an “innovative and irreversible” political tendency, the other side, more conciliatory, opens doors on this need for authenticity so much demanded by Africans. themselves. From the Afro-American movement, to Kouamé N’kruma and Thomas Sankara, books and sites abound in their various revised and corrected versions on various themes (anti-colonialism, ideology, Afrocentrism, activism, etc.).

If it is a question of tapping into the socio-cultural resources of the continent, the share is good for pan-Africanists of all persuasions. How to subtract the good seed from the chaff and why do the young people of Burkina have good reasons to do so? “A tiger does not proclaim its tigritude. He leaps » Who is the tiger and who is the prey in this post-modern Africa?

2. Chronicle of an announced neo-Sankarism?

It is generally accepted that the captain-president of Faso during the revolutionary years impacted the conscience of his fellow citizens. From the “Little singers with raised fists” to the witnesses and activists of the last hour, thoughts and facts are related on his orientation speech (October 2, 1983) and the major features of his thought.

If it is true that four years of exercise are insufficient to make a possible assessment, the short time that this moment of euphoria lasted has left significant traces for the present generations. The circumstances which prevailed at the disappearance of the “national hero” still play a decisive role.

For many, the legacy is sworn in for a long time and enshrined in political Pan-Africanism. Few heads of state have, it seems, demonstrated such an aura accompanied by bold speeches.

However, some believe that the work as a whole has remained in a state of scaffolding and that a political orientation can remedy this. Why not adjust the sankarist primer in the panel of current pan-Africanist discourses? The deposit for such an approach falls to the new contenders for change. The politico-ideological ball is, so to speak, in the camp of the brave Burkinabè. The history of political Faso is in progress….

3. Neo-pan-Africanisms and neo-Sankarisms: what marriage is possible?

Sankarism and its pan-Africanist roots: a book title or a press review? Burkina Faso enters the big leagues through the construction of its very particular political history. This country did not want it, it lived it, it seems, in (inter)national opinion. The daughters and sons of this nation must be proud of such an “election” where the tools are provided and lavished for the best (without obscuring the worst).

Does current maieutics sign the return of great men? What neo-Pan-Africanist doors will be opened to access the aspirations of Burkinabè? They have demonstrated in the past that they are capable, rather aware, of taking their future into their own hands. Between Sankarism or neo-Sankarism (which remains to be defined), the challenges of a new Africa in Burkina Faso will be read through actions. In a few words, one could say: “Believe in Burkina Faso or die!” “. This will not, hopefully, be yet another slogan, but nothing but sacrifices to be made…

Neree Zabsonre

Journalist (UPF member)

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Neo-Sankarism and Pan-Africanism: Major Challenges in Burkina

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