Interview With Chiekh Anta Diop by Carlos Moore
Africa’s Political Unity
AFRISCOPE: Since the early 1960’s the African Continent has shown itself to be coup prone. How do you account for the growing political instability of African regimes? DIOP: I had foreseen the ‘South-Americanization’ of the African continent and in my work, Les Fondaments culturels, techniques et industriels d’un future etat federal d’Afrique noire (Presence Africaine, 1960), I alluded to this phenomenon.
Earlier, in 1956, I also touched on the subject in an article “Alerta sous les tropiques” (Presence Africaine, No. 5, Jan. 1956), warning that unless we took care the African continent upon independence would go down the road of ‘South-Americanization.’ No matter how much we may claim that history doesn’t repeat itself, I have nonetheless been haunted by Simon Bolivar’s failure to unite the South American continent in a single bloc. It can no longer be denied that Africa is the victim of ‘South-Americanization.’ That Africa is ‘politically unstable’ is a fact. We can’t even talk anymore about ‘balkanization’ since the Balkan regimes are stable, whereas in Africa we have change of regime almost every week or every month. At any rate, every year. And this instability is growing.
In my opinion, what has been lacking are national leaderships which could set an example. Had this been the case, military overthrows would have been made much more difficult. At any rate, Stability in Africa would have been much greater. Political selfishness is killing Africa; it’s the basis of the problem. Once African interests become merely a pretext for individuals selfishness, instability necessarily rears its head. When the only organized force in the county-the army-ceases to respect the civilians in power, it will seize power for itself.
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