Ancestor-reverence as a Basis for Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance’s Quest to Re-humanise the World: An African Philosophical Engagement

Simphiwe Sesanti


Pan-Africanism is an ideological framework whose emphasis is on unity and liberation of all Africans who were colonised on the African continent, and those in the diaspora who were forcibly dislocated from Africa and dispersed as slaves. The African Renaissance is a pan-Africanist project that seeks to restore to the Africans the spiritual and material values that were dented by colonialists and enslavers. In 1963, a number of African states that had gained independence formed the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to pursue the goals of pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance. One of the major criticisms against the OAU and its successor, the African (AU), was and continues to be that their pan-Africanism is reduced to an elite project by reducing pan-Africanism to a government-to-government relationship, instead of a people-to-people relationship. This means that ordinary Africans are excluded from being directly engaged in finding solutions to the spiritual, political, economic and social ills that continue to haunt the African continent in their quest to re-humanise themselves following the dehumanising colonialism and slavery. Through a philosophical approach, an argument is made that a serious, critical examination of Ancestor-Reverence will expose its potential to give expression to a highly desired sense of African solidarity, people-to-people pan-Africanism, and a fulfilment of the African Renaissance’s quest for re-humanising not only Africans but the human race as a whole.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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