Opinions & Features May 01, 2020 at 09:00 am

May Day: Remembering four independence leaders considered “fathers of African socialism”

Nii Ntreh May 01, 2020 at 09:00 am

May 01, 2020 at 09:00 am | Opinions & Features

6 iconic speeches of African independence leaders caught on video ...
Léopold Sédar Senghor of Senegal. Photo Credit: Provided

Léopold Sédar Senghor

Senghor is an oddity on this list in the sense he is the only one who took time and effort in avoiding international amity based on ideological preferences. Although he espoused African socialism, Senghor was quite pro-Western in alliances.

Maybe keeping a close relationship with the capitalist meccas of the world was a tactic of convenience for Senghor. After all, he would know very well the pressure that was put on the likes of Sékou Touré of Guinea and Nkrumah.

Senghor’s socialism married African values and European socialism. He understood the need to socialize the production of certain basic needs but Senghor argued that such a process must be loyal to the idea of Negritude.

In fairness, Senegal’s first president was basically arguing the merits of mid-20th century European collectivist political philosophies. But if that was to make sense to Africans, such things as the primacy and eclecticism of leadership, which Senghor thought were unique to Africa, had to be added to European collectivist thought.

Conversations

Must Read