Formulating a common currency for Africa

Prof Horace Campbell, Adv. Sipho Manthula and Odia Ofeimun were speakers at the Pan-Africanism colloquium at the War Museum in Bloemfontein. PHOTO: Pulane Choane

Citing the words of Ghana’s first prime minister and president, Kwame Nkrumah, Professor Horace Campbell, a Pan-African scholar, said: “We cannot have a common currency unless we have a commonality.”

Speaking at a colloquium hosted by the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation at the Bloemfontein War Museum on Tuesday, Campbell, on a one-day visit to Bloemfontein, said Africa needs unified economic planning, which would allude to a common currency.

“We need unified economic planning. We must unite for economic viability first of all, and then we need to recover mineral wealth in Africa so that our vast resources and capacity for development will bring prosperity for us and additional benefits for the rest of the world. That is why it is written everywhere that the emancipation of Africa is the emancipation of men,” Campbell said.

“An African currency will only happen once African universities, school systems, and policy makers in South Africa begin to think beyond devaluing the South African currency from R6 to the Dollar to R13 to the Dollar. You’d have to do like a country like Barbados that said as a matter of political survival, they would never devalue their currency. For 40 years, Barbados never did. They understood that by devaluing the currency, you are also devaluing the labour of your country,” Campbell added.

However, he also warned that if South Africa considers this, the Western forces such as America and Europe will see this as a declaration of war.

Other issues central to the Unification of Africa discussed at the gathering, included the preservation of African languages, good governance, sustaining inclusive growth in key industries such as water, energy and the ICT sector.

Prof Campbell was joined by Odia Ofeimun, a Nigerian poet, as well as Advocate Sipho Manthula and renowned author, Professor Kole Omotoso.

This colloquium was the first of fifteen colloquia that will be held around the country based on the theme “Pan-Africanism: AU Agenda 2063: Rise Africa Rise”. This event also forms part of national government’s theme for 2017, which is “The Year of OR Tambo: Building a Better Africa and a Better World”. – Pulane Choane