December 14, 2019 PAN-AFRICAN MOVEMENT

SIXTH PAN AFRICAN CONGRESS – 1974

Location:

The limitation of OAU had been clear to many militants and Pan Africanists ever since its inception. For Pan Africanists, its main preoccupation, almost exclusively, with the continent without equal participation of the Diaspora Africans had always been a source of disappointment. The congress was held in June 1974 at the university Dar-es-salaam

Participants:

Attended by 52 delegates from African and Caribbean states, liberation movements, communities of Africans in North America, South America, Britain and the Pacific. According to a key participant and organizer for the 6th PAC, “the initiative for organizing the 6th PAC came from a small group of Afro-Americans and Afro-Caribbean who met in Bermuda and the US in 1971 and 1972. One of the negative side effects was that some of the initial mobilizers for the effort such as late CLR James who wrote ‘the call’ for the Congress and other Pan Africanists in the Caribbean could not attend the Congress due to the overwhelming participation for the governments they were fighting against in the Caribbean. However, individuals from the Caribbean who were then based in Africa such as the late Walter Rodney, Horace Campbell and others, played crucial roles in the congress.

Congress Resolutions:

  • As was to be expected, Congress mirrored the global ideological and political struggles of the period and their manifestation within the Pan African world.
  • Issues of the right to self-determination through armed struggle, questions of imperialism and neo-colonialism, under development, third world, self-reliance in education and culture, continuing colonialism in the Caribbean and the role of African women were addressed, analyzed and resolutions adopted in spite of the different views and perspectives of the participants.
  • The 6th PAC should have as its theme ‘ self-reliance, self-determination, and unity of black people throughout the world.’
  • Central to the theme of self-reliance and self-determination would be the command of science and technology.

Thus the official book on the Congress declared that “ the documents and resolutions record both the disparities of views interplayed at the 6th PAC and relative strength, which came to be exercised, despite predictions to the contrary by the progressive forces. The lead, in many cases, was fittingly taken by the liberation movements”. The greatest weakness of the 6th PAC was its inability to transform all the good resolutions into a concrete organizational and institutional framework for action. Subsequently, its impact was not as decisive as it could have been, had there emerged and institutional base after the Congress.