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6. The Future of Pan-Africanism

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In this module, we think about Pan-Africanism today and how it might develop in the future, focusing particularly on: (i) contemporary campaigns for historical justice for slavery and colonialism, such as the reparations and decolonisation movements, which have found support amongst people of African descent in different parts of the world; (ii) the continued importance of Pan-Africanist ideas in the cultural sphere, for example in music and literature; (iii) the development of new forms of African identity in different parts of the world as people of African descent establish new communities, such as in China, to which hundreds of thousands of Africans have migrated since the 1990s.


In this course, Dr William Ackah (Birkbeck, University of London) explores Pan-Africanism across four key themes. In the first module, we consider how we might define Pan-Africanism, outlining its different manifestations, historical development, and core concept that people of African descent across the world are united. In the second and third modules, we think about the first two key themes of Pan-Africanism – its emphasis on pride in Africa’s history, culture and achievements, and its notion of the continent as the homeland to which people of African descent will return. We then turn in the fourth and fifth modules to the themes of, firstly, liberation and unity of struggle amongst people of African descent, and secondly, African unity – that the continent should comprise a unified political and economic entity. We then conclude with a final module on Pan-Africanism today and how it might develop in the future.


Dr William Ackah is Senior Lecturer in Black and Community Geographies at Birkbeck, University of London. He has a broad range of expertise exploring culture, religion and politics in Africa and the African diaspora, including a particular emphasis on Pan-Africanist political activism. His recent publications include Religion, Culture and Spirituality in Africa and the African Diaspora (2017, co-editor), Pan-Africanism: Exploring the Contradictions (2016), and Churches, Blackness and Contested Multiculturalism: Europe, Africa and North America (2014, co-editor).

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APA style

Ackah, W. (2022, May 30). Pan-Africanism - The Future of Pan-Africanism [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Ackah, W. "Pan-Africanism – The Future of Pan-Africanism." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 30 May 2022,

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