African Charter Article #20: All peoples shall have the right to existence and self determination and the right to free themselves from the bonds of domination.
Author: Issa G. Shivji, Pan African
Date Written: 3 December 2009
Document Origin: Pambazuka 460
- All peoples shall have the right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self- determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen.
- Colonized or oppressed peoples shall have the right to free themselves from the bonds of domination by resorting to any means recognized by the international community.
- All peoples shall have the right to the assistance of the States parties to the present Charter in their liberation struggle against foreign domination, be it political, economic or cultural.
Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere was a great nationalist of the first generation of African leaders who struggled for independence. His nationalism was rooted in pan-Africanism, which is what gave it a universal dimension transcending narrow territorial, ethnic or racial nationalisms. In his address to celebrate the 40th year of Ghana's independence, Nyerere said:
'For centuries, we had been oppressed and humiliated as Africans. We were hunted and enslaved as Africans,…