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FOR YOU WHAT IS AFRICA – «We must banish the word poverty from the African vocabulary» said the Senegalese international artist Oumar Pene.

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Omar Pene, Artiste international sénégalais

The Senegalese international artist Oumar Pene, visiting Paris in March 2022 for a concert in the French capital and Brussels in Belgium, has kindly told us about his love, his passion, his ambition, his thoughts, his philosophy and his vision of the AFRICAN continent by answering the question: “FOR YOU WHAT IS AFRICA?”

Omar Pene international Senegalese artist: For me, Africa is the continent of the future. For me, Africa is the continent that has everything to develop once again it is not utopia, I firmly believe. For me, Africa is a continent that brings together the voices of men and women who are capable of making a difference. For me, Africa is the continent that must come together. Once again, we have to understand that only Africans can develop this continent.

We have men of precursors who have to lay the groundwork, and who serve us as references including Nelson Mandela, Nkwame Nkrumah, Sheikh Anta Diop and so many others who carried many ideas to Africans, who paved the way for Africans to take the path of happiness.

For me, Africa is pan-Africanism because, as Nkrumah would say, it is possible the United States Africa. We talked about it but why not try to move things forward anyway. What do we have micro-states and try to bring those micro-states together and make it a continent that can manage itself that’s possible we have everything for that and I think that being pan-Africanist is not utopian, it’s possible. As I had to sing this song called «Nkrumah», Nkrumah had said it, Sheikh Anta Diop had said it, Mandela had said it. And I think we have to realize that it is possible because, in any case, creating the United States of Africa does not suit everyone. The Africans must know this because if Africa becomes a force, it does not help some people to follow my gaze, you will know very well where I want to go.

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And I think we should at least try to work in that direction, it’s possible, but we have to believe in it. We must create a synergy that will enable us to exploit our own wealth, the wealth we have. We have men and women who can make things happen we have everything to live better again as others have done and we have everything we need to develop African-style. If we think of composing developing like others like westerners, it is a lure. We can develop but in the African way and rely on ourselves. You can’t expect people to do it for you, no! It is up to us Africans as pan-Africanists, I say, to try to banish the word poverty from the African vocabulary. We are able to organize free and transparent elections. Democracy exists very well in some countries. We have to get rid of anything that could harm African populations. We are a container we have the means to be able to develop this continent to the African I want to say to the African.

For me Africa, it is possible to create the United States of Africa. I think we have to trust our leaders, our precursors, who have shown us the way to get there. You just have to believe in it. I think it’s possible: pan-Africanist today and pan-Africanist forever!

And Africans have to believe in themselves. I would even say it’s up to us to realize that we have everything to succeed. We cannot be rich and poor at the same time. Africa is a continent that is very rich in its soil, very rich in its human resources. We have to believe in that. Today, I am very pleased to see that some countries are talking about emergence. I believe that Africans must realize that it is possible to ban the word poverty from the African vocabulary! African, get up, it’s time.

       

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