Fifty years ago, there was an event that took observers by surprise, the creation of the Organisation of African Unity.
A student at that time, I could not believe it. In the Federation of Sub-Saharan African Students in France (FEANF), our fight for the independence of our countries was linked to another demand, that of the unity of the continent, a dream that caused our elders to shrug their shoulders.
In May 1963, when the news reached us from Addis Ababa, the signatures of the Evian Agreements ratifying the independence of Algeria were still fresh. Africa was divided. On one side, the States of the Accra group, following the line of the Bandung Conference; on the other side, somewhat more reticent, those following the line of the Monrovia Group; and in the middle, those of the Casablanca group … Algeria had wrested its independence by dint of powder, bullets, volleys of shot, cannons in a long and bloody struggle. While Guinea had declined the offer made by de Gaulle when it voted no in the referendum of 1958, preferring, as Sékou Touré expressed it, freedom in poverty to wealthy servitude, the new African Heads of State of the former French Community had been obliged to accept the independence they were offered, accompanied by protective agreements. While Guinea had tossed the dice and, in a patriotic and romantic gesture, had crossed the Rubicon, the former French colonies, keen not to “cut the umbilical cord,” had been careful to create a safety net before taking the lea