Hon.Halifa Sallah addresses youths on African Liberation

The African people can never move forward unless we as a people take charge of our own interpretation of our own destiny.

Speaking during the commemoration of African Day at the youth Monument

organised by The AfriJammoo Group. He said:

Every gathering is a school and that is why human beings are

capable of building a civilisations. That is why we have transformed freedom of expression into a right of every human being and freedom of association into a right of every human beings as well so that we can gather and exchange ideas in order to enrich our minds because it’s those minds that must speak the language of knowledge in order for us to become the architect of our own destiny.

It’s important to understand the significance of this day and those of you that have understood the significance of the day  and are here today should see yourself as an embryo of a larger movement, the movement of the whole African People in ensuring their collective liberty , dignity and prosperity.

It’s time to ask ourselves the question, Why are we still poor? Why are we still subjected to degradation? Why are we still subjected to humiliation? It’s important to ask ourselves, why are our people still crossing the ocean, not because they are forced to become slaves against their will, but to go in search of greener pastures so that they can be able to help their parents, brothers and sisters to live a better life.

We must ask the question, why are we still dependent? Why are we still unable to become the architect of our own destiny?

They said, 1965 we became independent not only Gambia but many African Countries. In 1957, when Ghana became independent, Nkrumah made it very clear

that the independence of Ghana would be meaningless unless it is totally linked to the total independence of the African continent.

There was reason for him (Nkrumah) saying that. There was also a reason why he said, “Seek ye first the political kingdom and all else shall be added unto you”. There was a reason for saying that and that the reason would be explained , but today me and you must be prepared to move forward, unless we move forward, Africa cannot move forward.

What do we need to move forward? That is the subject of this discourse.

Nkrumah realises that Nations must be freed before the people becomes free. That is why when we became independent, we have to move forward to  become a Republic and if you look at chapter one section 1 of your Constitution today, it says that Gambia is a sovereign Republic. It means that your country must not owe any allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state , but Gambia had not always been a sovereign Republic , it was colonised.

On the 10th of August 1889, its external boundaries were drawn and by 1902,  all the strong kings were defeated and the British Crown managed to control the territory that we now call The Gambia as a colony. We became subjects without rights. We became citizens of the United Kingdom. We were not Gambian citizens, we were British subjects.

It had to take struggle, clarity and knowledge for decades to pass for Gambia to become Independent in 1965, not totally, because there was still a governor who was representing the Queen who conceited the executive of The Gambia.

It was on the 24th of April 1970, that the Gambia became a sovereign Republic. It’s unfortunate that these are not taught in our Schools, we do not commemorate such days, we do not even know the significance of these days.

How can we then claim that we are educated, when we don’t know who we are? You do not your country, the world and how then can you be the architect of your own destiny, if you do not yourself, country and the world?

Ignorance is the source of our domination and the battle of the 21st century, is the battle against ignorance.

We must make knowledge the property of the people, we must democratize knowledge, but knowledge does not drop from the sky. We must research and search for it and take ownership of it, regardless of our age.

The African People can never move forward unless we as a people take charge of our own interpretation of our own destiny. We must take charge of ourselves to understand who we are and what we deserve to know, that we are an embodiment of dignity and self-worth and should live as human beings on the face of the earth.

In 1963, after many nations became independent, they decided to unite. Nkrumah told them the independence of Ghana must be linked to the total liberation of the African continent. Why? Because it was very clear then that a nation can only become fully developed if it moves through 3 stages of Development.

First stage, the nation must be able to produce its raw materials, if you cannot produce your raw materials then you will have to depend on others for your food, then there will be no food security, therefore, you must endeavour to produce your raw materials.

You will also need shoes and clothes and one cannot grow them, one needs the raw materials to process them into shoes and clothes.

Therefore, we must move from the primary stage of development, i.e., the raw material production to the secondary stage of development to be able to process the raw materials. Kwame Nkrumah realised that Africa must move to the secondary stage of development before we could be economically independent. These cannot be processed with our empty hand, we must produce machinery and hence he realised that we must move to the third phase of economic development. We must be able to produce the machines we need because if we buy the machines to come and to produce the goods we need, still there would be a value added and whatever we produce , we still would go to buy the machines again and there would still be some elements of dependency, others will still control us.

He realised that individual African countries cannot move to the tertiary stage unless we consume each other’s goods and therefore, it was necessary for Africa to be united so that we would have our own Banks, our own African Industries, have our own means of producing our raw materials so that we can have intra-African trade, so that we can be able to trade with the rest of the world on the basis of equality.

That’s what he realised but many African leaders were not interested in the unity of the continent. All they wanted was to occupy the executive Mansions and be seen as presidents, that was enough for them. All they wanted was a red carpet to be laid and they walked on it majestically like monarchs and the rest of their people will live in huts, dilapidated houses, poor living conditions and all what they look for, is someone to patronise them by giving them a bag of rice once in a while, few dalasi and then they go, dance and sing from the cradle to the grave.

Born in Poverty, grow in Poverty, live in Poverty, age in Poverty and die in Poverty. This has been the destiny of the African People.

Nkrumah, 1957 to 1966 was over thrown, he never served two five years terms, Lumumba didn’t even serve term, while Cabral didn’t serve at all. So all the leaders with vision were eliminated and you the young people started to be miseducated

Those who wanted to enrich your minds so that you love your country, humanity and be ready to serve are labelled  people who are power hungry, who just wanted Africa to unite so that they can have monarchical power to show how great they were in history.

We must re-write our history, we must communicate in a new way again. We must prepare for a new future for Africa, but we cannot prepare that new future without preparing ourselves. That is why these great interlocutors today must be commended.