Chapter III
UCI ~ I See You
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Nothing is hidden from God's view!...
A Call To African Leaders - 1963 Summit
May 25, 1963
...Let us not put off, to later consideration and study, the single act, the one decision, which
must emerge from this gathering if it is to have real meaning.  This Conference cannot close
without adopting a single African Charter....
We welcome to Ethiopia in Our name and in the name of the Ethiopian Government and people, the
Heads of State and Government of independent African nations who are today assembled in
solemn conclave in Ethiopia's capital city.  This Conference, without parallel in history, is an
impressive testimonial to the devotion and dedication of which we all partake in the cause of our
mother continent and that of her sons and daughters.  This is  indeed a momentous and historic
day for Africa and for all Africans.

We stand today on the stage of world affairs, before the audience of world opinion.  We have come
together to assert our role in the direction of world affairs and to discharge our duty to the great
continent whose two hundred and fifty million people we lead.  Africa is today at mid-course in
transition from the Africa of Yesterday to the Africa of Tomorrow.  Even as we stand here, we move
from the past into the future.  The task on which we have embarked, the making of Africa, will not
wait.  We must act, to shape and mould the future and leave our imprint on events as they slip past
into history.
To Chart A Course
We seek, at this meeting, to determine whither we are going and to chart the course of our destiny.  
It is no less important that we know whence we came.  An awareness of our past is essential to the
establishment of our personality and our identity as Africans.

This world was not created piecemeal.  Africa was born no later and no earlier than any other
geographical area on this globe.  Africans, no more and no less than other men, possess all human
attributes, talents and deficiencies, virtues and faults.  Thousands of years ago, civilizations
flourished in Africa which suffer not at all by comparison with those other continents.  In those
centuries, Africans were politically free and economically independent.  Their social patterns were
their own cultures truly indigenous.

The obscurity which enshrouds the centuries which elapsed between those earliest days and the
rediscovery of Africa are being gradually dispersed.  What is certain is that during those long years
Africans were born, lived and died.  Men on other parts of this earth occupied themselves with
their own concerns and, in their conceit, proclaimed that the world began and ended at their
horizons.  All unknown to them, Africa developed in its own pattern, growing in its own life and in
the Nineteenth Century, finally re-emerged into the world's consciousness.
Fettered and Bound
The events of the past hundred and fifty years require no extended recitation from Us.  The period
of colonialism into which we were plunged culminated with our continent fettered and bound;
with our once proud and free peoples reduced to humiliation and slavery; with Africa's terrain
cross-hatched and checker-boarded by artificial and arbitrary boundaries.  Many of us, during
those bitter years, were overwhelmed in battle, and those who escaped conquest did so at the cost
of desperate resistance and bloodshed.  Others were sold into bondage as the price extracted by
the colonialists for the "protection" which they extended and the possessions of which they
disposed.  Africa was a physical resource to be exploited and Africans were chattels to be
purchased bodily or, at best, peoples to be reduced to vassalage and lackey hood.  Africa was the
market for the produce of other nations and the source of the raw materials with which their
factories were fed.

Today, Africa has emerged from this dark passage.  Our Armageddon is past.  Africa has been
reborn as a free continent and Africans have been reborn as free men.  The blood that was shed
and the sufferings that were endured are today Africa's advocates for freedom and unity.  Those
men who refused to accept the judgement passed upon them by the colonizers, who held
unswervingly through the darkest hours to a vision of an Africa emancipated from political,
economic, and spiritual domination will be remembered and revered wherever Africans meet.  
Many of them never set foot on this continent.  Others were born, and died here.  What we may
utter today can add little to the heroic struggle of those who, by their example, have shown us how
precious are freedom and human dignity and of how little value is life without them.  Their deeds
are written in history.
Supreme Effort
Africa's victory, although proclaimed, is not yet total, and areas of resistance still remain.  Today,
We name as our first great task the final liberating of those Africans still dominated by foreign
exploitation and control.  With the goal in sight, and unqualified triumph within our grasp, lest us
not now falter or lag or relax.  We must make one final supreme effort; now, when the struggle
grows, weary when so much has been won that the thrilling sense of achievement has brought us
near satiation.  Our liberty is meaningless unless all Africans are free.  Our brothers in the
Rhodesia, in Mozambique, in Angola in South Africa cry out in anguish for our support and
assistance.  We must urge on their behalf their peaceful accession to independence.  We must align
and identify ourselves with all aspects of their struggle.  It would be betrayal were we to pay only
lip service to the cause of their liberation and fail to back our words with action.  To them we say,
your pleas shall not go unheeded.  The resources of Africa and of all freedom-loving nations are
marshaled in your service.  Be of good heart, for your deliverance is at hand.

As we renew our vow that all of Africa shall be free, let us also resolve that old wounds shall be
healed and past scars forgotten.  It was thus that Ethiopia treated the invader nearly twenty-five
years ago, and Ethiopians found peace with honour in this course.  Memories of past injustice
should not divert us from the more pressing business at hand.  We must live in peace with our
former colonizers, shunning recrimination and bitterness and forswearing the luxury of vengeance
and retaliation, lest the acid of hatred erode our souls and poison our hearts.  Let us act as befits
the dignity which we claim for ourselves as Africans, proud of our own special qualities,
distinctions and abilities.  Our efforts as free men must be to establish new relationships, devoid of
any resentment and hostility, restored to our belief and faith in ourselves as individuals, dealing on
a basis of equality with other equally free peoples.
Free and United
Today, we look to the future calmly, confidently and courageously.  We look to the vision of an
Africa not merely free but united.  In facing this new challenge we can take comfort and
encouragement from the lessons of the past.  We know that there are differences among us.  
Africans enjoy different cultures, distinctive values, special attributes.  But we also know that unity
can be and has been attained among men of the most disparate origins, that differences of race, of
religion, of culture, of tradition, are no insuperable obstacle to the coming together of peoples.  
History teaches us that unity is strength and cautions us to submerge and overcome our
differences in the quest for common goals, to strive, with all our combined strength, for the path to
true African brotherhood and unity.

There are those who claim that African unity is impossible that the forces that pull us, some in this
direction, others in that, are too strong to be overcome.  Around us there is no lack of doubt and
pessimism, no absence of critics and criticism.  These speak of Africa, of Africa's future and of her
position in the Twentieth Century in sepulchral tones.  They predict dissension and disintegration
among Africans and internecine strife and chaos on our continent.  Let us confound these and, by
our deeds, disperse them in confusion.  There are others whose hopes for Africa are bright, who
stand with faces upturned in wonder and awe at the creation of a new and happier life, who have
dedicated themselves to its realization and are spurred on by the example of their brothers to
whom they owe the achievements of Africa's past.  Let us reward their trust and merit their
Accepted Goal
The road of African unity is already lined with landmarks.  The last years are crowded with
meetings, with conferences with declarations and pronouncements.  Local groupings based on
common interests, backgrounds and traditions have been created.

But though all that has been said and written and done in these years, there runs a common
theme.  Unity is the accepted goal.  We argue about means; we discuss alternative paths to the
same objective; we engage in debates about techniques and tactics.

But when semantics are stripped away, there is little argument among us.  We are determined to
create a union of Africans.  In a very real sense, our continent is unmade; it still awaits creation and
its creators.  It is our duty and privilege to rouse the slumbering giant of Africa, not to the
nationalism of Europe of the Nineteenth Century, not to regional conscious, but to the vision of a
single African brotherhood bending its united efforts toward the achievement of a greater and
nobler goal.

Above all, we must avoid the pitfalls of tribalism.  If we are divided among ourselves on tribal lines,
we open our doors to foreign intervention and its potentially harmful consequences.  The Congo is
clear proof of what We say.  We should not be led to complacency because of the present
ameliorated situation in that country.  The Congolese people have suffered untold misery, and the
economic growth of the country has been retarded because of tribal strife.
Obstacles Formidable
But while we agree that the ultimate destiny of this continent lies in political union, we must at the
same time recognize that the obstacles to be overcome in its achievement are at once numerous
and formidable.  Africa's peoples did not emerge into liberty in uniform conditions.  Africans
maintain different political systems; our economies are diverse; our social orders are rooted in
differing cultures and traditions.  Furthermore, no clear consensus exists on the "how" and the
"what" of this union.  Is it to be, in form, federal, confederal or unitary?  Is the sovereignty of
individual states to be reduced, and if so, by how much, and in what areas?  On these and other
questions there is no agreement, and if we wait for agreed answers, generations hence matters will
be little advanced, while the debate still rages.

We should, therefore, not be concerned that complete union is not attained from one day to the
next.  The union which we seek can only come gradually, as the day-to-day progress which we
achieve carries us slowly but inexorably along this course.  We have before us the examples of the
U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.  We must remember how long these required to achieve their union.  When a
solid foundation is laid, if the mason is able and his materials good, a strong house can be built.

Thus, a period of transition is in inevitable.  Old relations and arrangements may for a time, linger.  
Regional organizations may fulfil legitimate functions and needs which cannot yet be otherwise
satisfied.  But the difference is in this:  that we recognize these circumstances for what they are,
temporary expedients designed to serve only until we have established the conditions which will
bring total African unity within our reach.
Exploit Agreement
There is, nonetheless, much that we can do to speed this transition.  There are issues on which we
stand united and questions on which their is unanimity of opinion.  Let us seize on these areas of
agreement and exploit them to the fullest.  Let us take action now, action which, while taking
account of present realities nonetheless constitutes clear and unmistakable progress along the
course plotted out for us by destiny.  We are all adherents, whatever our internal political systems,
of the principles of democratic action.  Let us apply these to the unity we seek to create.  Let us
work out our own programmes in all fields -- political, economic, social and military.  The
opponents of Africa's growth, whose interests would be best served by a divided and balkanized
continent, would derive much satisfaction from the unhappy spectacle of thirty and more African
States so split, so paralysed and immobilized by controversies over long-term goals that they are
unable even to join their efforts in short-term measures on which there is  no dispute.  If we act
where we may in those areas where action is possible, the inner logic of the programmes which we
adopt will work for us and inevitably impel us still farther in the direction of ultimate union.

What we still lack, despite the efforts of past years, is the mechanism which will enable us to speak,
with one voice when we wish to do so and take and implement decisions on African problems
when we are so minded.  The commentators of 1963 speak in discussing Africa, of the Monrovia
States, the Brazzaville Group, the Casablanca Powers, of these and many more.  Let us put an end to
these terms.  What we require is a single African organization through which Africa's single voice
may be heard, within which Africa's problems may be studied and resolved.  We need an
organization which will facilitate acceptable solutions to disputes among Africans and promote the
study and adoption of measures for common defence and programmes for co-operation in the
economic and social fields.  Let us, at this Conference, create a single institution to which we will
all belong, based on principles to which we all subscribe, confident that in its councils our voices
will carry their proper weight, secure in the knowledge that the decisions there will be dictated by
Africans and only by Africans and that they will take full account of all vital African considerations.
Foundation for Unity
We are meeting here today to lay the basis for African unity.  Let us, here and now, agree upon the
basic instrument which will constitute the foundation for the future growth in peace and harmony
and oneness of this continent.  Let our meetings henceforth proceed from solid accomplishments.  
Let us not put off, to later consideration and study, the single act, the one decision, which must
emerge from this gathering if it is to have real meaning.  This Conference cannot close without
adopting a single African Charter.  We cannot close without adopting a single African organization
possessed of the attributes We have described.  If we fail in this, we will have shirked our
responsibility to Africa and to the peoples we lead.  If we succeed, then, and only then, will we have
justified our presence here.

The organization of which We speak must possess a well - cumulated framework, having a
permanent headquarters and an adequate Secretariat providing the necessary continuity between
meetings of the permanent organs.  It must include specialized bodies to work in particular fields
of competence assigned to the organization.  Unless the political liberty for which Africans have for
so long struggled is complemented and bolstered by a corresponding economic and social growth,
the breath of life which sustains our freedom may flicker out.  In our efforts to improve the
standard of life of our peoples and to flesh out the bones of our independence, we count on the
assistance and support of others.  But this alone will not suffice, and, alone, would only perpetuate
Africa's dependence on others.

A specialized body to facilitate and co-ordinate continent-wide economic programmes and to
provide the mechanism for the provision of economic assistance among African nations is thus
required.  Prompt measures can be taken to increase trade and commerce among us.  Africa's
mineral wealth is great; we should co-operate in its development.  An African Development
Programme, which will make provision for the concentration by each nation on those productive
activities for which its resources and its geographic and climatic conditions best fit it is needed.  
We assume that each African nation has its own national development programme, and it only
remains for us to come together and share our experiences for the proper implementation of a
continent-wide plan.  Today, travel between African nations and telegraphic and telephonic
communications among us are circuitous in the extreme.  Road communications between two
neighbouring States are often difficult or even impossible.  It is little wonder that trade among us
has remained at a discouragingly low level.  These anachronisms are the remnants of a heritage of
which we must rid ourselves, the legacy of the century when Africans were isolated one from the
other.  These are vital areas in which efforts must be concentrated.
Development Bank
An additional project to be implemented without delay is the creation of an African Development
Bank, a proposal to which all our Governments have given full support and which has already
received intensive study.  The meeting of our Finance Ministers to be held within the coming
weeks in Khartoum should transform this proposal into fact.  This same meeting could
appropriately continue studies already undertaken of the impact upon Africa of existing regional
economic groupings, and initiate further studies to accelerate the expansion of economic relations
among us.

The nations of Africa, as is true of every continent of the world, had from time to time dispute
among themselves.  These quarrels must be confined to this continent and quarantined from the
contamination of non-African interference.  Permanent arrangements must be agreed upon to
assist in the peaceful settlement of these disagreements which, however few they may be, cannot
be left to languish and fester.  Procedures must be established for the peaceful settlement of
disputes, in order that the threat or use of force may no longer endanger the peace of our continent.

Steps must be taken to establish an African defence system.  Military planning for the security of
this continent must be undertaken in common within a collective framework.  The responsibility
for protecting this continent from armed attacks from abroad is the primary concern of Africans
themselves.  Provision must be made for the extension of speedy and effective assistance when any
African State is threatened with military aggression.  We cannot rely solely on international
morality.  Africa's control over her own affairs is dependent on the existence of appropriate
military arrangements to assure this continent's protection against such threats.  While guarding
our own independence, we must at the same time determine to live peacefully with all nations of
the world.
Knowing Ourselves
Africa has come to freedom under the most difficult and trying circumstances.  No small measure of
the handicaps under which we labour derive from the low educational level attained by our
peoples and from their lack of knowledge of their fellow Africans.  Education abroad is at best an
unsatisfactory substitute for education at home.  A massive effort must be launched in the
educational and cultural fields which will not only raise the level of literacy and provide the cadres
of skilled and trained technicians requisite to our growth and development but, as well, acquaint
us one with another.  Ethiopia, several years ago, instituted a programme of scholarships for
students coming from other African lands which has proved highly rewarding and fruitful, and We
urge others to adopt projects of this sort.  Serious consideration should be given to the
establishment of an African University, sponsored by all African States, where future leaders of
Africa will be trained in an atmosphere of continental brotherhood.  In this African institution, the
supra-national aspects of African life would be emphasized and study would be directed toward
the ultimate goal of complete African unity.  Ethiopia stands prepared here and now to decide on
the site of the University and to fix the financial contributions to be made to it.

This is but the merest summary of what can be accomplished.  Upon these measures we are all
agreed, and our agreement should now form the basis for our action.
A World Force
Africa has become an increasingly influential force in the conduct of world affairs as the combined
weight of our collective opinion is brought to focus not only on matters which concern this
continent exclusively, but on those pressing problems which occupy the thoughts of all men
everywhere.  As we have come to know one another better and grown in mutual trust and
confidence, it has been possible for us to co-ordinate our policies and actions and contribute to the
successful settlement of pressing and critical world issues.

This has not been easy.  But co-ordinated action by all African States on common problems is
imperative if our opinions are to be accorded their proper weight.  We Africans occupy a different --
indeed a unique -- position among the nations of this Century.  Having for so long known
oppression, tyranny and subjugation, who, with better right, can claim for all the opportunity and
the right to live and grow free men?  Ourselves for long decades the victims of injustice, whose
voices can be better raised in the demand for justice and right for all?  We demand an end to
colonialism because domination of one people by another is wrong.  We demand an end to nuclear
testing and the arms race because these activities, which pose such dreadful threats to man's
existence and waste and squander humanity's material heritage, are wrong.  We demand an end to
racial segregation as an affront to man's dignity which is wrong.  We act in these matters in the
right, as a matter of high principle.  We act out of the integrity and conviction of our most
deep-founded beliefs.

If we permit ourselves to be tempted by narrow self-interest and vain ambition, if we barter our
beliefs for short-term advantage, who will listen when we claim to speak for conscience, and who
will contend that or words deserve to be heeded?  We must speak out on major world issues,
courageously, openly and honestly, and in blunt terms of right and wrong.  If we yield to
blandishments or threats, if we compromise when no honourable compromise is possible, our
influence will be sadly diminished and or prestige woefully prejudiced and weakened.  Let us not
deny our ideals or sacrifice our right to stand as the champions of the poor, the ignorant, the
oppressed everywhere.  The acts by which we live and the attitudes by which we act must be clear
beyond question.  Principles alone can endow our deeds with force and meaning.  Let us be true to
what we believe, that our beliefs may serve and honour us.
Prejudice Opposed
We reaffirm today, in the name of principle and right, our opposition to prejudice, wherever and in
whatever form it may be found, and particularly do we rededicate ourselves to the eradication of
racial discrimination from this continent.  We can never rest content with our achievements so
long as men, in any part of Africa, assert on racial grounds their superiority over the least of our
brothers.  Racial discrimination constitutes a negation of the spiritual and psychological equality
which we have fought to achieve and denial of the personality and dignity which we have struggled
to establish for ourselves as Africans.  Our political and economic liberty will be devoid of meaning
for so long as the degrading spectacle of South Africa's apartheid continues to haunt our waking
hours and to trouble our sleep.  We must redouble our efforts to banish this evil from our land.  If
we persevere, discrimination will one day vanish from the earth.  If we use the means available to
us, South Africa's apartheid, just as colonialism, will shortly remain only as a memory.  If we pool
our resources and use them well, this spectre will be banished forever.

In this effort, as in so many others, we stand united with our Asian friends and brothers.  Africa
shares with Asia a common background of colonialism, of exploitation, of discrimination, of
oppression.  At Bandung, African and Asian States dedicated themselves to the liberation of their
two continents from foreign domination and affirmed the right of all nations to develop in their
own way, free of any external interference.  The Bandung Declaration and the principles
enunciated at that Conference remain today valid for us all.  We hope that the leaders of India and
China, in the spirit of Bandung, will find the way to the peaceful resolution of the dispute between
their two countries.
Nuclear Danger
We must speak, also, of the dangers of the nuclear holocaust which threatens all that we hold dear
and precious, including life itself.  Forced to live our daily existence with this foreboding and
ominous shadow ever at our side, we cannot lose hope or lapse into despair.  The consequences of
an uncontrolled nuclear conflict are so dreadful that no sane man can countenance them.  There
must be an end to testing.  A programme of progressive disarmament must be agreed upon.  Africa
must be freed and shielded, as a denuclearized zone, from the consequences of direct, albeit,
involuntary involvement in the nuclear arms race.

The negotiations at Geneva, where Nigeria, the United Arab Republic and Ethiopia are
participating, continue, and painfully and laboriously, progress is being achieved.  We cannot know
what portion of the limited advances already realized can be attributed to the increasingly
important role being played by the non-aligned nations in these discussions, but we can, surely,
derive some small measure of satisfaction in even the few tentative steps taken toward ultimate
agreement among the nuclear powers.  We remain persuaded that in our efforts to scatter the
clouds which rim the horizon of our future, success must come, if only because failure is
unthinkable.  Patience and grim determination are required, and faith in the guidance of Almighty
Collective Security
We would not close without making mention of the United Nations.  We personally, Who have
throughout Our lifetime been ever guided and inspired by the principle of collective security,
would not now propose measures which depart from or are inconsistent with this ideal or with the
declarations of the United Nations Charter.  It would be foolhardy indeed to abandon a principle
which has withstood the test of time and which has proved its inherent value again and again in
the past.  It would be worse than folly to weaken the one effective world organization which exists
today and to which each of us owes so much.  It would be sheer recklessness for any of us to
detract from this organization which, however imperfect, provides the best bulwark against the
incursion of any forces which would deprive us of our hard-won liberty and dignity.

The African Charter of which We have spoken is wholly consistent with that of the United Nations.  
The African organization which We envisage is not intended in any way to replace in our national
or international life that position which the United Nations has so diligently earned and so
rightfully occupies.  Rather, the measure which We propose would complement and round out
programmes undertaken by the United Nations and its specialized agencies and, hopefully, render
both their activities and ours doubly meaningful and effective.  What we seek will multiply many
times over the contribution which our joint endeavours may make to the assurance of world peace
and the promotion of human well-being and understanding.
History's Dictum
A century hence, when future generations study the pages of history, seeking to follow and fathom
the growth and development of the African continent, what will they find of this Conference?  Will
it be remembered as an occasion on which the leaders of a liberated Africa, acting boldly and with
determination, bent events to their will and shaped the future destinies of the African peoples?  
Will this meeting be memorialized for its solid achievements, for the intelligence and maturity
which marked the decisions taken here?  Or will it be recalled for its failures, for the inability of
Africa's leaders to transcend local prejudices and individual differences, for the disappointment
and disillusionment which followed in its train?

These questions give us all pause.  The answers are within our power to dictate.  The challenges
and opportunities which open before us today are greater than those presented at any time in
Africa's millennial of history.  The risks and the dangers which confront us are no less great.  The
immense responsibilities which history and circumstance have thrust upon us demand balanced
and sober reflection.  If we succeed in the tasks which lie before us, our names will be remembered
and our deeds recalled by those who follow us.  If we fail, history will puzzle at our failure and
mourn what was lost.  We approach the days ahead with the prayer that we who have assembled
here may be granted the wisdom, the judgment and the inspiration which will enable us to
maintain our faith with the peoples and the nations which have entrusted their fate to our hands.
Haile Selassie the First - May 25, 1963