Dr Anikwe made the call when he delivered a paper on “Rethinking Cultural Pan-Africanism for Africa’s Reconstruction and Development,” at the Pan-African Leadership Summit and Merit Awards (PAMA) 2015 in Accra.
It was instituted by the National informer Magazine of Nigeria, to bring together past and present African Leaders, policy makers, giants of industries, top CEOs, outstanding inspirational religious leaders, and foreign investors, to share ideas, strategies and create platforms to instigate the socio-economic development and revival of the African Continent.
Dr Anikwe who was among nine personalities and 11 organizations honoured at the function, pointed out that one of the keys that held Africa’s path to unity and development was her Culture, but said it had been neglected by most African governments.
He said clearly western models had repeatedly failed to answer Africa’s developmental challenges, as well as fallen short of forging any meaningful solutions to the myriads of challenges confronting the continent .
Dr Anikwe who is also the President of the Pan-African Cultural Congress, said Pan-Africanists must demonstrate in their day-to-day activities of having pro-Africa posture.
He said even though some African States had made inroads in terms of growth in their economies over the years, these growths had only succeeded in making the continent a large source of raw materials for the industries in Europe and America, as well as markets for their finished products.
The Director-General of CBAAC said with the exception of a handful of African countries, “we are all witnesses to the fact that matters of culture are more often treated as second fiddle.”
“Before 1960, our patriots insisted on political independence, then it was decided that emphasis should be placed on economic independence, and finally with many decades of independence, we have been toying with the idea of cultural independence.”
Dr Anikwe pointed out that Africa’s miserable economic conditions had repercussions on the full development of her Culture, he admitted that no culture was static, and cultures borrowed from one another.
“The Africanization of western styles of dresses, using African fabrics, is in itself a laudable cultural Pan-African idea.”
He was of the view that this initiative would no doubt encourage the growth of indigenous textile industries, thereby growing the African economy, as well as generating employment, especially for the youth.
Dr Anikwe said Africa’s cultural development must be the prime concern of her leaders, and all the other aspects of the continent’s development would be added unto her.
The CBAAC Director-General received Africa’s Most Outstanding Personality in Arts and Culture at the 2015 Merit Awards at the British Council Auditorium in Accra.
The eight other award winners included former President John Jerry Rawlings (Africa’s Foremost Agent of Change); Dr Akinwumi Adeshina, President of the African Development Bank (Most Outstanding Personality in Agricultural Development in Africa; and Reverend Chris Christian, General Overseer of Locust Army International Ministries (Role Model Pastor and Best Motivator of the Youth.
The rest were Mr Bola Adeboye, MD/CEO of the Nigeria Police Mortgage Bank (Most Outstanding Youth Enterprise Development Motivator; Professor Olugbemiro Jegede, Secretary to the Kogi State Government (Africa’s Public Administrator of the Year); Superintendent Cephas Arthur, Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service (Award of Excellence in Outstanding Leadership; Victoria Michaels (Ghana’s Fashion Modeling Personality of the Year); and Prince Emma Okeson, MD/CEO of City Lights Group, Ghana (Ghana’s Most Outstanding Personality in Business.