Volume 28, 2008
Philosophy in Africa
Zekeh S. Gbotokuma
Pan-Bantuist Globalization and African Development
Will Things Fall Apart Again?
Historically, the sub-Saharan Africans’ being-in-the-world with other peoples and nations has been characterized by a ‘Black-Out,’ or the exclusion of black Africans from full humanity and the violation of their human rights through slavery, colonization, apartheid, etc. So far globalization looks like another ‘Black-Out’ or recolonization, Westernization, homogenization, the universalization of the particular, and a jungle rather than an opportunity for all. This conception of globalization has resulted in skepticisms about, and fear of the phenomenon. Antiglobalization movements – e.g., the World Social Forum - are the expression of many people’s feelings about globalization. The 21st-century globalization cannot be really global except by being a dynamic synthesis of all peoples’ cultural
and economic values. So in this paper I argue that despite the potential benefits of globalization, African peoples – more than anybody else - have good reasons to fear and/ or be skeptical about it. This is due to the negativities and the paradoxical nature of globalization on the one hand; and the African colonial and
neocolonial experience, on the other. I propose an alternative to “the savage globalization” or ‘junglobalization.’ I will call it ‘Pan-Bantuist Globalization.’ It is intended to move globalization from Eurocentrism and/or any other negative ethnocentrism to ‘pan-anthropocentrism’ or ‘pan-Bantucentrism,’ thereby creating
conditions for inclusion, equality, brotherhood/sisterhood, and respect for human rights. In other words, Pan-Bantuist Globalization is concerned with democratizing and civilizing the savage globalization through an ethic of globalization, i.e., a global ethics that is based on the golden rule, human rights, ‘Ubuntu’, ‘Maat’, and ‘Yin-Yang’. If acted upon this ethics, noboby – including Africans – will be left behind and things will not fall apart again.