ABSTRACT

Almost the entire membership of the OAU achieved independence in the period from 1956 (when Sudan became independent) to 1993 (when Eritrea became the 52nd member of the OAU). As a consequence of this time span the continent’s independence struggles, whether they consisted only of political agitation or were violent wars of resistance to colonial control, remain very much a part of immediate historical consciousness and political memory. This immediacy was attested to through the 1960s and 1970s, when no African leader delivered a speech of any importance without referring to the struggle against colonialism and imperialism. Even though such references had become rare by the year 2000, especially as a new generation of politicians - many of whom had not experienced the struggle - had come to power, it only required a confrontation with one of the former metropolitan powers over trade, invest­ ment, aid, or the treatment of minorities to call forth accusations of unwar­ ranted meddling in Africa’s affairs - in other words, neocolonialism.