Rabat, Morocco, 5-9 December 2011   

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Newsletter Number 2

The two afternoon ple-nary sessions yesterday were devoted to the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1961 Casablanca Confer-ence. Speakers at the session included His Excellency, Tayeeb Fashi Fihri, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mo-rocco; Abdelhak El Me-rini, the Historiogra-pher of the Kingdom of Morocco; Fatima Har-rak, current vice-president of CODES-RIA; Hoda Nasser, Pro-fessor Amadou Mahtar Mbow, Abdellah Saaf, Kofi Anyidoho, Issa Shivji, Hassan Remaoun and Zakia Mbarek and Adebayo Olukoshi, im-mediate past executive secretary of CODESRIA were also on the panel of discussants.
It was a moment of en-couragement as some of the speakers shared reminiscences on the courage, struggle and sacrifice of the fathers of pan-Africanism, whose efforts prepared the launching pad on which Africa’s develop-ment has been built in the last 50 years. The influence of Frantz Fanon on the Pan-Africanists and genera-tions after them was strongly emphasized and, naturally, tributes were paid to the “Casablanca Group” as they are fondly called – Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), Mwalimu Julius Nyerere (Tanzania), Gamal Ab-del Nasser (Egypt), Ah-med Sekou Toure (Guinea), Modibo Keita (Mali), Ferhat Abbas (Algeria), other leaders of the then newly inde-pendent African states and national liberation movements, and of course King Mohammed V of Morocco, who hosted the conference in 1961. It should be re-called that the Casa-blanca Conference was a very important milestone in the process that led to the creation of the Or-ganization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, which has now become the African Union (AU).

Newsletter Numer 2