The Pan African Movement also influenced African nationalism. Pan-African Congresses which were held in the first half of the twentieth century emphasized the need to promote the dignity of black people and liberate them from racial discrimination. They emphasized the idea of Africa for Africans. Of particular importance was first Pan-African Congress which was held in Manchester in 1945. It was attended by key figures like Kwame Nkrumah and Jomo Kenyatta. The congress resolved that Africans must organize liberation movements to free Africa from foreign control. This encouraged the rise of nationalist movements.
Linked to this was the work of the organization for African unity. The O.A.U supported the liberation struggle by providing diplomatic and military support. The O.A.U liberation committee with head quarters in Dar-es–salaam under the leadership of Julius Nyerere inspired and supported nationalist movements in Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, South-Africa, Zimbabwe, among others.
The formation of political parties also inspired nationalism. They sensitized colonial people about their human rights and especially the need for political independence. Examples include CPP in Ghana, TANU in Tanzania, among others.
Also important to note was the contribution of African nationalists. People like Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Abdel Nasser among others provided leadership and mobilization which encouraged the emergence of nationalist all over Africa.
Harold Macmillan also played an important role. As a result of a powerful nationalist movement in Africa, on one of his visits to Africa he made the famous speech called “The wind of change”. He observed that a wind of change was sweeping through Africa and that colonial powers had to leave Africa to avoid fighting. This encouraged the demand for independence.
Also important was the role of the Labour Party in Britain after 1945. The Second World War led to death, destruction of buildings and other property. As a result, the conservative party of Winston Churchill was replaced by the Labour Party led by Clement Atlee. The Labour Party was determined to grant independence to British colonies, hence the rise of African nationalism.
Religion also played an important role. The growth of the Ethiopian movement, a religion which was inspired by Biblical references, that Africa and black people would dominate the world politically, socially and economically started in South Africa in 1892 and spread to West Africa. This encouraged pride of black people and inspired feelings of nationalism.
THE IMPACT OF WORLD WAR I ON AFRICA
The First World War, which lasted from 1914 to 1918, was mainly a struggle for supremacy among the European powers. Africans participated in this war both as combatants and non-combatants in support of colonial powers. The First World War also extended to Africa. German forces were pushed out of Kamerun, Togo, German South-West Africa and German East Africa. This war had many effects on Africa.
As a result of the war, trade between Africa and Europe was disrupted. This was because many countries in Africa traded with Germany, especially in the previous 2-3 decades. As a result of the war, the cost of goods and services was higher than the income of the people. The cost of living was so high and not affordable.