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globe logo     Caravan: Newsletter of the Alliance for a Responsible and United World
Number 3 May 1999

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Future plan for the Alliance in Africa in 1999
The Fragmented Alliance | The Alliance or the Myth of the Tower of Babylon

photo of David Gakunzi
David Gakunzi
The Alliance is well established in Africa: a quick glance at the list of proposed candidatures for the international team proves this. We must strive to fulfil two objectives this year: try to strengthen and renew dynamism in places where the Alliance is already functioning and secondly give more visibility to the Alliance throughout the continent. To achieve these goals, we propose a strategy based on the methodology, tools and mechanisms of work of the Alliance.

This year’s activities would be geared to organise a "PanAfrican meeting on solidarity" towards the end of the year in South Africa. The aim of this meeting is to review and sum up 20th century Africa (from colonisation to present wars and including the independence period) and to draw up perspectives for the next century.

The process towards the organisation of this meeting would be a kind of caravan that will start with local meetings of allies within their country (to begin with, in each profession, each workshop and finally in every country).

In the second step, armed with challenges and proposals for solutions, allies would meet at the regional level (West and Central Africa; East and South Africa; North Africa).

And finally in the third stage - which would be at the end of the year – allies would get together for a continental meeting. This meeting will be presided by stalwarts like Mandela, Nyerere and Amani Toumani Touré. Needless to say, the methodology followed by the regional meetings will also apply for the continental one. If the meeting is well organised, this could be the event of the end of the century in the continent.

How to proceed once we agree on the dynamics?

The following steps may be taken:

  1. To list all the African allies of the Alliance.
  2. To classify them regionally and thematically (according to the working groups).
  3. To review the Alliance’s "achievements" in the Continent (meetings that have been organised, existing networks, documents that have been produced, meetings in the offing).
  4. To draft a letter proposing the activities to all the allies of the Continent
  5. To send out circulars calling for participation.
  6. To tour some African countries in order to launch the activities and identify allies and delegate responsibility to them for a follow up.
  7. To initiate local (national) meetings.
  8. To communicate information on these meetings through the Alliance’s newsletter in the continent.
  9. To associate the radio network in the continent and associate artists as well.
  10. To work towards regional meetings.
  11. To work towards the continental meeting.

If possible, at the end of the meeting we should be able to

  • bring out two documents (a book with an in depth analysis on the state of affairs and solutions proposed; a declaration - the African peoples’ charter).
  • plan a work schedule.
  • establish networks and tools of work. (a kind of OAU of peoples! – Why not!)

These activities will no doubt be enriched by allies from other regions and will enable Africans to enrich activities in other continents.

Contact: David Gakunzi Martin Luther King International Centre BP 2994, Kigali, Rwanda Tel/Fax: 250 824 37 – E-mail:

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The Fragmented Alliance
Return to Top | The Alliance or the Myth of the Tower of Babylon

From the North and the South, people from all over the world who believe in solidarity and responsibility have plunged into a great adventure called the Alliance. Their aim is to bring together all the peoples of the earth in a future planetary village that is multicultural. We are a part of it because we believe that a future which is constructed on the basis of different visions has all the chances to succeed. Yet we feel disenchanted, for we function, work and exchange in a two-tiers Alliance.

Activities, workshops and forums bring us together but function like a centrifugal machine which runs too fast, where only the lighter elements get to the surface; we, the heavier elements remain at the bottom. We do not speak the same language; our telephone lines are too slow and the connection through Internet is often difficult; our material and human means are weak and insufficient. We hear of a meeting and we are stopped in our tracks by yet another obstacle: VISA!

We are allies but our nationalities erect material frontiers which prevent us from travelling freely. We are probably a part of the caravan but trail far behind. The wind does not blow in our direction. The centrifugal machine is running too fast. Its imposed speed separates us, and we are left behind. We are trying in the North and the South to build something universal, but truly speaking, it is being done without our real participation. Please slow down, or we will soon be out of breath.

Mira Chalal and Malika Hamidchi (Algeria)

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The Alliance or the Myth of the Tower of Babylon
Return to Top | The Fragmented Alliance

Forgive me for not using the one and only language of the Platform. So far, the Alliance has been nothing but disappointing for me. At the same time, this experience has made me discover the reality of the myth of the Tower of Babylon, which has been very educational. This myth foreshadows what is happening in development, and we do not seem to want to learn from its lesson. Like children, we attempt to build towers that require that we all speak the same language. We create a single language (I am not speaking here of dialects, but of ideas), that have the general tendency to bring some people down without lifting others up. No!

You want to build a tower that will be "babylised", ruined. It is a waste of time and a waste of money that would have been more usefully spent on development. (...)

Let us look at what attempts at single languages have brought about in our human history! Hitler, Stalin, single parties, patriarchy (one voice – that of man), etc... In each of the two publications of Caravan, it is only the Chinese who dare to criticise the Alliance. The others flock towards the direction of the single language.

As I have said before, if Africa joins the chorus of this single language, it is in hopes of getting something out of it. In order to profit, one must repeat what others like to hear.

We, humans of the "noosphere", we are not the divine architect and it is not up to us to conceive and build a responsible and united world. (...) It is by correctly developing the environment "here and now", where God (destiny, nature, etc…) placed us, that the world will build itself. The construction of a world is not our vocation as humans; it is a temptation. (...)

André Mathis B.P. 20336, Lomé, Togo

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© 2000 Alliance for a Responsible and United World. All rights reserved. Last updated January 30, 2000.