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加纳 解放运动的先锋、合作共赢的榜样——专访加纳共和国驻华使馆临时代办马卡洛斯·阿肯邦

1958年,第一届独立非洲国家会议在加纳首都阿克拉举行,会议倡议拟定非洲自由日,加纳也因此奠定了非洲解放运动先锋的地位。1960年,中加两国建交,双方从此走上了合作共赢之路

文I 本刊记者 许成之    摄影I 刘关关    翻译I 王晓波

追溯“非洲日”的历史,1958年4月15日是一个值得铭记的日子。在这一天,第一届独立非洲国家会议在加纳首都阿克拉举行,会议倡议拟定非洲自由日,以“每年纪念民族解放运动的进展,并象征非洲人民脱离外国统治和剥削的决心”。加纳也因此奠定了非洲解放运动先锋的地位。近日,本刊专访了加纳共和国驻华使馆临时代办马卡洛斯·阿肯邦先生。

 

《中国投资》:我们至今仍记得1958年在加纳召开的非洲独立国家第一次大会,也就是泛非第一次大会。从那时起,非洲每年都会为非洲解放举行庆祝活动。回顾以往,你对那个特殊时期有什么看法?

马卡洛斯·阿肯邦:首先,我们应当正确客观地看待这一切。1958年的时候,只有为数不多的非洲国家取得了独立,那年召开的大会只是将早期伟大的泛非洲精神推向了高潮。马库斯·加维、杜博斯,特别是夸梅·恩克鲁玛和他的同辈们将非洲的状况告诉了世界——这才让世人知道黑人完全有能力管理自己的事务。因为当年殖民主义和奴隶贸易对非洲采取的就是精神殖民,他们让非洲人误以为自己无法独立生存,必须屈从于另一个霸权的统治。这次会议的另一个目的是呼吁其它仍处于殖民统治的非洲国家尽快觉醒,直面现实,投入战斗,因为当时还有一些国家对此持怀疑态度。此后不久,在1959年和1960年,有更多的非洲国家宣布加入泛非大会。到1963年,该大会的创始成员国已经达到了30个。所以说阿克拉会议至关重要,因为它不仅加速了非洲独立运动的步伐,而且还让非洲人民感受到民族团结的重要性。

 

《中国投资》:这就是非洲联盟组织成立的原因。

马卡洛斯·阿肯邦:是的,阿克拉会议为非洲联盟组织的成立奠定了基础,而且它也对非洲大陆的去殖民化过程帮助很大,因为当时恩克鲁玛意识到我们是无法独立生存下去的,无论从政治还是经济的角度看,我们都不具备单打独斗的条件。还记得俄罗斯与美国之间的冷战吧——资本主义与共产主义的对决。它们两个国家间的争战扩展到了其它大陆,在这种情况下,如果大家不团结起来,就会成为美俄政治斗争的牺牲品。俄罗斯希望你加入共产组织;美国则希望你变成资本主义。如果你不同意,就会有政变发生,他们会在你的国家开战。因此恩克鲁玛认识到,那我们需要形成一个联盟。这是我们保卫自己独立成果的开端。

 

《中国投资》:加纳是撒哈拉以南非洲国家中第一个寻求并且成功地获得独立的国家,那么在非洲其它国家摆脱殖民统治得到解放的进程中,加纳发挥了怎样的作用?

马卡洛斯·阿肯邦:我们发挥了重大且历史性的作用。首先,以几内亚为例,在它独立的时候,许多法国殖民地不想让它像加纳希望的那样迅速独立,但是几内亚的第一任总统图雷·塞古(1958~1984)与恩克鲁玛的关系密切,并且也参加了卡萨布兰卡集团,因此当时他对独立非常积极。当塞古在1958年宣布独立时,法国人从几内亚掠夺走了所有的东西,使几内亚变成了一穷二白的国家。恩克鲁玛第一个前去援助,提供了一大笔钱帮助他们支付行政费用和应对紧急情况。恩克鲁玛还邀请了许多自由战士来到阿克拉,让他们得到培训或受教育的机会。于是许多非洲解放斗士,比如像津巴布韦的穆加贝和尼日利亚的纳姆迪·阿齐克韦都来到加纳上学。恩克鲁玛还在军事培训方面投入了许多资金。记得吗,当比利时人在刚果(金)(它是世界上最富裕的国家之一,其富裕程度几乎可以养活整个非洲,但也正因为这一原因,那里经常有阴谋和动乱暴发)煽动政变对抗帕特里斯·卢蒙巴时,夏那带着我们的军队前去援助。那是我们的第一次维和行动。尼日利亚的情况也是一样,他们的官兵也一直在加纳学习,直到纳姆迪召他们回去继续作战。

 

《中国投资》:中国在1960年就与加纳建立了外交关系。

 马卡洛斯·阿肯邦:中国非常乐见非洲大陆的去殖民化。中国对我们的一些自由战士给予了最大的支持和帮助,这才使他们取得独立,掌握自己的命运。而且中国不仅帮助了加纳,也为其它非洲国家提供支持,比如安哥拉和南非。我们很高兴现在所有的非洲国家在政治上都获得了自由,下一步就是要实现经济方面的发展。

 

《中国投资》:在社会和经济发展方面,独立给加纳带来了哪些变化?

马卡洛斯·阿肯邦:首先,独立产生了民族主义。事实上,刚独立时民族主义的热情、爱国主义、对自己国家的爱和激情都达到了高潮。历史上我们从未发现我们的人民对国家是如此热爱,愿意为它做出牺牲,甚至献出生命。

 

《中国投资》:就像一个新身份。

马卡洛斯·阿肯邦:对,就是一个新身份!如果一个国家的人民不爱也不支持自己的国家,那即使政府有最好的政策也无法实施。我们非洲人特别羡慕亚洲,尤其是中国人对祖国的热爱。恩克鲁玛的一项功绩就是做到了这一点。从1957年到1964、1965年,我们的人均收入是世界最高的国家之一。与中国的五年计划一样,恩克鲁玛也为加纳制定了七年计划。马来西亚那时就曾来加纳学习取经,可是现在我们却要向他们寻求援助。但是由于恩克鲁玛的性格以及他对西方国家的抨击,西方国家知道只要他执政,他们就无法进入非洲,结果他们在1966年设法把他罢免了。

《中国投资》:政变。

马卡洛斯·阿肯邦:对,政变。政变发生后新上台的政府并没有管理国家的经验,这导致国家不稳定,投资者就不敢贸然投资,因为高端人才都流失了——那些来我们的大学提供帮助的知识分子出走后,他们感到非常失望。

 

《中国投资》:是的,这也是中国特别强调稳定的部分原因。

马卡洛斯·阿肯邦:没错!稳定非常重要,它是取得发展的基础。没有稳定的政治环境,即使你有再多的自然资源也无济于事。刚果(金)目前的情况就是如此。

 

《中国投资》:回溯历史,中国也曾有被西方国家半殖民化的遭遇,因此我们非常理解另一个国家遭到殖民入侵时的感受,因此制定了不干涉别国内政的政策。您如何看待两国当前的关系?

马卡洛斯·阿肯邦:我认为我们两国之间最伟大的壮举就是我们迈出了勇敢的一步——1960年建交。加纳是非洲国家中第三个与中国建交的国家。我们深感中国人民是我们的好朋友。在我们经历殖民战争后,中国当时虽然也很贫穷,但仍然倾其所有地帮助我们,对此我们很感激。但与此同时,我们对中国也一直非常支持。

 

《中国投资》:确实如此,特别是在政治援助方面。中国人民至今仍对非洲国家给予我们的支持心存感激。就像毛泽东主席曾经说过——“是非洲兄弟们把我们抬进了联合国安理会。”

马卡洛斯·阿肯邦:是的,1971年,中国想要恢复在联合国的合法席位时,当时我们坚持认为“中国应当在安理会享有一席之地和合法的地位。”不仅是这件事,在许多场合,只要非洲国家与中国在一起,我们都愿意听中国的意见。非洲有句谚语说,“如果你想走得快,你可以一个人走;但是如果你想走得远,你得与朋友同行。”自独立以来我们曾经与欧洲伙伴合作了五六十年,可仍然在原地踏步。他们曾经对我们进行过殖民,如果真希望我们发展的话,当然知道做什么。所以我们说,“好吧,非洲需要换个伙伴试试了。”

《中国投资》:我记得欧洲议会议长塔亚尼在接受德国杂志采访时曾提到中国对非洲的“新殖民主义”。

马卡洛斯·阿肯邦:是的,他们跑来对我们说,“你们知道吗,中国正在对你们进行新殖民化。”我们说,“别担心,我们明白殖民主义是怎么回事。”我们与中国没有任何问题,我们会继续合作下去。我们认为中国兄弟们迄今对我们所做的一切都非常好。


Ghana: A Leader in Liberation and Example of Partnership

——Interview McArios A. Akanbong, Ghana charge d'affaires to China

Xu Chengzhi, China Investment ; Photo by Liu Guanguan

China Investment: We are remembering 1958with the first Congress of independent African nations, which was also thefirst Pan-Africa Congress held in Africa. So since then there has been thecelebration of African liberation. Looking back, what do you make of thatspecial period of time?

McArios: First of all, we have to put allof this in perspective. By 58’ only a handful of African countries had becomeindependent. The 58’ Congress was only the culmination of earlier efforts bygreat Pan-Africanists. Marcus Garvey, Du Buois, and especially Kwame Nkrumahand his peers to bring the African condition and African story more to theworld –that the black man, after all, is capable of managing his ownaffairs. It is this thinking that led to the independence fever. When you takeover the reigns of your destiny, you can do it. Because remember whatcolonialism and slave trade had done to Africa was a mental colonization wherethey had come to think they cannot be independent but they have to besubservient to another hegemony. What the Nkrumah movement, thePan-Africanists, and especially they 58’ Congress did was celebrate theachievement that Africans can lead themselves and are capable of managing theirown affairs. It also set the tone to rapidly get some of our sister countriesthat were still under colonization to wake up to reality and take the fightfurther because, remember, at the time, some other countries were skeptical. Soin 58’ what Nkrumah sought to do was tell his other brothers they can taketheir destinies into their hands. Soon after by 59’, 60’ many more countrieswere added. By 63’ we had about thirty states, which became the foundingmembers. So the Accra Conference was critical in that it accelerated theindependence drive. It also was the time that the issue of continent unity wasbroached and Africans got to see the importance of coming together. We werenewly independent, weak and fragile. If we did not come together in a type ofunion then independence may be meaningless.

 

China Investment: That is what brought theorganization of the African Union?

McArios: Yes, the Accra Conference laid thefoundation for the organization of African unity. It also helped in thedecolonization process of the continent because at that point Nkrumah realizedwe couldn’t survive single handedly. We don’t have the means either politicallyor economically to stand alone; and remember there was the Cold War of Russiaand America –capitalism versus communism. The two of them were fighting on ourcontinent. Confusion everywhere. So if you didn’t come together you couldbecome a victim of the politics between America and Russia. Russia wants you tobe communist; America wants you to be capitalist. If you don’t agree then thereis a coup d’etat, they start fighting in your country. So Nkrumah said, this isthe reality, we need to forge a unity because if you are more you are strongbut if you are one they can finish you. So that was the beginning, to safeguardour independence. In that sense, that was the importance of the AccraConference of 58’.

 

China Investment: Ghana was the firstsub-Saharan African country to seek and successfully obtain independence. Sowhat kind of role did Ghana play to liberate other African nations fromcolonial rule?

McArios: It was a big, monumental role weplayed and we are grateful that many of our African brothers recognize this.First of all, in the case of Guinea, at the time of independence, many of theFrench colonies did not want independence as fast as Ghana wanted it. But SékouTouré [the first President of Guinea, 1958-1984], being close to Nkrumah and inthe Casablanca Group, was interested in independence now. When Touré declaredindependence in 58’ the French took out everything from the country, everylittle thing. Guinea had nothing. Nkrumah was the first to go and give a bigsum of money to support –pay civil service, to allow emergency services to run. In fact, ofthe many Freedom Fighters, Nkrumah invited them to come to Accra where theywere either trained or schooled. Because even if you get independence but thepeople who have been fighting have not been educated, you can’t rule. So manyof the African fighters like Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Nnamdi Azikewe of Nigeria,went to school in Ghana. Nkrumah also spent lots of money in military training.Remember when Congo, DRC (one of the richest countries on the face of theearth, so rich it can support Africa and the reason why there is intrigue andinstability in the Congo), the Belgians incited the coup against PatriceLamumba. Ghana had to carry our troops there. That was one of the firstpeacekeeping operations. They all went to school in Ghana before Nkrumah tookthem back to fight. So to that extent, we will say that our role in thedecolonization of the African continent was very significant.

 

China Investment: In 1960 China establishedrelations with Ghana.

McArios: China was interested in seeing thedecolonization of the continent. China gave the best support that they could tosome of our Freedom Fighters so that they can gain independence and take theirown destinies into their own hands. And not only in Ghana, but in othercountries like Angola, South Africa. Today, we are happy that every Africancountry is free, politically. Now, the next step is economic freedom.

 

China Investment: What kind of changes didthis independence bring to Ghana in terms of socio-economic development?

McArios: First of all, it broughtnationalism. In fact, at the time of independence the nationalist fervor,patriotism, the passion and love for one’s country was at its highest. Never inour history did we find our people so in love with our country and willing tosacrifice and die. 

 

China Investment: Like a new identity?

McArios: A new identity! Which wasimportant for an emerging country. You see if you don’t have people thatsupport and love the country, you can have the best policies and not achievethem. One of the things in Africa that we admire about Asia and especiallyChina is the love for the country. It doesn’t matter if they are poor or rich;they always love their country. That is a very fundamental ingredient fornational development. One of the things Nkrumah did was to bring this. In thisregard, Nkrumah himself was visionary. At the time, our per capita income wasone of the best in the world from 1957 to 1964/65’. Like China has a five-yearplan, Nkrumah had a seven-year plan. Many countries came to Ghana and took thedevelopment plan. Malaysia, for instance, came to Ghana to learn and today weare taking aid from them. But because of Nkrumah’s personality and hiscriticism against the West they always knew that with Nkrumah, the West cannotcome through Africa, so they had him deposed in 1966.

China Investment: Coup d’etat?

McArios: Coup d’etat. And with the coup d’etatthe problems started because the people didn’t have a plan. Those who came hadonly been told by their masters to go and take away somebody but they were notgiven the skills to manage. So sure, the governance of the country is a bigissue. Many leaders came but no stability. If you don’t have stability noinvestor puts money, and people run away –those intellectualswho came to help us in our universities, they were running back; they weredisillusioned.

 

China Investment: Yes, this is part of thereason why China stresses so much about stability.

McArios: Yes! Stability is important. That’sthe first thing for development. If you are not stable you are finished; youcan have all the resources, see Congo.

 

China Investment: If you look at history,In China we say we were “semi-colonized” by Western countries so we had asimilar experience and understand how people feel when being colonized byanother country. This is why we have a non-interference policy; we believe wehave to respect the people. So how do you see the historical and currentrelationship between China and Ghana?

McArios: I think the greatest that everhappened to us was that we took the bold step –the two countries—to establisha relationship in the 60s. Ghana was the third country in Africa to establishrelations with China and since then, as we know, it’s been growing formstrength to strength. We know that China is a great friend, very sincere withus. Only a true friend can be sincere with you; if your friend calls himself atrue friend and he goes around back-stabbing you, he is not a true friend.Since our colonial struggle, China has always given the little that she had. Sowe are very happy with that and as you know, on our part, we also supportChina.

 

China Investment: Absolutely, especiallypolitical support. Chinese people still feel indebted to the support of Africancountries. Chairman Mao actually said, “we were carried into to the UN SecurityCouncil by our African brothers.”

McArios: Yes! Basically! So we use ournumbers and we said, “Oh! This injustice cannot continue. China has to take itsrightful place and legitimate place in the Security Council.” And it hasn’tended there. In many fora, when China is there and Africa is there, we listento China. A African proverb says, “if you want to walk fast you walk alone, butif you want to walk far you walk with a friend.” So, Africa says we want towalk far and we want to walk with China. We have worked with our otherpartners, European partners, from independence up to fifty/sixty years, and weare still where we were. If indeed they were interested in our development,they would know what to do. Wouldn’t they know? Yes, you have colonized us, youwant me to develop, and you should know what to do. And we say, “okay, we havebeen with you, let’s try another partner and see.” Now they say, “why are yougoing to China?” and we say, “Well…”

 

China Investment: Remember the EuropeanParliamentary speaker, Antonio Tajani, received an interview from a Germanmagazine talking about China colonizing Africa.

McArios: Yes, they run to us and say, “youknow, China is going to colonize you.” We say, “don’t worry, we already knowcolonialism.” We don’t have a problem with China and we want to go on. We thinkthat what our Chinese brothers are doing so far is so very good.