Throughout history, the Egyptian state has been subjected to conspiracies targeting its security, stability and the unity of its people, but it succeeded in uncovering many of them thanks to the awareness of the Egyptian people and the unity of the national class. However, there are still risks that exist that require the Egyptian state and its people to continue vigilance and caution.
One of these conspiracies is carried out by the Afrocentric movement, which seeks to promote the idea that the ancient Egyptians were black Africans, in order to weaken the Egyptian identity and provoke divisions among Egyptians.
In this context, the strategic forum for public policies and Development Studies “Draya” issues a research paper dealing with the dimensions and principles of the “Afrocentric” movement, and seeks to clarify and refute the statements of the movement, as well as future scenarios on the African identity of Egypt.
First: The dimensions of the Afrocentric movement
Recently, the offensive tone against the ancient Egyptian civilization has escalated, led by Afrocentric, which has striven to falsify the ancient Egyptian civilization and prove that the Egyptians usurped the land of Kemet. No ancient civilization has been spared from attempts at theft and forgery, including the ancient Egyptian civilization, which is witnessing a fierce attack by black people, who belong to what is known as (Afrocentrism) in an attempt to prove their right to their ancestors, the Pharaohs, and by extension, their antiquities and glories.
Egyptian academics specializing in archaeology and Anthropology have rejected the ideas put forward about the Negro origin of ancient Egypt, stressing that modern Egypt is a mixture of several nationalities and civilizations, including Arabs, Turks, Greeks, Romans and others. Egyptian literature confirms that the ancient Egyptians followed the course of the Nile and its sources, established kingdoms in Nubia, and their numerous trips for which they organized land and Nile communication routes with Africa.
. In general, “Afrocentric” is a global movement centered around the racial intolerance of black people. It initially appeared under the pretext of uplifting African culture and protecting it from falsification, in the belief of its followers that there are those who tampered with the narrative of global history, which resulted in their marginalization. Indeed, they began to search for any connection linking them to ancient civilizations and attribute every human achievement in Africa to those of African descent and who have dark skin only. Currently, one of their most important goals is to eliminate the white race in Africa, especially the Amazighs, Arabic speakers, and Afrikaans (Europeans in South Africa).
The Afro-centric vision of the Pharaonic civilization boils down to their belief that the Kings Of Kemet (ancient Egypt) and the then Egyptian people descended from African origins specifically “Kush”. For example, they claim that the Kings and Queens of the Pharaohs with African features and black skin, such as Queen Te, wife of Amenhotep III in the family of١٨, Akhetaten, Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, King Senusret and others.
They also believe that the current Egyptians have nothing to do with the ancient Egyptians, because the ancient Egyptians migrated to the South gradually after the Arabs entered Egypt and before them the Romans, according to their vision. According to Afrocentrism, those who currently belong to Egypt are a mixture of many nationalities that have nothing to do with the ancient Egyptian race, and even describe the current population as “Arabs who invaded and settled Egypt”.
Afrocentrk members also claim that Egyptologists are currently painting tombs white in order to falsify history, as well as their claim that Egyptologists break the noses of pharaonic statues to hide the features of the African nose, and this is all nonsense. The matter even reached the judicial arena, as members of the campaign filed cases against Egypt to prevent it from excavating Antiquities, claiming that it belonged to them.
It should be noted that since the Afrocentric members began to spread their vision in Europe and America, a state of hostility towards everything that is Egyptian has formed because they have come to see it as a “gas for their motherland”, So racism against Egyptians began to appear, as well as cases of assault on them
Second: the principles of the work of Afrocentric organizations
The Afrocentric movement is an intellectual and political movement that aims to re-evaluate and evaluate the African identity and contributions to the history of mankind.this movement is based on a criticism of the Western view that disparages African civilizations and participates in a conspiracy to hide their role in human development.
The Afrocentric movement seeks to highlight African history, culture, science, arts, religion, ethics and politics as an integral part of human heritage, and to promote unity and solidarity between African peoples and Africans in the diaspora.
The origins of the Afrocentric movement date back to the beginning of the twentieth century, when a number of African-American intellectuals and activists in America and Europe began to talk about the importance of African history and culture, the mutual influences between Africa and the rest of the world.. Among such intellectuals, mention can be made of Marcus Garvey, the founder of the movement “return to Africa”, Wu.E.B. Du Bois, founder of the “pan-African Association”, George gams, author of” the history of the pillage”, and two people Diop, author of”the cultural unity of Africa”.
The Afrocentric movement experienced a great boom, in the Sixties and seventies of the last century, with the emergence of liberation movements in Africa and the joining of a group of intellectuals and academics in Europe and America.. Among these intellectuals, mention can be made of Maulavi Keti Asante, founder of the”Institute of Afrocentric studies”, and shkalan gehez, author of”African roots”.
The Afrocentric movement is based on a set of principles and concepts that define its vision and goals.. Among these principles, it is possible to mention:
Afrocentrism is an intellectual and emotional attitude that puts Africa and the African at the center of attention and appreciation, and looks at the world from an African perspective, and the African is an actor and not a recipient in history and culture.
Afrosala is a concept that refers to the connection and belonging between Africans and Africans in the diaspora, solidarity and cooperation between them in the face of common challenges, and the pursuit of unity and integration between them at the political, economic and cultural levels.
Afro-image: it is a concept that refers to the self-image of the African and Africans in the diaspora, which expresses an African identity, dignity, confidence and creativity, and is based on African history, culture, science, arts, religion and ethics.
Afro-demand: is a concept that refers to the claims and rights advocated by Africans and Africans in the diaspora, which include: independence and sovereignty over their land, compensation for historical injustices suffered, recognition of their role in human history, access to fair opportunities in education, health, work and wealth.
Afrocentrism or Afrocentric: it is also called the African-centric movement, and was founded by the African-American activist “Molefi Asante” in the eighties according to the British Encyclopedia Britannica . The movement seeks to “highlight the identity and contributions of African cultures to world history”. It is active in the United States, in some European countries and among groups of African descent. Among the theories promoted by supporters of the movement is “that the origin of the Egyptian civilization is only African”
Third: the statements of the movement and its refutation
According to Afrocentrism, African history and culture began in ancient Egypt, which was the cradle of world civilization until its ideas and technologies were stolen and its track record of achievements was obscured by Europeans. They argue that the renewed interest in this culture can remind African-Americans that their own culture, devalued by Americans of European descent, has an ancient and ancient heritage. “There is absolutely no evidence for these claims,” they base their claims on Kush’s rule of Egypt in the late era, in the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty, but he ruled for a very short time and therefore there is no evidence that the origin of the Egyptians is a definitive black element.
Egyptian academics specializing in archaeology and Anthropology have rejected the ideas put forward about the Negro origin of ancient Egypt, stressing that modern Egypt is a mixture of several nationalities and civilizations, including Arabs, Turks, Greeks, Romans and others.
In general, it can be said that “Afrocentric” is a movement that is engaged in a confrontation on two fronts, the first with traditional Western thought, which it accuses of stealing “ancient Egyptian civilization,” and the second with Egypt, which attributed all of its Pharaonic civilization to blacks, which called on some – especially within Egypt – to Warning against its ideas, in exchange for initiatives that stress that Egyptian interests necessarily require searching for a new beginning with Africans that begins with changing the negative perceptions between the two parties.
Fourth: the economic effects on Egypt
The economic component plays a challenge to Egypt’s African identity. There are economic factors that have led to the deepening of the gap in Egypt’s African identity, including the emergence of oil in the Arab Gulf countries, where oil came in the Arab countries to increase exchange, migration, tourism and interaction between Egypt and the Arab world before and more than ever before, oil has brought the Arabian Peninsula out of isolation imposed on it by the desert and poverty.
At the same time, Egyptian labor, which in turn was the largest factor in the urbanization and development of the entire Arabian Peninsula, contributed to the increasing Arab rapprochement. For the first time, human migration came out of Egypt, and for the first time, tourism came out of the Arabian Peninsula, and Egypt received the largest stream of Arab summer tourism, both from the Gulf countries, especially from Saudi Arabia. While African tourists represented only about 3 % of the total tourists to Egypt, the Egyptian tourist to South Africa ranked 32nd out of a total of 35 countries.
On the other hand, the volume and weight of temporary or working Egyptian migration in Arab countries is greater, as the trend towards migration entails reducing the population pressure in Egypt in the fifties in support of the Arab trend as well as cash transfers from migrants.
Egypt continued to import foreign trade and was hit by contraction and decline as a result of the emergence of African markets open to competition and the absence of Egyptian investments in natural resources and raw materials.
Fifth: future scenarios on the African identity of Egypt
Linear directional scenario: the continuation of the state of Egypt’s lack of awareness of African identity is assumed based on the presumption of the continuation of the variables that control the Egyptian perception of African identity, the most important of these variables, which means that Egyptians do not psychologically accept association with Negroes.
Optimistic reform scenario: this scenario focuses on changes and reforms in the Egyptians ‘ perception of African identity, in the sense of a new arrangement in the direction of the Egyptian perception of African identity in order to improve the course of Egyptian-African relations. In addition, there will be a rapprochement between the Arab and African identities and this situation will be stabilized, in the sense of a connecting line between Africa and the Arabs through the revival of Arab-African relations. In other words, there is no conflict and struggle between multiple circles of affiliation, as the Egyptian is pharaonic, Arab, African, Islamic and Middle Eastern, all of which are mutually exclusive circles of affiliation, and this depends on the ability of the political leadership in Egypt to manage this situation.
The pessimistic transformation scenario means that the African identity of Egypt will be exposed to many risks, threats and challenges, resulting in crises in Egyptian-African relations.
Sixth: proposed ways in the light of the Africa Development Plan
The ability to implement and achieve the success of Agenda 2063 requires a number of critical enablers of transformation in Africa and are prerequisites for success, these are the following:
1-continuous mobilization of the African people and achieving effective communication and awareness, sustainable and inclusive social dialogue on Agenda 2063.
2-mobilizing African resources to finance and accelerate the transformation process, achieve peace and security, develop infrastructure, democratic governance and strengthen continental institutions.
3-building a vision, responsible and accountable leadership and democratic development institutions through mechanisms capable of Planning, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation at all levels.
4-activating the planning capacities for African Development, rebuilding public services in the functional and professional fields and strengthening regional and continental institutions.
5-working to change attitudes and mentalities to promote African values through self-reliance, solidarity, hard and collective work, and building on African successes and best practices to form the African model of transformation and development.
The authors of the agenda believe that it differs from previous initiatives, and this is due to: the involvement of African citizens, civil society institutions, regional groupings and academic institutions, that is, following a bottom-up approach, there were intensive consultations with African citizens before the agenda was set; this enhances the goals and steps of the implementation of the initiative and its outputs, and promote the development of an African Agenda for socio-economic transformation, this work is not the work of bureaucrats, but an agenda driven by the voices of African peoples reflecting to the Africa they want.
There are a number of factors for the success of the effective implementation of this agenda, the most prominent of which are the following:
1-political commitment by the leaders of African countries, and effective strategic planning to ensure coordination between national, regional and continental plans in the short, medium and long term.
2-achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the countries of the continent.
3-developing the development capacity of countries, strengthening the administrative apparatus and existing institutions in the state, and including the participation of citizens within the framework of this agenda with a focus on the empowerment of women and youth.
4-implementing deep and effective reforms that include conflict resolution, reducing the accumulated debts of the countries of the continent, establishing strong infrastructure for development, removing the risk of famines that hit the continent, empowering young people in order to form a conscious future leadership of the African continent