Connect to share and comment

Move over, Monopoly


Pan-Africanism now has its own board game.

It's called Jekaben — which means "let's unite and decide together" in Bambara — and its Dakar-based developers hope it will foster a new generation of Pan-Africanists.

What is Pan-Africanism, you ask? It's a sociopolitical movement and philosophy that seeks to create a global African community and achieve a politically united African continent.

It's an interesting topic to talk about in Senegal, seeing as Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is one of the continent's most outspoken champions for the creation of a United States of Africa (a federation 53 sovereign African countries, something along the lines of the European Union).

I can't wait to get my hands on a prototype of the board game. In the meantime, here's a good BBC story that includes some reaction from the game's creator and a brief description of how the game is played.

Senegal's President Wade is featured in the game's somewhat dubious deck of trump cards, called "Wise Leaders of Africa." Here's a tidbit of explanation from the BBC story:

The statesmen — including Col. Gadhafi, Mr Mandela and Senegal's Abdoulaye Wade — are regarded by Mr Ba as symbols of pan-Africanism.

"Their cards are used as trump cards, they allow the player to move faster towards the United States of Africa," he says.

But he is aware that not all of his "wise leaders" will meet with universal approval.

Included in the pack is Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military strongman.

The late Omar Bongo of Gabon, who was accused of massive embezzlement of his country's oil wealth during four decades in power, is also featured.

And Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah, who was overthrown in a coup after his rule descended into authoritarianism, also gets a card of his own.

Mr Ba admits that the choice is a very personal one.

Indeed.

http://www.globalpost.com/notebook/senegal/091029/move-over-monopoly