The language of “African socialisms” is an ethical, humanist, and spiritualist one. It is the opposite of a positivist discourse on the “scientific” character of socialism or Marxism. That is true of Julius Nyerere's philosophy of Ujamaa. It is also true of Léopold Sédar Senghor's “African path to socialism.” It is even true of Kwame Nkrumah's doctrine of “consciencism.” Because if the latter does insist on the necessary foundation of socialism on strict “materialism,” he still defines the “philosophy of consciencism,” which is its African translation, as the harmonious synthesis of traditional African thoughts, Islamic cosmology, and Western contribution.

Generally, the thinkers of the concept of “African socialism” share the following two principles: first, that socialism exists only in its different vernacular translations; second, that before it is a political ideology it is first and foremost a metaphysics, an ethics, and an aesthetics.

About socialisms in the plural, Nyerere declared,...

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