2013 Annual Steve Bantu Biko Lecture by African Union Commission Chairperson,  PAN AFRICANISM AND AFRICA’S RENAISSANCE
HE Dr. NkosazanaDlaminiZuma
Cape Town, 2 October 2013

"Programme Director
Members of the Biko family and Foundation
UCT Management, Faculty and Students
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a distinct honour for me to deliver the 14th Steve Bantu Biko Annual lecture, in the year that we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. 
Biko, as we know, is amongst countless heroes and heroines whom we proudly call Pan Africanists. 
We here refer to the global Pan Africanist Movement that saw Africans and their descendants in the Diaspora unite against slavery, colonialism, racial oppression and apartheid.
Thus a movement for freedom, self-determination, equality and independence emerged and grew, united in action and in solidarity. Pan Africanism became the most comprehensive, ambitious and enduring philosophy and praxis developed and embraced by Africans and people of African descent.
Historians trace the evolution of Pan Africanism back to the need for unity in the struggles against slavery, colonialism and racial discrimination, or even further back to the pre-colonial and ancient eras of great African civilizations. 
This reclaiming of African history forms the foundation for the call for an African Renaissance, a rebirth and rediscovery of Africa’s history and cultures. This was necessary, as Biko pointed out, because
“…in an effort to destroy completely the structures that had been built up in African Society and to impose their imperialism with an unnerving totality, the colonialists were not satisfied with merely holding a people in their grip and empty the Native’s brain of all form and content, they turned to the past of the oppressed people and distorted, disfigured and destroyed it.
No longer was reference made to African culture, it became barbarism. Africa was ‘the dark continent.’ Religious practices and customs were referred to as superstition.
The history of African Society was reduced to tribal battles and internecine wars. There was no conscious migration by the people from one place of abode to another. No, it was always flight from one tyrant who wanted to defeat the tribe not for any positive reason but merely to wipe them out of the face of his earth.
No wonder the African child learns to hate his heritage in his days at school…
A people without a positive history is like a vehicle without an engine. They always live in the shadow of a more successful society.”
As we therefore celebrate 50 years since the founding of the OAU, Africa must continue to rediscover and reflect on her history, and tell her own stories.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Long before the partitioning of Africa in Berlin in 1844, before the cross-Atlantic slave trade and before colonialism, Africa had its own polity and states. These kingdoms, states and civilizations emerged through political and economic unity and consolidation, in order to facilitate trade, wealth-creation and common defence. 
There is a growing body of historical, archaeological, and anthropological evidence of the great civilizations of Egypt, the Nok and the Ashanti; the Empires of the Shongai, Mali, the Moroccan pashalik and Monomotapa; the Royal Houses of Nubia, d’Oyo, Benin, Kongo, Kanem-Bornu and Dahomey; Abyssinia, and Mapungubwe, to mention but a few[1].
This body of evidence also highlights the contributions of Africa to human knowledge, to metallurgy, medicine and mathematics, to the creative arts and astronomy, to agriculture and architecture, to gender equality and governance and a host of other areas of human endeavour.
Thus in 1906, Pixley Seme, motivating for the regeneration of Africa recalled: “..the African is not a proletarian in the world of science and art. (S)he has precious creations of her/his own, of ivory, of copper and of gold, fine, plated willow-ware and weapons of superior workmanship.”
A body of evidence around the position of African women during this early era of our civilizations is also emerging. Scholars and activists have noted the scarcity - in accounts of early African civilization and in the evolution of Pan Africanism - of references to women’s contributions.
As the Caribbean writer Bonita Harris noted: ‘one has to look wide and deep to find the women.[2]
And yet in Africa’s ancient civilizations across the continent women played an important role, with reference to such names as Queen Ann Nzinga of Angola, Makeda the Queen of Sheba in Ethiopia, Queen Alyssa of the Carthaginian Empire, Pharoah Hatshepsut of Egypt, Nehanda of Zimbabwe, Yaa Asantewa of the Ashanti Empire, Amina of the Zazzau, Queen Dahia Al-Kahina of Mauretania in Algeria, Manthatisi of the Batlokoa, Buktu of Mali, and many, many other women that held responsibilities in our ancient civilisations.  In similar vein women, side by side with their menfolk, fought and organised in the anti-slavery, anti-colonial and national liberation movements in every corner of the continent and the Diaspora.  Thus, increasingly the Pan African struggle also came to mean the struggle for emancipation from the second-class position women occupied under different forms and expressions of patriarchy.
Africa’s Renaissance therefore draws on the rich diversity of our history, of different regions of the continent, expressed in over one thousand languages, different religions, belief systems, ways of life and its many, many cultures.
This diversity, which forms a key part of the African collective identity, along with the involvement of Africa’s people in their own emancipation and reclaiming African history and indigenous knowledge, are central to African confidence in its renaissance.
The unity in diversity of Africa also includes the Diaspora, recognising the impact of the slave trade on the continent’s history, the proclamation of the first black Republic in Haiti in 1804, and the contributions that African descendants and immigrants in the diaspora made towards the Pan Africanist struggles.
Ladies and Gentlemen, if we don’t remind ourselves about this past  - our history will remain as told by others.
If the stories about us are to be believed, Africans are perpetually in need of being looked after, helped and rescued from ourselves.
The single story that keeps being peddled is that of Africa as hopeless, violent, downtrodden and disease-ridden – as if it defines who and what we are, a permanent African condition. However, as author Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche reminds us:
“The single story creates stereotypes, …the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story. “
This is why successive generations of Pan Africanists, and indeed Biko and his generation stressed the importance of the ‘decolonization of the mind’, as a key component of the struggle for dignity, freedom and self-determination.
The decolonization of the mind starts with our sense of self as Africans, a sense that is developed through our socialization – both in the families, communities and schools – and increasingly in today’s information age through the media. We must therefore be deliberate in the teaching and dissemination of African history, the mainstreaming of our indigenous knowledge systems and the celebration of African culture.
This must include telling our history and our stories through film, fashion, literature, cuisine and performing arts, as well as building vibrant science, technology, innovation and research institutions and cultures.
Decolonization of the mind is also reflected in the oft-repeated half-truth that Africa is poor.  And yet, at the time of the formation of the OAU in 1963 several African countries were on par or had even higher GDP rates than their counterparts in Asia.
The GDP per capita of Ghana and South Korea were the same in 1960. Until 1975, the world’s fastest growing developing country was Gabon. During the 60’s and into the 70’s, Botswana’s growth rate exceeded that of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Thailand. Thirty years ago, China was poorer than Malawi. And yet these countries, often with little natural resources like Singapore and Japan, managed in one generation to rise to prosperity, by being resolute, finding their solutions that work for them and confident of themselves and the durability of their cultures.  And without fail, they invested heavily in developing the skills of their people.
The 2013 Economic report for Africa draws attention to Africa’s riches
Africa boasts significant human and natural resources that can be used to promote industrialization and structural economic transformation through value-addition strategies in all sectors (agriculture, industry and services), though not all African countries are rich in natural commodities - some are resource poor.

As well as a growing, predominantly young and urbanizing population, the continent is endowed with many natural resources, including plentiful land and fertile soils, oil and minerals… (and we may add, plentiful and unexplored maritime resources).

Africa has about 12 per cent of the world’s oil reserves, 42 per cent of its gold, 80–90 per cent of chromium and platinum group metals, and 60 per cent of arable land in addition to vast timber resources.’

Maps of the world often distort the real size of our continent. With a land size of 30,331,532 sq. km (just under 12 million square miles), it can fit on its landmass China, India, the USA, Western Europe and still have space for Japan and a few others. 
Africa is the second largest continent in terms of population after Asia, at over a billion people and we will reach 2 billion by 2050.  Half of our population are women, and young people are over 70% of our total population. Africa is the only continent whose working age population as proportion of the total population is set to grow rather than shrink. By 2025, a quarter of the world’s population under 25 years will be African.
Ladies and Gentlemen
This begs the question, why have we been unable to turn these resources, potential and riches into prosperity? 
There are a number of reasons for this, and we must have an open discussion on the past, so that we do not repeat these mistakes.  Let me highlight three of these:-
In the first place, Africa has not lacked in grand narratives or visions or even strategies about the need for its development.  The founders of the OAU not only spoke about liberation from colonialism, but also about the economic emancipation of the continent and the need to build states that play a developmental role.
Under the auspices of the OAU the Monrovia Declaration of 1979 was adopted, which committed African governments to ‘promote economic and social development and integration of our economies with a view to achieving an increasing measure of self-sufficiency and self-sustainment.”  The Lagos Plan of Action of 1980 set the framework for African economic integration, which guided our integration efforts today and formed the foundation of latter-day NEPAD.  In fact, Africa today has policy frameworks in virtually every single aspect of human endeavor.
However, amongst the challenges that we face is that often when Africans develop their own frameworks, these are immediately followed by other prescripts developed under stewardship from elsewhere.  For example, the ink on the paper of the Lagos Plan of Action was hardly dry, when the World Bank issued its Berg Report, which according to the ECA[3]
“Both in intent and implication, was the diametric opposite to the (Lagos) Plan and the Final Act. It located the source of the economic crisis faced by African countries exclusively in domestic policy and political sources, blaming state interventionism and the attended distorted markets for the difficulties African countries were experiencing.’
The policy prescript arising from this analysis forced African states into structural adjustment that saw the rolling back of the developmental role of the state, especially with regards to, agricultural, industrial and social development, cutting down on social expenditure, whilst at the same time having to deal with the heavy external debt burden.  Within the structural adjustment framework, African regional cooperation and integration was not a priority for the Brettonwood institutions, and in fact was regarded as wasteful and undesirable.  The 1980’s and its era of structural adjustment programmes was therefore not only a destructive period for the developmental agenda for Africa, but also put a brake on integration initiatives. 
Learning from this, and countless similar experiences, Africa must take charge of its own development trajectory and stay the course to implement it.
A second issue is the acknowledgement that neo-colonialism continues to play a role on our continent.  Given African resources, it is probably understandable that there will always be those who wish to ensure we are under their spheres of influence.  In the past, this was done through assassination as was the case of Patrice Lumumba in the DRC and to how the decolonization process in many countries left Africa with little control over its natural resources.  The struggle for the economic and political self-determination of the continent therefore remains as important as ever.
A third issue relates to the financing of Africa’s development. If we’ve learned anything from the last fifty years, is that we have to mobilise our own resources to kick-start and speed-up our development.  We cannot continue to develop grand narratives or policy frameworks and then go around with the begging bowl to get it financed by others. 
This is not a novel idea, the Lagos Plan of Action in 1980 argued that
Africa must cultivate the virtue of self-reliance. This is not to say that the continent should totally cut itself off from outside contributions. However, these outside contributions should only supplement our own effort: they should not be the mainstay of our development;’

As we chart the way forward for the next fifty years, towards 2063, we must therefore take charge of our own narrative, determine own development trajectory and be confident in our abilities as a continent to build an integrated and people-centred Africa, and shared prosperity and peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen
South Africa’s Oliver Reginald Tambo in a speech to the OAU Liberation Committee in 1983, at a time when his country was not yet free, noted:
“…through their heroic efforts, the people of Africa rent asunder the veil of darkness that colonial and imperialist domination had draped over the continent.
Acting as self-confident and conscious makers of history, as liberators, we, the off-springs of the so-called Dark Continent, destroyed and buried an entire historical epoch...
We who were described as backwards became the midwives of the new social reality of independent people, the reality of the collapse of the colonial system, and confounded those who… had thought such a result impossible, undesirable and even inconceivable.
It is these victories that have so transformed the balance of forces in Africa as to render the total liberation of the continent an approaching reality.
Thus, as we celebrated 50 years since the founding of the OAU, we acknowledged our debt to these earlier generations, who ensured – with the exception of Western Sahara and a few others – that we can also celebrate the liberation of the continent from the shackles of colonialism and apartheid.
Ladies and Gentlemen
In this, the year of our Golden Jubilee, the mission to become ‘self-confident and conscious makers of history’, is once again thrust upon us. 
At the start of the twenty first century, we boldly proclaimed that the 21st Century shall be the African Century.
Over a decade later, there are encouraging signs that indeed we can change the course of our history. The most important signs are the determination and believe of Africans to take charge of their destiny.
The African Union Commission recognized that we must look head, but more importantly we must look to the future, to the next fifty years. We have therefore started the process of consultations on the realization of Agenda 2063 – a the vision for the next fifty years that will lead to an Africa that is integrated, prosperous, people-centred and at peace with itself.
The continent-wide discussions on Agenda 2063 are giving form and content to a continent that has awakened, and that is ready to take charge of its destiny. The discussions, amongst others, address three questions: (a) the vision of the type of Africa we want by 2063; (b) the strategies and milestones that will take us towards realization of this vision; and (c) what role we should play in the realization of this vision. We look forward to the inputs from the University of Cape Town community, faculty and students, as well as individuals.[4]
In the spirit of looking back and planning ahead, across the continent, countries are developing or implementing long term plans, that will see their countries move away from least developed countries status, towards eradicating poverty and building shared prosperity.
Across Africa, progress is being made with the Millennium Development Goals, with achievements in many areas over the last decade, which took some countries and regions three to five decades to reach.
The 50th Anniversary Summit of the AU in May 2013, pledged that by 2020, we shall have silenced the guns on the continent, pledging ‘not to bequeath the burden of conflicts to the next generations of Africans.’
We acknowledge that a number of mega trends, such as our youthful and growing population, the empowerment of women, rapid urbanization, coupled with our natural resources and other endowments and technology provide great possibilities – if harnessed - for us to achieve peace and prosperity within a generation or two.
Ladies and Gentlemen
As a continent, we are therefore setting our Pan African Development Goals as milestones towards the ultimate goal of a continent that is prosperous and peaceful. 
These include, the development of our human capital as our most important and precious resource, through investment in education and skills, science and technology, research and innovation.
Africa must have a skills revolution, with large-scale investment in the development and skilling of millions of youth and women. We need artisans, entrepreneurs, project managers, town planners, financiers, civil engineers and other skills on a scale never before seen on the continent.
We need the skills to take charge of how we use and beneficiate our natural resources; to build and maintain our infrastructure; to drive Africa’s industrialization and the development of manufacturing, services and a vibrant continental private sector; to deliver quality public services; to eradicate disease, significantly reduce maternal and infant mortality and provide all citizens access to health services; to plan our cities as hubs of economic development and rural areas as centres of agriculture and agribusinesses.
In addition to investment in the skills of our people, we must also ensure that we have a healthy population with access to health services, to good nutrition, and to other basic services such as shelter, water and sanitation.
A further continental goal is to expand Africa’s agricultural production, develop agro-processing and businesses sectors, increase market access, become a net exporter of food and attain Africa’s collective food security and nutrition through sound environmental and natural resource management, including managing the effects of climate change.
Despite its vast agricultural potential and water resources, Africa is a net importer of food and agricultural products.  We must therefore ensure that we not only work towards feeding ourselves and eradicating hunger, but also make provision to feed our growing population and the world over the next few decades.
Through the AU’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) adopted in 2003, Africa committed itself to tackle hunger and ensure food security by raising agricultural production and grow its agro-businesses. The majority of African countries are making steady progress in translating their commitments into policies, strategies, and investment priorities.  According to the World Bank Africa Agri-Business report of 2013, agriculture contributes 24% of total growth on the continent and we have only touched the tip of the iceberg.
Africa therefore has to do more to unlock this vast potential, by improving productivity in agriculture through seed development, the use of non-harmful fertilizers, improving irrigation and addressing women’s access to land ownership. In addition, we must mobilise investments in storage, transport and information infrastructure, to enable farmers to access markets and for the development of vibrant African agribusinesses – both small and large and with emphasis on women and youth.
The next Pan African priority is the promotion of inclusive economic development and industrialization through value addition; investments in regional value chains; creating effective public-private partnerships; the effective, transparent and sustainable utilization of the continent’s mineral and other natural resources and creating conditions for the growth of a vibrant African private sector.
Already over 80% of all jobs on the continent are found in the private sector, and Africa is making headway in diversifying its economy away from export and resource-led growth[5].
It has been noted that ICT, especially mobile telephony, is allowing Africa to leapfrog important stages of development. This is a key trend that may well hold true in a range of other sectors on the continent, including energy.
Since 2000, foreign direct investment in Africa has increased from 15.9 percent of the GDP to over 22 percent in 2012. Though low in comparison with Asia, this trend is expected to continue as an increasing number of the region’s economies are able to tap into the international capital markets to help address infrastructural constraints. 
The SADC region, for example, are resolutely working at increasing the rates of investment in their economies, with Tanzania and Mozambique having the highest rate at 39% and 37% respectively and most others reaching levels above 20%.
African businesses are also beginning to take a lead in investing in the continent.  Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa ranked amongst the top ten foreign direct investors into the continent.
A key impediment to African growth and integration over the last five decades remains our huge infrastructure deficits, in transport, energy, ICT and social services. Our fourth continental priority is therefore the acceleration of infrastructure development, which is critical to industrialization, economic development and integration, to scaling up intra-Africa trade and global market access, to intra-Africa and to tourism.
In this area too, we are taking steps in the right direction. By end 2012, there were over 800 active infrastructure projects across different sectors in Africa. The top ten countries for infrastructure projects, up to February 2013 were Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda[6].
Important though these initiatives are, they are not enough and the continent, through its Priority Infrastructure Development Agenda (PIDA) is looking at ways of multi-plying and expanding these efforts over the coming decade. We are also engaged in dialogue with business, to see how their experience and expertise can be utilized to enhance and expand the infrastructure connections.
With regards to our fifth Pan African priority, we say repeatedly that there can be no development without peace, and no peace without development and inclusion. Africa is registering increasing levels of peace and security.
The last two decades have seen substantial reduction in the number of conflicts, with close to 90% of African countries at peace for at least the last decade.  And, whereas in the 1990’s there were fifteen countries engulfed in conflicts, this number reduced to five between 2000 and 2010.
In the past two decades, the AU policy organs adopted a number of instruments relating to governance, democracy and human rights, including the African Peer Review Mechanism, providing a solid foundation for peace and security by emphasizing political inclusiveness, people-centred and inclusive governance, the management of diversity and respect for the human rights and the dignity of all.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Women constitutes over half of Africa’s population, and also give birth to the other half. I have already referred to the fact that we have a youthful population. Mainstreaming the participation of women and the youth in all programmes and activities of the Union and the continentis therefore a critical sixth Pan African priority.
In August this year, the AU celebrated a decade since the adoption of the AU Gender Protocol, as Africa’s pledge to women’s emancipation and gender equality.
A key target of the protocol is to ensure that there is a critical mass of women in all areas of society and Gender Parity by 2020.  Some countries – like Rwanda - are making excellent progress in the political sphere reaching over 50% gender representation in their parliament and with a few other countries reaching the 30% target.  We now also have two female Presidents and a female Prime Minister amongst the fifty-four (54) member states of the African Union. However, we will say that we have arrived when there are no longer the need to count, because there are so many women in positions of responsibility.
We must therefore do more in terms of women’s access to education and skills, to land and their participation in the economy.  All indications show that not only does the empowerment of women have multi-plyer social effects on families, communities and ultimately our nations, but it also makes business and economic sense to empower women.

Ladies and Gentlemen
To implement all of these priorities, Africa needs to mobilise massive resources, which is our seventh priority.
According to a recent NEPAD and Economic Commission for Africa study on domestic resource mobilization, “Africa’s resource potential is enormous and strongly confirms that the continent has the means to finance its own development”.
The study presents evidence in support of this bold conclusion, by looking at various domestic financial instruments such as tax revenues, pension funds, remittances, earnings from minerals and fuels, international reserves, stock exchanges and bond markets.[7]
Some of the immediate initiatives that will be launched soon are the African Development Bank’s Africa50 private equity fund for infrastructure, the AU Foundation and the African Remittances Institute. Africa is therefore looking at ways and means to accelerate its development, and at attracting a greater share of investments from the rest of the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The African continent, through the OAU and now the AU, has frameworks and strategies in virtually every aspect of human endeavor, including areas critical to our renaissance.
What are required are practical actions, innovative approaches and cooperation across governments, civil society, the private sector, our intelligentsia and with the African citizenry.  We must all take responsibility for making history.
Biko said this very eloquently:
In order to achieve real action you must yourself be a living part of Africa and of her thought; you must be an element of that popular energy which is entirely called for the freeing, the progress and the happiness of Africa.
There is no place outside that fight for the artist or for the intellectual who is not him (or herself) concern with, and completely at one with the people in the great battle of Africa…”
We know that this great battle for a peaceful Africa, an integrated Africa, a people-centred and a prosperous Africa will be no easy road.
We should therefore remember the words of Kwame Nkrumah, uttered to the Ghana National Assembly in 1965:
“…the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge –
(It is) a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve - to achieve the highest excellences and the fullest greatness of (humanity).
Dare we ask for more in life?’

Let me conclude with the quote from Ben Okri, who did the 2012 Biko Annual lecture and my favourite author, from his book Ways of being Free:
They tell me that nature is the survival of the fittest. And yet look at how wondrous gold and yellow fishes prosper amongst silent stones of the ocean beds, while sharks continuously prowl the waters in their impossible dreams of oceanic domination and while whales become extinct…
…how many butterflies and iguanas thrive, while elephants turn into endangered species, and while even lions growl in their dwindling solitude.
There is no such thing as a powerless people. There are only those who have not seen and have not used their power and will. It would seem a miraculous feat, but it is possible for the under-valued to help create a beautiful new era in human history. New vision should come from those who suffer most and who love life the most.
It is only by establishing a common destiny and outlook that we can overcome and prosper.
In the words of Ben Okri, Africa must realize that there is no such thing as a powerless people.

I thank you"

[1] African Union (2002)’ Discussion paper on Pan Africanism and African Renaissance.” 25 May 2013 and Mengiste T. Desta. (2013) The long march to African unity.Achievements and Prospects. Addis Ababa: Shama Books
[2]Harris, Bonita (1996). “Caribbean Women & Pan Africanism”,  African Journal of Political Science New Series Vol. 1 (1), 1996

[3] Economic Commission for Africa (2012). Reflections on Africa’s development. Essays in honour of Abdoulie Janneh. Addis Ababa: UNECA
[4]  Visit the AU website on Agenda 2063 :
[5]The consumer (consumer goods, telecoms, banking), agriculture and infrastructures sectors in Africa are all growing faster than the resources sectors, a trend expected to continue, and with infrastructure potentially growing four times faster than resources. See Elumelu, op cit, page 10.
[6] Ernst and Young Attractiveness Survey. Africa 2013. Getting down to business. Page 19
[7]According to the NEPAD AND ECA Study, African annual domestic tax revenues now stand at 520 billion USD, as against 50billion USD we receive in private inflows and 50 billion USD from Official Development Assistance (ODA); African pension fund assets are growing at impressive pace: South African pension funds grew from 166 billion USD in 2007 to 277 billion USD in 2011 and Nigeria from 3 billion USD in 2008 to 14 billion USD in 2010. Namibia’s pension funds assets are set at 1.84 billion USD and Kenya’s at 4.564 billion USD. Africa earns over 168 billion USD from minerals and mineral fuels and we have 400 billion USD in international reserves held by Central and Reserve Banks. Diaspora remittances climbed to 40 billion USD in 2012, out of the total global remittances of 351 billion USD a year and this could rise to 200 billion USD per annum over the next decade, with potential to raise capital through securitization of remittances from African Diaspora communities. Stock market capitalization in Africa rose from 300 billion USD in 1996 to 1.2 trillion USD in 2007.  Some 39 African countries issued treasury bills and 27 offered Treasury bonds. With more than 700 bonds worth 206 billion USD issued as at December 2011, the emergence of respectable bond markets is within reach. Bank revenues are estimated at about 60 billion USD with high liquidity, the private equity market is worth about 30 billion USD and no less than ten African countries today have established Sovereign Wealth Funds.  Finally, an estimated 854 billion USD left the continent in illicit outflows between 1970 and 2008, which could and should have made a significant contribution to Africa’s development, including wiping out the continent’s outstanding external debt.

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