Commemorating Africa Day

Truth must be told that the African people and the continent surely faced and overcame harder challenges due to the act of colonialism. They have lost their freedom and human and natural resources due to the system that pressed the black people as subjects.

For many decades, Africans would not be able to emancipate themselves from the shackles of oppression and slavery. African fathers and forefathers saw the ugly face of dependency through colonialism and slavery as they were submissive to their white masters.

Such act of cruelty, Africans had to fight for their freedom so that they started to be seen as citizens in their homeland. The struggle definitely cost Africans their arms and leg to be known as citizens. In some part of the continent, Africans were victims of many heinous crimes against humanity.

With all the struggles for gaining ones freedom and freeing the lands, Africans finally got the opportunity to win their independency and took the power from their white colonizers. Through rigorous efforts, the continent started to rule by its citizens, Africans.

At some point, our fathers were very ambitious to create a better continent for the generations to come. To this end, they narrowed their differences to establish a continental bloc that stands for its people. Thanks to the ultimate efforts from Ethiopia and its Emperor, Hailesillasie I coupled with other true Pan Africanists, the Organization of African Union has finally come to reality back in May 25, 1963, which is exactly 61 years from now.

Ethiopia and its officials were the pioneer catalysts for Pan African movement to push the continent towards the realization of the Organization of African Union (OAU) by bringing the two major continental blocs, Casablanca and Monrovia, to the table. The action was putting the two groups together so that they could narrow the differences and work for unified continental objectives.

Since its inception, the organization is indeed considered as a sign of freedom as it was established by Africans for Africans to Africans showing that the continent has all the potential to stand by itself. The union has also been working on supporting member states along with other African nations which were under colonial rule. The organization has also taken some bold actions in order to unify the continent free from any act of colonialism. After 38 years after its formation, the Organization of African Union evolved into the African Union (AU).

The African Union indeed does multiple efforts to the continent, but bloc is still lagging behind when it is compared with its sister continental blocs like the European Union in terms of achieving long lasting success. AU is trying to be self-dependent economically in order to get better position and seat in global arena. Solving African problems with African solutions, financing the bloc to make it economically independent, and getting a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) are some of the bold issues that has to be addressed by the AU.

It is believed that Africa must answer some prominent question so as to stay as powerful and prosperous continent. Its leaders and regional blocs have the responsibility to foster the continental objectives. Again, the union has also put multiple agenda to be implemented in the short and long period of time. Achieving agenda 2063 could be the objective that every African state must contribute something for its realization.

Be that as it may, the African Union is celebrating, days ago, its African Day to commemorate the 61st Anniversary of the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) under the theme ‘Education Fit for the 21st Century’.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, made a remark regarding the anniversary. According to the chairperson, Africa Day is certainly a favorable moment for reflection, certainly to assess how far the continent has come, but also to reflect on the road ahead

The Chairperson also noted that Africa has freed itself from the yoke of colonialism and the appalling system of Apartheid. Not only its intellectual, scientific and cultural resources have been immensely developed, diversified and enriched, but its economy has also grown at rates envied by many parts of the world.

“Africa’s resilience during the global COVID 19 crisis impressed many. We pay tribute to the Africa CDC that had made a major contribution to our successful Continental Response.”

According to Mahamat, Africa’s demographic explosion, its social constraints that are resistant to the demands of the new world and the various forms of foreign interference in its internal affairs, the permeability of certain categories of its elites to foreign discourse, and shortcomings in terms of governance, have not helped to transform the above-mentioned positive assets into factors of social justice, equality and inclusive prosperity.

Addressing youth and the women of Africa, the AUC Chairperson indicated that liberation, and progress in development and integration are now a reality. “This has been the result of the vision and leadership of the founding fathers and current leaders, but also and above all, of your mobilization by the hundreds of millions across the Continent, your many sacrifices, your unshakeable endurance to ensure that the sun shines and warms planet Africa.”

Emphasizing that peace and security are the solution to the crises that are ravaging some of African countries, he underlined that terrorism, degradation, youth and female unemployment, migration, the retreat of democratic values, unconstitutional changes of government, all these require a real increase in mobilization, sacrifices and coherent struggles to put a definitive end to all of these evils.

“The Organization of African Unity, born of the pain of our struggles, now finds itself at a real crossroads. We must reform resolutely and courageously to become what our founding fathers wanted us to be, which is, a powerful lever for unity, liberation, integration and the defense of African dignity in relation to ourselves but also in relation to others.”

With the youth making up over 60% of Africa’s population, tens of millions of hectares of arable land, water, fisheries, mining and energy resources, Africa’s young people cannot and should not be satisfied with development on the cheap.

“The legitimate aspirations of inclusive and shared prosperity in a peaceful, integrated Africa, as set out in Agenda 2063 that is the dream that I share, with all my heart, with all of you,” the Chairperson stated.

Similarly, expressing his heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of African Day, Vladimir Putin, Russian President, stated that the day is the symbol of the victory of the peoples of the African continent over colonialism, and of their aspirations for freedom, peace, and prosperity.

“African countries have achieved generally recognized success in the economic and social spheres, and are now playing an increasingly important role in addressing key issues of the international agenda.”

“We share the aspiration to build a just multipolar world order based on true equality and the rule of international law free from any forms of discrimination, diktat or sanctions,” he remarked.


The Ethiopian Herald May 28/2024

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