Today, the 25th of May, 2020, marks the 57th commemoration of the Africa Day; a day to celebrate and reflect on the common vision of the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union.
Our forefathers met 57 years ago in Addis Ababa, Ethopia, the headquarters of the African Union. It is refreshing to emphasis that, the coming into being, the OAU, was a great achievement. This was after several deliberations between then 30 Independent Africa States (IAS), notably grouped into two; Casablanca group and the Monrovia group.
The Casablanca group was composed of seven states led by radical, left-wing leaders — Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Tanzania, Guinea, Libya, Mali, and Morocco. This group believed in the transfer of many powers from national governments to a supranational, pan-African authority. Nkrumah was an unapologetic supporter of this group. The Monrovia group also believed in Pan-Africanism, but not at the expense of nationalism and independent statehood. The Moronvia group was made up of Liberia, Nigeria, Francophone Africa, notably, Senegal and Cameroon.
Though, with differences in opinion on how to achieve a common goal for the development of the continent, they respected each other’s opinions.
Fifty seven years after the formation of the union, according to the worldometer information website, as at 9;45 CET; 7;45 am GMT, the population of Africa was estimated at 1, 337, 363, 720, with a median age of 19.7, a very youthful population. Fifty seven years on, has the African youth lived to expectation? It is obvious that we are not playing our role as expected.
What can we do to support the development of the continent?
I suggest the following;
1. Youths of Africa should take opportunity of the current education system within and outside the continent, and global information and technology revolution to build their capacities in order to contribute positively to the labour needed to speed up the continent’s development.
2. Youths should participate in the most needed community development programmes, especially in the rural areas. The provision of communal labour to solving basic community needs is very essential.
3. At the National levels, youths of Africa should make sure that National Youth Policies are well crafted with the inclusion of youths in the implementation, execution and monitoring processes.
4. The average youth should be able to criticize constructively bad policies of governments, while proffering solutions at the same time, when need be.
5. African youths should not think leadership is for the aged, herein, the older folks. Yes, we value the culture of respecting the elderly, but we should not keep quiet when the elderly is misappropriating our resources bestowed on them to manage on our behalf. Let us collectively, speak against corruption and tyranny at anytime.
Let us remember the fifth Stanza of the African Union Anthem, anytime and anywhere on the continent;
“Let us all unite and toil together
To give the best we have to Africa
The cradle of mankind and fount of culture
Our pride and hope at break of dawn”
HAPPY AFRICA DAY FELLOWS!
Haruna Gado Yakubu,
The writer is a student of Animal Science, fellow of the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI) and Centre for Better Society Advocacy and Research (CEBSAR- Africa)