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Africa Day Urges Fulfillment of AU’s Founding Goals

Photo By African Union
African Union

The African continent marked Africa Day on Saturday with a call to realize the founding continental aspirations of the African Union (AU).

Africa Day is observed annually on May 25 to celebrate the achievements of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of the African Union (AU), from its creation on May 25, 1963.

The day is commemorated to acknowledge the role of the continental bloc in the fight against colonialism and the progress Africa has made, while reflecting on the common challenges the continent faces in a global environment, according to the AU.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU Commission, in his message on the occasion of this year’s Africa Day celebration, said since the formation of the OAU, the African continent “has freed itself from the yoke of colonialism and the appalling system of apartheid. Its intellectual, scientific and cultural resources have been immensely developed, diversified and enriched.”

Noting that the continent’s economy has grown at rates envied by many parts of the world, the AU Commission chief said Africa’s resilience during the global COVID-19 crisis impressed many.

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

Faki said the Africa Day celebration is “an opportune moment for reflection to assess how far we have come and to reflect on the road ahead.”

“The OAU, 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 and others,” he said.

Noting that youth make up more than 60 percent of Africa’s population, the 55-member continental organization called for the realization of legitimate aspirations for inclusive and shared prosperity in a peaceful, integrated Africa, as outlined in the AU’s 50-year continental development blueprint, Agenda 2063.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the continental event marks the celebration of “our common legacy, unity and strength as Africans.”

“It is a moment to contemplate our shared experiences and recommit ourselves to constructing a fairer, prosperous and united Africa,” the ministry said in a statement issued Saturday.

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