Africa Day, also known as African Liberation Day, is an annual commemoration of the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now called African Union (AU), which took place on May 25, 1963.
On the 25th of this month, top political figures, media and other key stakeholders will celebrate this year’s edition of the annual event.
The AU was established with the goal of promoting unity, solidarity, and cooperation among African countries and supporting the liberation movements fighting against colonialism and apartheid.
Ahead of this year’s celebration, here are some key points to know about Africa Day:
1. Historical Significance: Africa Day represents the celebration of Africa’s independence, freedom, and unity. It acknowledges the progress made by African nations in their struggle against colonialism and apartheid, and it serves as a reminder of the ongoing efforts for development and unity across the continent.
2. Establishment of the OAU: The Organization of African Unity was formed by representatives of 32 independent African states on May 25, 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Its founding principles included promoting solidarity among African nations, defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member states, and supporting liberation movements seeking independence.
3. Transition to the African Union: In 2002, the OAU was replaced by the African Union (AU), reflecting a renewed focus on African integration and development. The AU aims to accelerate economic growth, promote peace and security, and foster cooperation among member states in various areas such as trade, infrastructure, and education.
4. Celebrations and Activities: Africa Day is commemorated with various events and activities across the continent and around the world. These include cultural performances, concerts, exhibitions, conferences, and discussions on topics related to African development, unity, and challenges.
5. Pan-Africanism: Africa Day highlights the principles of Pan-Africanism, which emphasizes the unity and solidarity of African people and the diaspora. It promotes the belief that Africa’s future prosperity and development depend on African nations working together to address common challenges and harness collective strengths.
6. Regional and Global Significance: Africa Day is not only celebrated within Africa but also by African diaspora communities worldwide. It serves as an occasion to recognize and celebrate African culture, history, achievements, and contributions to various fields such as arts, music, literature, sports, and academia.
Africa Day provides an opportunity to reflect on Africa’s progress, challenges, and aspirations as the continent strives for sustainable development, peace, and unity. It serves as a reminder of the rich diversity, resilience, and potential that exist within Africa and its people.