Africa Day is celebrated every 25 May to remember the origination of the Organisation of African Unity.
This celebrations highlight African solidarity, unity in diversity, creativity, challenges and successes, and the cultural and economic potential of our continent. This celebration is also a platform for the continent to engage and build stronger networks and partnerships at various levels across national and international boundaries.
BUILDING A BETTER AFRICA AND A BETTER AFRICA
The theme for Africa Month 2018 is “The Year of Nelson Mandela – Building a Better Africa and a Better World”. The message aims to inspire all of us to join hands and together we can ensure a better, united and socially unified country and continent by:
Commemorating Africa Day and Africa Month as a celebration of peace, friendship and unity on our continent.
Using Agenda 2063 is a joint African roadmap for continental development.
• Improving the lives of all Africans by promoting a human rights culture.
• Committing to nation building and social unity.
• Understanding that a peaceful continent is a requirement for investment, regional integration and socio-economic growth.
• Condemning attacks against foreign nationals. We must embrace and form partnerships with our fellow Africans residing in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent.
Africa Day is an opportunity for us to reconnect and recommit ourselves in support of all government interventions to develop a united Africa and a better world.
Let us use this opportunity to remind ourselves of our achievements and opportunities, and use this occasion as encouragement to strive to improve our province, country and continent every day. Our responsibility is to treat each other with respect and dignity regardless of race, country of origin or beliefs. We need to strive to promote and create an equal opportunity society for all.
10 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT AFRICA DAY
1. Seventeen countries gained independence from European colonisers between 1958 and 1963, and to mark their liberation, several states starting celebrating African Liberation Day around that time.
2. The newly-liberated countries felt the need to express solidarity with one another, and in May 1963, 32 African countries met in Addis Ababa to form the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU). It was a major political force on the continent until the 1990s.
3. Since 1963, 21 more states have joined, notably South Africa, who only became part of the organisation in 1994 following the end of white minority rule.
4. Ironically South Africa is a founding member of the African Union, which evolved out of the OAU.
5. The OAU became the African Union because of the increasingly economic, rather than political, nature of the challenges faced by the continent in the 1990s
6. Although years in the making, the African Union was officially launched in Durban, South Africa, in 2002, and 10 years later former Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma became the first women chair of the AU Commission (the AU’s administrative arm).
7. Rwanda President Paul Kagame is the chairman of the African Union.(2018)
8. The organisation remains headquartered in Addis Ababa, although it’s legislative arm, the Pan African Parliament, is in Midrand, South Africa.
9. While Africa Day is only a national holiday in a handful of African countries, it is widely commemorated.
10. The theme for 2018 is ‘The Year of Nelson Mandela – Building a Better Africa and a Better World”’.
Ref: ENCA, Wikipedia, WC Government