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Africa Day Celebrated With Call To Fulfil Founding Aspirations

THE African continent marked Africa Day on Saturday with a call to realise the founding aspirations of the African Union (AU). Africa Day, observed annually on May 25, celebrates the achievements of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of the AU, since its creation on May 25, 1963.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU Commission, emphasised the significance of Africa Day in his message, highlighting the continent’s journey since the formation of the OAU. ‘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,’ Mahamat stated.


The AU Commission chief noted that Africa’s economy has grown at rates envied by many parts of the world and praised the continent’s resilience during the global Covid-19 crisis. However, he also acknowledged ongoing challenges. ‘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 stressed that Africa Day is ‘an opportune moment for reflection to assess how far we have come and to reflect on the road ahead.’ He called for resolute and courageous reforms to make the AU a powerful lever for unity, liberation, integration, and the defence of African dignity. ‘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,’ he urged.

The AU also highlighted the importance of youth, who make up more than 60 percent of Africa’s population, and called for the realisation 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 echoed these sentiments, noting that the continental event marks the celebration of ‘our common legacy, unity, and strength as Africans.’ The ministry’s statement emphasized the need to contemplate shared experiences and recommit to constructing a fairer, prosperous, and united Africa. ‘It is a moment to contemplate our shared experiences and recommit ourselves to constructing a fairer, prosperous, and united Africa,’ the statement read.

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