African Unity Day, also known as Africa day is celebrated annually on May 25th. It commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on this day in 1963.
It is a statutory public holiday in several countries such as The Gambia, Mali, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
On May 25th 1963, the leaders from 30 of the then 32 independent African states signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The OAU was created to help bring about change, freedom and independence to many African countries.
In 1991, the OAU established the African Economic Community, and in 2002 the OAU established its own successor, the African Union.
Since the establishment of the OAU, a further 21 states have joined. South Africa became the latest and 53rd member on May 23rd 1994.
Following the first Conference of Independent African States on April 15th 1958, African Liberation Day or African Freedom Day was celebrated in Ethiopia, South Africa and Ghana. This holiday was replaced by African Unity Day in Ghana in 1963.
Despite the name change to the African Union, both the name and date of Africa Day have been retained and Africa Day provides an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of the peoples and governments of Africa.
This year’s theme of Africa Day is ‘Arts, Culture And Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.”
Only through showcasing and promoting our Arts, Culture and Heritage can we build the African we all want!!
Happy African Day to all Africans