Each year on May 25 Africans around the world celebrate Africa Day.
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) now African Union(AO) on this day in 1963.
On May 25th 1963, the leaders from 30 of the then 32 independent African states signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The charter called for greater unity among African countries. It was created to help fight for the independence of African countries from colonialism and apartheid and promoted economic and political cooperation with a vision that all people on the continent would live freely and in prosperity.
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.
While the day is celebrated across the continent, it is observed as an official national holiday in Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Namibia, Zambia, Mali, Mauritania, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
According to it’s official website, The African Union Commission commemorates “Africa Day” on May 25th each year to acknowledge its successes and to encourage the progress that Africa has made under a specific theme while reflecting upon the common challenges that the continent faces in a global environment. The AU theme of the Year 2022 is “Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent: Strengthening Agro-Food Systems, Health and Social Protection Systems for the Acceleration of Human, Social and Economic Capital Development”.
Remarks by H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly
25 May 2022
I am delighted to join this Africa Day celebration.
On this day, in 1963, the Organization of African Unity – now known as the African Union – was established. As we commemorate this day, we reflect on the accomplishments of people across the African continent, and on the challenges they still endure.
This year’s theme, focused on the importance of addressing malnutrition and food insecurity, is important. Across the continent, Africa faces stark development challenges, including food insecurity and increasing malnutrition.
These are amplified by global crises, include COVID-19 and climate change. And they interconnect with ongoing difficulties caused by such issues as changing weather patterns, drought, poor sanitation, and crop-destroying insects – all of which have strong local consequences.
Reinforced action to strengthen resilience in nutrition and food security will help overcome the effects of many of these challenges. And it will lay a strong foundation to empower communities.
It is up to us to harness the political will to achieve these goals.
Africa has so much potential. It has both the human and technical resources to secure a brighter future for all its inhabitants.
African women are an integral part of the solution, especially as glass ceilings are shattered and gender barriers are broken. They are poised to play a greater role in driving sustainable agricultural practices, in achieving the African Union’s vision of Agenda 2063.
Similarly, African youth – who now number over 400 million – have a crucial role to play in driving innovation and preparing for tomorrow’s challenges, while taking part in decision-making today.
Working together with all stakeholders, and with effective partnerships with UN Agencies, we can transform Africa into an economic powerhouse. We can help the continent achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals. And we can ensure that the needs of all its inhabitants are fully met.
On this Africa Day, let us rededicate ourselves to strengthening partnerships in pursuit of peace and sustainable progress for all of Africa.