President Paul Kagame joined leaders across different sectors in celebrating Africa day, which marks the founding of the Organisation of the African Union (OAU) – currently the African Union – and called for solidarity among the people of Africa.
The formation of the OAU on May 25, 1963 marked the beginning of what would later be known as Africa Day.
Kagame who addressed Africans virtually during the Africa Day online concert hosted by MTV and Youtube, said that “Africa Day symbolizes the unity of purpose and proud heritage of our continent, and of African people wherever they may be.”
Historically, the end of World War II saw greater efforts from Africans over the process of decolonisation of the African continent for more political rights and independence from colonial rule.
Between 1945 and 1965, a significant number of African countries gained independence from European colonial powers, with Ghana becoming the first African country South of the Sahara to gain its independence on March 6, 1957.
A year after its independence, Ghana convened the first Conference of Independent African States on April 15, 1958 – a collective platform promoting Africa’s rejection of colonial and imperialist domination of the continent.
At the meeting, the first African Freedom Day was celebrated, which was later recognised as Africa Day.
The Union is exactly 57 years old now, but the celebrations come at a time the continent and the whole world is grappling with the new Coronavirus pandemic.
“Every act of solidarity weakens the virus,” Kagame noted.
The Head of State had earlier highlighted in a tweet that “these challenging times remind each of us that our collective well-being, prosperity and dignity will only be achieved through unity of purpose.”
Rwanda also joined a webinar hosted by the African Union in honor of Africa Day.
Speaking during the virtual event, Dr Vincent Biruta, Minister of Foreign Affairs, emphasised that Africa Day gives the continent an opportunity to ensure that the spirit that the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) had in 1963 is not lost.
“That spirit that led to the indomitable and irresistible surge of our people for political independence should be manifested today in addressing the current challenges, which still negatively impact on the development and integration of our continent,” Biruta said.Follow https://twitter.com/Julio_Bizimungu