Ambassadors, government officials and foreign delegates were, yesterday, hosted by the Egyptian Embassy to celebrate the 47th Africa Day - that symbolizes African unity and the various achievements that the continent has achieved over the years.
Speaking to the delegates, the Egyptian Ambassador to Rwanda, Ahmed Ramy, said that the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was one of the earliest attempts to achieve some degree of continental integration and was a “testament to the commitment of African countries towards the realization of unity.”
“Today is a glorious day in the history of Africa,” Ramy said. “A day that proved the farsighted vision of the first generation of African leaders, their ambition and a sense of loyalty to the dreams of their people.”
He added that despite the positive developments towards unity, the real tangible results of African integration process are still lagging behind.
“We should exert energetic efforts as leaders to prove the seriousness in transforming the integration process into fruitful results that will improve the lives of our people,” Ramy said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, told the guests that, the day gives Africans an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be African and what the real African issues are.
“Today, we should stop thinking of ourselves as countries, but as one continent,” she said. “The Government of Rwanda has always supported the cause of unity and integration, as can be witnessed in the various peace missions Rwanda is involved in.”
Mushikiwabo encouraged African leaders to always be accountable to the people they lead, “so that Africa can achieve true economic and political development.”
“You can’t talk about liberation and independence yet the ordinary citizen is struggling with poverty,” she said. “We, therefore, have to strive and fight against corruption, poverty, illiteracy and disease.”
Africa Day is an annual commemoration of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which was established on May 25, 1963.