The continent marked its 57th Africa Day celebration on 25 May amid the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s celebration was done at home with the African Union (AU) Chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, who led the celebrations with a special virtual broadcast and the Africa Day Solidarity Concert for the Covid-19 Response Fund.

The broadcast brought one of the champions of Africa’s liberation, the only remaining founding father of the AU, Dr Kenneth Kaunda of the Republic of Zambia, who walked and worked side by side with other gallant giants of Africa’s liberation in establishing the organisation that strived to free the whole continent from the shackles of colonialism. He served as Zambia’s first president and was chairman of the OAU from 1970 to 1971.

The theme of this year’s Africa Day was ‘Silencing the Guns, Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development and Intensifying the Fight against the Covid-19 Pandemic’. The celebration provided an opportunity to promote African unity, deeper regional integration, and a recommitting of Africa to a common destiny. It also provided an opportunity to educate the people of the continent on the AU’s initiatives to fight the pandemic.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, also joined to celebrate the continent. He stated that the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDCP) established a response fund, while the African Member States have undertaken robust measures to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate the socio-economic impacts. He also welcomed the AU’s support for his global ceasefire call, stating, ‘Armed groups in Cameroon, Sudan, and South Sudan have responded to the call and declared unilateral ceasefires. I implore other armed movements and governments in Africa to do likewise. I also welcome the support of African countries for my call for peace in the home, and an end to all forms of violence, including against women and girls’.

Source: SA News

Photo source: Max Barners

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