|Observed by||Member states of the African Union|
|Type||International; cultural and historical|
|Significance||Anniversary of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity|
|Next time||25 May 2021|
|Related to||African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day|
Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963.It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world. The organisation was transformed into the African Union on 9 July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, but the holiday continues to be celebrated on 25 May.
The First Congress of Independent African States was held in Accra, Ghana on 15 April 1958. It was convened by Prime Minister of Ghana Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and comprised representatives from Egypt (then a constituent part of the United Arab Republic), Ethiopia, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon and of the host country Ghana. The Union of South Africa was not invited. The conference showcased progress of liberation movements on the African continent in addition to symbolising the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation. Although the Pan-African Congress had been working towards similar goals since its foundation in 1900, this was the first time such a meeting had taken place on African soil.
The Conference called for the founding of an African Freedom Day, a day to "...mark each year the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolise the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation."
The conference was notable in that it laid the basis for the subsequent meetings of African heads of state and government during the Casablanca Group and the Monrovia Group era, until the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963.
Five years later, on 25 May 1963, representatives of thirty African nations met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, hosted by Emperor Haile Selassie. By then more than two-thirds of the continent had achieved independence, mostly from imperial European states. At this meeting, the Organisation of African Unity was founded, with the initial aim to encourage the decolonisation of Angola, Mozambique, South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. The organisation pledged to support the work conducted by freedom fighters, and remove military access to colonial nations. A charter was set out which sought to improve the living standards across member states. Selassie exclaimed, "May this convention of union last 1,000 years."
The charter was signed by all attendees on 26 May, with the exception of Morocco.At that meeting, Africa Freedom Day was renamed Africa Liberation Day. In 2002, the OAU was replaced by the African Union. However, the renamed celebration of Africa Day continued to be celebrated on 25 May in respect to the formation of the OAU.
Africa Day continues to be celebrated both in Africa and around the world, mostly on 25 May (although in some cases these periods of celebrations can be stretched out over a period of days or weeks).Themes are set for each year's Africa Day, with 2015's being the "Year of Women's Empowerment and Development towards Africa's Agenda 2063". At an event in New York City in 2015, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson, delivered a message from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which he said, "Let us... intensify our efforts to provide Africa's women with better access to education, work and healthcare and, by doing so, accelerate Africa's transformation".
The foreign relations of Ghana are controlled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ghana. Ghana is active in the United Nations and many of its specialised agencies, the World Trade Organization, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States. Generally, it follows the consensus of the Non-aligned Movement and the OAU on economic and political issues not directly affecting its own interests. Ghana has been extremely active in international peacekeeping activities under UN auspices in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Rwanda, and the Balkans, in addition to an eight-year sub-regional initiative with its ECOWAS partners to develop and then enforce a cease-fire in Liberia. Ghana is also a member of the International Criminal Court.
Since independence, with Jaja Wachuku as the first Minister for Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, later called External Affairs, Nigerian foreign policy has been characterised by a focus on Africa as a regional power and by attachment to several fundamental principles: African unity and independence; capability to exercise hegemonic influence in the region: peaceful settlemenyot of disputes; non-alignment and non-intentional interference in the internal affairs of other nations; and regional economic cooperation and development. In carrying out these principles, Nigeria participates in the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Non-Aligned Movement, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations.
The Organisation of African Unity was an intergovernmental organization established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with 32 signatory governments. One of the main heads for OAU's establishment was Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. It was disbanded on 9 July 2002 by its last chairperson, South African President Thabo Mbeki, and replaced by the African Union (AU). Some of the key aims of the OAU were to encourage political and economic integration among member states, and to eradicate colonialism and neo-colonialism from the African continent. Although it achieved some success, there were also differences of opinion as to how that was going to be achieved.
Chimurenga is a word in the Shona language. The Ndebele equivalent, though not as widely used since the majority of Zimbabweans are Shona speaking, is Umvukela, roughly meaning "revolutionary struggle" or uprising. In specific historical terms, it also refers to the Ndebele and Shona insurrections against administration by the British South Africa Company during the late 1890s—the Second Matabele War, or First Chimurenga—and the war fought between African nationalist guerrillas and the predominantly white Rhodesian government during the 1960s and 1970s—the Rhodesian Bush War, or Second Chimurenga/Imvukela.
Pan-Africanism is a worldwide movement that aims to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all indigenous and diaspora ethnic groups of African descent. Based on a common goal dating back to the Atlantic slave trade, the movement extends beyond continental Africans with a substantial support base among the African diaspora in the Americas and Europe. “Pan Africanism can be said to have its origins in the struggles of the African people against enslavement and colonisation” Dr Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem And this struggle may be traced back to the first resistance on slave ships – rebellions and suicides – through the constant plantation and colonial uprisings and the “Back to Africa” movements of the nineteenth century. based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to "unify and uplift" people of African descent.. At its core Pan-Africanism is a belief that “African people, both on the continent and in the diaspora, share not merely a common history, but a common destiny". Pan-Africanist intellectual, cultural, and political movements tend to view all Africans and descendants of Africans as belonging to a single "race" and sharing cultural unity. Pan-Africanism posits a sense of a shared historical fate for Africans in America, West Indies, and, on the continent itself, has centred on the Atlantic trade in slaves, African slavery, and European imperialism.
The United States of Africa is a hypothetical concept of a federation of some or all of the 55 sovereign states on the continent of Africa. The concept takes its origin from Marcus Garvey's 1924 poem "Hail, United States of Africa".
The Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe (FROLIZI) was an African nationalist organisation established in opposition to the white minority government of Rhodesia. It was announced in Lusaka, Zambia in October 1971 as a merger of the two principal African nationalist factions in Rhodesia, the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). However, it was in fact a breakaway faction of both ZAPU and ZANU, established by members of both groups who had become disaffected due to their rival organisations' incessant internal and external disputes. Its domination by members of the Zezuru, a subgroup of the Shona people, led to accusations that it was merely a tribal grouping and ridicule as the "Front for the Liaison of Zezuru Intellectuals".
The Casablanca Group, sometimes known as the 'Casablanca bloc', was a short-lived, informal association of African states with a shared vision of the future of Africa and of Pan-Africanism in the early 1960s. The group was composed of seven states led by radical, left-wing leaders — Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Tanzania, Guinea, Libya, Mali, and Morocco. The conflict and eventual compromise between the Casablanca Group and the Monrovia Group lead to the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity.
When the African Union (AU) was founded in 2002, it represented almost the entire African continent. As the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), founded in 1963, its membership was inherited from that body. Currently, the AU has 55 member states. Growth in the OAU typically came from post-colonial independence; as decolonization ended, the borders of the OAU had overlapped almost all of Africa.
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Joseph Wilfred Msika was a Zimbabwean politician who served as Second Vice-President of Zimbabwe from 1999 to 2009.
The Southern Rhodesia African National Congress (SRANC) was a political party active between 1957–1959 in Southern Rhodesia. Committed to the promotion of indigenous African welfare, it was the first fully fledged black nationalist organisation in the country. While short-lived—it was outlawed by the predominantly white minority government in 1959—it marked the beginning of political action towards black majority rule in Southern Rhodesia, and was the original incarnation of the National Democratic Party (NDP); the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU); the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU); and the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), which has governed Zimbabwe continuously since 1980. Many political figures who later became prominent, including Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, were members of the SRANC.
The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa. The AU was announced in the Sirte Declaration in Sirte, Libya, on 9 September 1999, calling for the establishment of the African Union. The bloc was founded on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and launched on 9 July 2002 in Durban, South Africa. The intention of the AU was to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa by 32 signatory governments; the OAU was disbanded on 9 July 2002. The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states. The AU's secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa. The largest city in the AU is Lagos, Nigeria, while the largest urban agglomeration is Cairo, Egypt.
Sydney Tigere Sekeramayi is a Zimbabwean politician who served in the government of Zimbabwe as Minister of Defence between 2013 and 2017. He has been a minister in the Cabinet since independence in 1980, serving as Minister of Defence from 2001 to 2009 and Minister of State Security from 2009 to 2013.
The African Union is a geo-political entity covering the entirety of the African continent. Its origin dates back to the First Congress of Independence African States, held in Accra, Ghana, from 15 to 22 April 1958. The conference aimed at forming the Africa Day to mark the liberation movement, each year, regarding the willingness of the African people to free themselves from foreign dictatorship, as well as subsequent attempts to unite Africa, including the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was established on 25 May 1963, and the African Economic Community in 1981. Critics argued that the OAU in particular did little to protect the rights and liberties of African citizens from their own political leaders, often dubbing it the "Dictators' Club".
Namibia–Sweden relations refers to the current and historical relationship of Namibia and Sweden. Namibia maintains an embassy in Stockholm, while Sweden closed its embassy in Windhoek in 2008. Sweden was a strong supporter of the Namibian independence movement. From Namibia's independence in 1990 until 2007, Sweden was a primary donor of aid to develop Namibia's public sector but, in 2007, development aid began to be scaled back.
The member states of the African Union are the 55 sovereign states that have ratified or acceded to the Constitutive Act of the African Union to become member states to the African Union (AU). The AU was the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), and AU membership was open to all OAU member states.
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The Royal Order of Munhumutapa, named after a significant pre-colonial empire, is the highest award that Zimbabwe can bestow on a foreigner. The honour is bestowed on mostly political leaders of the Frontline States who provided solidarity and unity in supporting Zimbabwean independence and that of the Southern African region as a whole. The recipients of the honour are former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, the late Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, and the late founding presidents of Angola, Botswana and Mozambique, respectively Agostinho Neto, Seretse Khama and Samora Machel, the last Executive Secretary of the Liberation Committee of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) – precursor to the African Union (AU) Retired Brigadier-General Hashim Mbita of Tanzania and perhaps, most remarkably, Fr. Paschal Slevin OFM, an Irish missionary priest.
The Monrovia Group, sometimes known as the Monrovia bloc, officially the Conference of Independent African States, was a short-lived, informal association of African states with a shared vision of the future of Africa and of Pan-Africanism in the early 1960s. Its members believed that Africa's independent states should co-operate and exist in harmony, but without political federation and deep integration as supported by its main rival, the so-called Casablanca Group. In 1963, the two groups united to establish a formal, continent-wide organisation, the Organisation for African Unity.
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