Africa Day 2020
AFRICA DAY 2020
Silencing the guns: creating conducive conditions for Africa’s development
to achieve the goal of a conflict-free Africa
On 25 May 1963, Africa made history with the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to build greater unity and solidarity between African countries and its people. Since then, the 25th May has been celebrated widely across the world particularly in Africa to signify Africa’s identity and unity. The African Union (AU) is a key driver of Agenda 2063 which is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of our continent. Agenda 2063 seeks to realise the African people’s aspirations for sustainable growth and development across Africa. The seven aspirations indicating what the people of Africa want from Agenda 2063 are:
- A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development
- An integrated continent, politically united and based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance
- An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law
- A peaceful and secure Africa
- An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics
- An Africa where development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children
- Africa as a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner
AFRICA DAY 2020 AND PARLIAMENT OF SOUTH AFRICA
The AU has embraced the theme: Silencing the guns: creating conducive conditions for Africa’s development to achieve the goal of a conflict-free Africa. This theme also speaks to ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV) which is one of the critical discussions in Parliament’s continued and decentralised dialogues to review the Women’s Charter – a declaration of intent that clearly defines the rights, and privileges for women, by women in South Africa.
Significantly, Africa Day 2020 is being commemorated in the shadow of the global COVID-19 pandemic . The AU has described COVID-19 as a pandemic that will require coordinated efforts of its Member States, the World Health Organization, and other partners to limit transmission and minimize harm. One major side effect of the COVID-19 lockdown is that many countries are reporting a surge in cases of gender-based violence, as well as violence against children. Africa Day is being celebrated during a time that will test all of humanity as we battle the preservation of life and our economy.
Parliament supports the AU’s initiatives for peaceful interventions in conflicts across the continent. In keeping with the republic’s foreign policy, Parliament engages proactively with parliaments of countries where South Africa has been involved in efforts to build peace. Parliament participates in several African organisations, including the legislative arm of the AU, the Pan African Parliament (PAP) and the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF).
Africa Day presents an opportunity for South Africans to reconnect and recommit ourselves to develop a better Africa and a better world.
CELEBRATING AFRICA DAY AND AFRICAN UNITY
Across the globe, people of African descent are encouraged to celebrate and commemorate the Day by becoming active in or by making donations to worthy causes, and other activities which include virtual:
- Activities that focus on arts and crafts, dance, poetry, music and fashion
- Debates on topical issues affecting the continent like xenophobia
- Workshops and exhibitions
- Tours of the African continent
INITIATIVES OF THE AFRICAN UNION (AU)
The AU has implemented many initiatives in the continent, to collectively alleviate Africa ’s challenges, which include:
New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). NEPAD aims to promote Africa’s development through the promotion of democracy, human rights, accountability, transparency, and participatory governance.
The AU has embraced the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) which is linked to clean governance. The IIAG provides an annual assessment of the quality of governance in AU member states. It assesses crucial areas of Safety and Rule of Law; Participation and Human Rights; Sustainable Economic Development and Human Development.
The Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is a monitoring tool that has been developed by NEPAD. It aims to monitor governance performance and progress to ensure the promotion of political stability, accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration, economic growth and sustainability.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) is the largest free trade agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organisation. African leaders signed the Kigali Declaration on the establishment of this trade agreement at the 10th Extraordinary Summit of the Assembly of the African Union in Kigali, Rwanda, on 21 March 2018.
Silencing of the Guns aims to resolve the scourge of domestic wars that have ravaged the continent. The AU Peace and Security Council has adopted this resolution in the effort to end continental conflicts. The year 2020 is earmarked by the AU for the achievement of this important milestone. Through this initiative, civil conflicts, gender-based violence, violent conflicts, and genocide are expected to decrease.
SYMBOLS OF THE AFRICAN UNION
DESCRIPTION OF THE AU EMBLEM
|AU FLAG: The hope and aspiration to unity is symbolised by the green colour of the flag|
55 African Union Member States
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara), São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
DID YOU KNOW?
- The AU Motto is "A United and Strong Africa"
- The AU has headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- The AU’s legislative arm, the Pan African Parliament, is located in Midrand, South Africa.