Africa Day-A Landmark Anniversary
Today marks the 58th Anniversary of the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on the 25th of May 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This day is historic for our continent, as Pan-African Solidarity found organizational expression on this day. This is a day on which the leaders of 32 independent African States came together in Addis Ababa and signed the Charter of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). This was a milestone that gave new impetus to the anti-colonial struggle of the African people. Even though independence was achieved with a heavy price, at the end of it, colonialism was defeated, never to return to Africa. This chapter of our bitter struggle, spearheaded by the OAU, came to a conclusive end with the demise of the Apartheid system in South Africa in 1994.
After this historic achievement, African leaders launched an extensive organizational reform designed to stimulate socio-economic development and continental integration. This phase was crowned with the formal launching of the African Union (AU) in Durban, South Africa in June 2002.
Ethiopia and its people are honoured and privileged of the responsibility bestowed upon them by the African people to host both the OAU and the AU and will continue to do everything in their power to live up to the great responsibility entrusted to them.
Ethiopia is proud to have been considered as an inspiration and a beacon of freedom and justice. But, Ethiopia’s centuries-old independent existence as a sovereign State was never complete without the independence of the rest of our Continent-Africa.
That was why Ethiopia had been so deeply engaged in the anti-colonial struggle in Africa, politically, financially, diplomatically, and militarily.
Today, Africa is politically free and in charge of its own destiny, but we have a long way to go to ensure our economic, social, and political freedom within the current global order. Partnership with all global actors is desirable for Africa when it is based on the principles of mutual respect and win-win outcomes.
Despite the challenges, including the Covid pandemic, Africa is better positioned to discharge its responsibility of making Africa a better place to live for its children. Our continental Roadmap of Agenda 2063 remains a realistic aspiration as long as our individual sovereignty is anchored on our Pan-African solidarity as encapsulated in the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
Ethiopia has through the years faced challenges to her sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity by external forces. It has defeated all such attempts through sheer will, determination, and principled stance of its people and leaders. And in the anti-colonial struggle, it has been an inspiration for all the peoples of Africa in their fight for self-determination and independence.
Today, we are again being tested as Ethiopians and Africans if we will succumb to the pressures of external forces and give up our right to determine our own future, as we see it.
There is no doubt that we in Ethiopia will once again overcome these challenges together with our African brothers and sisters.
Ethiopia will continue with its time-tested commitment to spearhead the task of finding African solutions to African problems. It is only then, that we in Africa will be taken seriously as a continent that decides its own destiny.
Long Live Africa Day!
25 May 2021