Africa Day 2017, What’s it all about?

Africa Day 2017

As the continent of Africa celebrates the 54th Africa Day, there is quite a number of people out there who have don’t know what the is for, and how it came about.

Well, the Africa Day is a national holiday across several countries on the continent; Ghana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Mali. The special day is also observed across the continent, albeit it might not be a national holiday in those respective countries. Even people living in the diaspora do celebrate the occasion.

The special day is observed through celebrations, live performances, ceremonies, and most importantly through reflection.

The Origin of Africa Day

The Africa Day traces its roots to some of the continent’s hero and visionary leaders; Kwame Nkrumah from Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, and Sékou Touré of Guinea.

These leaders were on the front line of freeing their respective countries from the exploitative grasp of the European colonial masters. These leaders together with their counterparts from 17 other African countries that had fought for their independence by 1958 came together and formed the African Liberation Day.

The day was meant to commemorate the independence of African nations from the colonial masters. That set the stage for the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on the May of 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

21 other African countries have since joined the organization. In 2001, the organization was renamed to the African Union (AU). The AU sets the theme for the Africa Day and, for the year 2017, the theme is ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investments in Youth.’

The AU aims at showcasing the vast potential Africa has in terms of its human and natural resources. The AU role is to midwife the transformation of that potential into tangible output with a positive impact on the socio-economic environment. The organization is particularly keen on empowering the youth and supporting transformative growth across Africa.

The Africa Day also offers an opportune time to showcase the prodigious demographic and spark transformative thoughts around how to solve the challenges facing African countries. Some of the transformative development across the continent shepherd by the AU include improved trade between African countries and free travel.

The following is a sample of tweets by people in and outside the continent to commemorate this special day:

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