Rejoicing Africa’s independence!

2017-05-25 06:00
OPINIONThembile Ndabeni

OPINIONThembile Ndabeni

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“It reminds us of the struggles for independence…” (Emperor Haile Selassie on Africa Day)

This year, 25 May, marks the 54th birthday of Africa with 54 her states, Africa Day.

Happy Birthday Africa!

It is our responsibility to make sure that our children know each and every holiday we observe. It is about what the holiday is all about. I make sur that I teach my children to understand the meaning of such holidays as March 21, June 16, and May 25. These holidays have a sentiment value. Africa Day is just observed in countries like ours; it is a public day in some states in Africa.

The liberation struggle for fundamental freedom and independence started long before 25 May 1963 but 25 May is marked as Africa Day because this date marks the formation of Organization of African Unity, now the African Union (AU). The formation of the OAU on 25 May 1963 marked the concerted efforts that resulted to the consolidation of struggle for the full emancipation of Africa. Liberation Movements got support from the OAU.

In a statement to the 1963 African Summit, the Emperor Haile Selassie I said …”This conference cannot close without adopting a single African Charter…” … Our liberty is meaningless unless all Africans are free…”

On “Goal Unity”, Emperor Selassie I said “Unity is the accepted goal… we are determined to create a union of Africans…It is our duty and privilege to rouse the slumbering giant of Africa… to the vision of a single African brotherhood bending its united efforts toward the achievement of a greater and nobler goal”.

He continued: “While we are representing our respective peoples and working for their interest, we must not fail to visualize and bear in mind that the future generation is requesting us to meet its needs and requirements at this moment”.

However, there is no new international order. Therefore internationally the entire world still lives under the old imperialist and colonial economic order. In that old order it means freedom and independence in Africa is not real or partial. This is why Kwame Nkrumah spoke about United States of Africa, and that became the motto of the pan Africanist movements like the PAC. After Nkrumah, in South Africa the motto was advocated vociferously by the late founding President of the Pan Africanist Congress, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe. Recently President Thabo Thabo through the African Renaissance has been its advocate. Mbeki is even now busy in Africa addressing Africa’s development issues: dictatorship, corruption, and bribery. There is BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China and SA), as an alternative to the old world order. But it’s not a solution to Africa: Brazil is racist; Russia’s is treated with suspicion especially businesswise, India is also racist, China has got a worst record in violation of workers’ rights and dumping their poor quality goods in Africa.

Therefore there are three important things we need to do about Africa Day:

.Conscientising people especially of Africa about it and work towards it observed as a public holiday in the entire continent.

.Join hands with the likes of Mbeki in rooting out the challenges bedeviling Africa.

.Realization of those needs and requirements by peoples of Africa themselves in their own way, “United States of Africa”.

Africa Day without United States of Africa is a void, empty! Forward United States of Africa, Forward!

Viva Africa Day, Viva!


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