The history of Africa Day

2018-05-31 06:01

AFRICA Day was formally declared upon the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (today known as the African Union) on May 15, 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Seventeen countries marked the day between 1958 and 1963 after gaining independence. South Africa joined the Union on May 23, 1994 following its first democratic elections.

Africa Day is also about recognising progress and diversity in leadership. According to a 2016 study by McKinsey & Company, Africa is for the leadership of women.

The global average of women in Parliament is 21% while in Africa, it’s 24%. The study also shows that East Africa is the top performing region with 35% representation of women in Parliament.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was the first woman elected to head the African Union in 2012. While two African countries — Mauritius and Liberia — are currently led by female presidents.

Despite challenges still facing the continent, these South Africans spoke to Newswatch about the state of the country and what it means to be African.

Is it still celebrated ?

Africa Day is not an official public holiday in the Republic, it is commemorated annually to acknowledge solidarity, heritage, culture and mostly the progress made in liberation movements across the continent. It’s celebrated in parts of the continent and by Africans across the world.


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