Africa our then, Africa our now, Africa our later!

25 May 2021 | Penelope Msebele


This year's theme of Africa Day is "Arts, Culture & Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want".

Today marks 58 years since African countries came together to form the Organisation of African Unity which was established to empower nations and promote solidarity. This is a day we acknowledge African solidarity, unity in diversity, creativity, and success.

We also celebrate the cultural and economic potential of our continent and reflect on the progress we have made as well as solutions to the challenges that we face. The African Unity has embarked on numerous initiatives which focused on the importance of protecting the environment, agriculture, and water as significant drivers of Africa’s economic development in response to the alleviation of poverty.

Thabo Mbeki’s speech “I Am an African” delivered on 8 May 1996 speaks to our unity;

“I am an African.

I owe my being to the hills and the valleys,

The mountains and the glades, the rivers,

The deserts, the trees, the flowers,

The seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land..”

Africa Day is a great time to acknowledge the new generation of African artists who blend Africa’s culture, languages and genres into completely new forms. We see new style appeal of afro beats, amapiano, kizomba, soukous, afro-soul, bongo Flava and more.

Our continent has produced influential writers, fashion designers, soccer stars, music artists and movie stars who have taken over the world. Diversity and transformation have played a role in the growth of literacy and women in leadership. The mentioned achievements are a demonstration that although Covid-19 has hit us, this day serves as a reminder of the great potential Africa holds as a whole.

This Africa month gives us an opportunity to promote African unity and to reflect on how far we have come and collaborate in the journey ahead to build stronger economic, social and cultural ties in unifying our continent.

#UnitedWeStand lets instill our sense of pride and #MakeAfricaBetter




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