AU, Member States commemorate the 60th anniversary of the OAU-AU
Addis Ababa, May 25, 2023 (FBC) – On this day, the African continent celebrates the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now known as the African Union (AU), on May 25, 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The AU is celebrating the Day under the slogan: “Our Africa Our Future” using the hashtag #OurAfricaOurFuture. Activities to mark the historical moment will be commemorated all over the African continent by the 55 member countries of the AU.
All member states are expected among other things to showcase major successes, milestones, challenges, and way forward under Agenda 2063.
In a statement, the AU says it celebrates Africa Day, in recognition of the vision and milestone achieved towards an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.
“This, in remembrance of its founding members, whose dream was to strive for a united Africa, at peace with itself, and representing a dynamic force in the world arena and more especially, the fight against colonialism. Eventually, most African countries achieved independence in the 50s through the 60s and later in the 90s with the fight against Apartheid.”
During the occasion, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and Comoros President and AU Chair Azali Assoumani delivered statements emphasising the need to fast-track the holistic transformation of the continent for the benefit of its inhabitants.
It was on 25 May,1963, that 32 Heads of independent African States met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ,along with leaders from African liberation movements to craft a way forward for Africa’s complete independence from imperialism, colonialism and apartheid.
The outcome of the meeting was the creation of Africa’s first post-independence continental institution, the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
The OAU was formed as a manifestation of the pan-African vision for an Africa that was united, free and in control of its own destiny and this was solemnised in the OAU Charter which was adopted on May 25 Africa Day, 1963.
In 1999, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU decided convened an extraordinary session to expedite the process of economic and political integration in the continent.
On 9 September, 1999, the Heads of State and Government of the OAU issued a Declaration (The Sirte Declaration) calling for the establishment of an African Union.
In 2002 during the Durban Summit, the African Union (AU) was officially launched as the successor to the Organization of African Unity.
The celebration of the 60th anniversary is an opportunity to recognize the role and contribution of the founders of the continental organization and many other Africans on the continent and in the diaspora who have contributed greatly to the political liberation of the continent, and equally, to the socio-economic emancipation of Africa.
It is an opportunity to share the information, knowledge and best practices of the past and to encourage each other to take on the vision of the AU, as well as to drive the realization of the “Africa We Want”, under Agenda 2063.
It is also an opportune moment for the African Union to reflect on the spirit of pan-Africanism, which connects the past to the present and to the continent’s aspirations for the future.
In this regard, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in his remarks at today’s event, urged fellow Africans to heed the call of unity declared by African great forefathers.