PM Abiy calls on fellow Africans to heed the call of unity declared by our great forefathers
Addis Ababa, May 25, 2023 (FBC) – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called on all African leaders and peoples to heed the call of unity declared by great forefathers.
In his remarks at the commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of Africa Day, Prime Minister Abiy shared his best wishes to all fellow Africans.
“Sixty years ago on this very date, Addis Ababa was host to a historic event that would shape the course of our continent. 32 Heads of State and Government of independent African nations converged in our capital to sign the Charter that would create the Organization of African Unity.
During this first Organization of African Unity Summit, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie declared, “We stand today on the stage of world affairs, before the audience of world opinion. We have come together to assert our role in the direction of world affairs and to discharge our duty to the great continent whose two hundred and fifty million people we lead.”
Sixty years later, Africa is the second most populous continent with an estimated population upwards of 1.4 billion people. It is expected that by 2050 more than half of the global population growth will occur in our continent. Paying attention to Africa means paying attention to a continent that by 2050 will be home to one in four humankind. This is indeed an opportunity we must harness”, PM Abiy said
“President Kwame Nkrumah had rightly pointed to this opportunity during his remarks sixty years ago, whereupon he reiterated the great material and natural wealth our continent possessed and the necessity of its growing population “to the economic capitalization and profitability of modern productive methods and techniques,” to effectively utilize our wealth.
Today, our continent and our African Union is 55 members strong and is fast becoming a critical voice in the global arena. We have come a long way in promoting and defending an African common position on issues of interest to our continent and our people. Yet much remains in realizing the aspirations of our forefathers in the founding Charter and that of our own in our Agenda 2063.”
The Premier reminded that unity and freedom, in particular, were a common theme that the Founding Fathers of the OAU proclaimed leading up to its formation and emphasized thereafter.
“The global state of affairs sixty years ago that triggered the formation of the OAU may have shifted. The complex world we find ourselves in today and the aspirations we carry as Africans summon us to further accelerate our unified positions.
Can we yet proclaim we are free when our people are still in the grips of poverty and our systems are shackled by corruption, ineptness and indifference? Can we yet assert independence while we seek beyond ourselves and our continental borders to deliver us from the challenges we are faced with?
Undeniably, our continent and each of our countries possess great natural and material wealth that lays abundantly bare for us to catalyze our continent to prosperity.
We must continue unearthing the potential of our people and enable them to transform our continent into the Africa We Want by fighting corruption, creating conducive environments for local and international investments and by awakening the service delivery potential of our bureaucracies.
As African nations blessed with natural bounty, we must mobilize the productive capacities and inventiveness of our youth in agriculture, industry and technology. Africa can and must be able to feed itself.
Ethiopia is clear evidence of this sheer will for self-sustenance that has seen our agriculture sector productivity expand in farmed land and output. The natural and man-made disasters and challenges that we have been confronted with for the past couple of years have not deterred us from progress, driven by a spirit of African resilience. We are committed to reshaping the narrative about Ethiopia and through it that of Africa”, the Prime Minister emphasized
“I have shared before that narratives shape our destiny. What we believe we are capable of, we thus become. For a long time now, we have as Africans accepted a narrative about ourselves that has not been crafted by us.
This needs to change in two critical ways. Firstly, through adequate representation and permanent seat at the UN Security Council and proportionate representation at the G7 and G20. And secondly, through materializing our African Union Continental Media House.
In an increasingly complex, dynamic and fast changing global order, unity is no more a catchphrase but a means of survival.”
Concluding his message, Prime Minister Abiy urged all fellow African leaders and peoples to “heed the call of unity declared by our great forefathers as we commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Organization for African Unity!”
It is known that the African continent celebrates today May 23, 2023, 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 celebrates 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.”