As the continent marks the 57th Africa Day, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa – as African Union Chair – will lead the continent’s celebrations, which include a special virtual broadcast and the Africa Day Solidarity Concert for the COVID-19 Response Fund.
Africa Day is celebrated on 25 May 2020 and marks the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
This year’s celebrations will include a special virtual broadcast featuring speeches by President Ramaphosa; the AU Commission Chair, Moussa Faki Mahamat; the President of the Pan African Women Association, Eunice Ipinge, and the AU Youth Envoy, Aya Chebbi.
The broadcast also brings one of the champions of Africa’s Liberation, the only remaining founding fathers of the OAU, Dr Kenneth Kaunda of the Republic of Zambia. KK, as he is known, walked and worked side by side with other gallant giants of Africa’s liberation in establishing the organisation that strived to free the whole continent from the shackles of colonialism. He served as Zambia’s first president and as the chairman of the OAU from 1970 to 1973.
This event will be broadcast at 13h00 (Central African Time) today on all major broadcasters and digital media platforms.
The OAU was established on 25 May 1963 with the aim of promoting political, economic and social integration among the family of African States, and to eradicate colonialism, apartheid and neo-colonialism from the African continent.
The organisation was transformed into the African Union on 9 July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, to achieve greater unity, cohesion and solidarity between African countries and nations.
Africa united in COVID-19 fight
This year’s celebration coincides with South Africa’s one-year tenure as Chair of the African Union. It also takes place amid the continent’s advancing efforts to combat the spread of Coronavirus.
South Africa is celebrating Africa Month under the theme: ‘Silencing the Guns, Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development and Intensifying the Fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic’.
The celebration of Africa Month and Africa Day provides an opportunity to promote African unity, deeper regional integration and a recommitting of Africa to a common destiny. It is also an opportunity to educate the people of the continent on the African Union’s initiatives to fight the pandemic.
The African Union has developed a comprehensive COVID-19 strategy, established an African Union COVID-19 Response Fund and strengthened the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Celebrations of Africa Day will continue throughout the day on a number of platforms anchored by various entities from the continent and across the world.
President Ramaphosa will be featured delivering a message of support on the Africa Day Solidarity Concert for the COVID-19 Response Fund. The concert, which will stream on all Trace stations from 17:00 (CAT) will raise funds for the AU COVID-19 fund.
The President will also feature on the MTV base Africa Day benefit concert, which is working with UNFPA and UNICEF Africa to ensure that the proceeds of the concert go towards food security for vulnerable children and families, which are hardest hit by COVID-19.