SA celebrates Africa Day

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pretoria - South Africans across the country today join the continent in commemorating Africa Day.

Africa Day is celebrated annually on 25 May within the African continent to mark the formation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963 and the African Union in 2002, which was created to promote unity in Africa.

“The day, which is celebrated across the continent is used to acknowledge the progress that we, as Africans, have made, while reflecting upon the common challenges we face in a global environment,” said the Presidency.

South Africa is the only country where the day is not a public holiday. However, the South African government has declared the month of May as Africa Month, with planned activities under the theme ‘The Year of OR Tambo: Building a Better Africa and a Better World’.

To commemorate the day, President Jacob Zuma is hosting a celebration at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria. The celebration will be attended by ambassadors and high commissioners from Africa and abroad, as well as stakeholders from various sectors.

Government says it will use the day to reaffirm support for the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and commit the country to playing its role within the AU to ensure the successful implementation of the vision and plan to build a better Africa.

“Africa Day affords us an opportunity to celebrate our African identity. Our country was isolated for decades from the rest of the continent due to the evil system of apartheid colonialism. We are now a full member of the African continent and since 1994, our continent is correctly the primary focus of our foreign policy,” said President Zuma.

The President said the celebration of Africa Day also provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the contribution of the African continent to South Africa's struggle for liberation.

President Zuma said through the establishment of the OAU in 1963, the African continent became a pioneer in being the first continent to focus on and encourage nation building through unity and freedom from oppression.

“Africa Day thus provides an opportunity to celebrate that African solidarity and to continue expressing it through the ongoing support for many in the continent who are caught up in conflict. It is a day for us to celebrate African solidarity, friendship, a common humanity and destiny,” said the President.

South Africa continues to contribute to peace making, peacekeeping and post-war reconstruction and development efforts on the continent. South Africa also plays a key role in the economic development of the continent through the growing private sector investment in many countries within the continent. -