Africa Day - 25th May 2021 - Message from President Wavel Ramkalawan
24 May 2021 | Foreign Affairs
History was made on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa when Heads of 32 newly-independent African countries founded the Organisation of African Unity, the precursor to the African Union.
Today, as we join the rest of the continent in commemorating Africa Day (also known as African Unity Day) we reflect not only on the legacy of the Founding Fathers of our pan-African union but also on the lofty ideals of its Charter, which remain the bedrock of the Constitutive Act of the African Union to promote unity, solidarity, cohesion and cooperation among the peoples of Africa and African states.
Africa Day is an opportunity to promote African unity and solidarity, deeper integration and to recommit our continent to a common destiny in the face of the many and complex challenges that a global environment brings. It is also a day to recognise the successes of the continent and its cultural and economic potential.
The commemoration of Africa day this year is held under the theme: Arts, Culture, and Heritage - Levers for Building the Africa We Want. This year’s theme is at the core of Aspiration 5 of Agenda 2063 which envisages “An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics”. It is an invitation to instil pride and a strong sense of identity among Africans by promoting our African cultural heritage and History, and promoting the creative arts and cultural industries as major contributors to our continent’s growth and transformation.
Undoubtedly, more can be done, and must be done – including in Seychelles – to fully realise the potential of the creative and cultural industries in terms of income generation, job creation, and foreign exchange earnings. As emphasised in Africa’s Agenda 2063, they are an important vehicle for promoting and achieving national economic and social development goals. To this end, Seychelles will keep investing in its cultural and creative industries.
Furthermore, we must not forget that the creative and cultural industries have a key role to play in combatting and preventing the spread of the global COVID-19. We pay tribute to the work of all those involved in those industries in helping to create more robust and more resilient health and social sectors. My Government recognises their efforts and will continue to support them.
As we commemorate Africa Day, we are reminded of the achievements of the pan-Africanists and the Founding Fathers of the continental organisation. We are also reminded of their vision which inspires us to re-commit ourselves to the consolidation of the unity of all Africans, to Africa’s development and to lasting peace and security on the continent
Happy Africa Day!