The African National Congress (ANC) congratulates the citizens of South Africa and all the more than a billion people of our 53 sister countries on the occasion of Africa Day. Today marks the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) the forerunner to the African Union.
Africa should be justly proud of the road we have travelled in realising aspirations of unity eloquently championed by Nkruma and those African Leaders at the founding of the Organisation of African Union in 1963, that Africa must unite now or perish.
From the very onset, Africans realised the struggle against colonialism does not end with the attainment of national independence. As the founding fathers at the OAU acknowledged, independence is only the prelude to a new and more involved struggle for the right to conduct our own economic and social affairs; to construct our society according to our aspirations, unhampered by crushing and humiliating neo-colonialist control and interference.
Today the ANC acknowledges that although the continent of Africa faces a myriad of developmental challenges, there have been a number of developmental and democratic gains on the continent that give cause for greater optimism.
The recently held elections in the Gambia and Ghana are examples. There have also been advances in the strengthening of democratic institutions and civil society in a number of African countries, marked by higher levels of accountable and transparent government, as well as the proliferation of free media.
Most policymakers agree there has been an overall decline in conflicts and civil warfare in Africa, compared to the 1990’s.
Nevertheless, a number of African countries continue to experience instability as a result of conflict, with civilians paying the heaviest price. The proliferation of terrorist groups on the continent as well as the spectre of transnational crime, seriously threatens Africa’s long-term stability and security, as does the refugee/migration crisis affecting the north of the continent.
African immigrants continue to perish at sea in pursuits pursuit of better life in Europe amongst other places. As Africans, we must continue to create stable African countries so that our people have less reason to risk their lives in search of stability across ocean.
It is incumbent on all Africans, not just the heads of governments, to actively work towards the realization of a better, more prosperous and secure Africa, as encapsulated in Agenda 2063 of the African Union. This includes stamping out the evils of tribalism and xenophobia that have been the scourge of the continent for far too long.
In 1961 the President of the ANC Nkosi Albert Luthuli accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of all of Africa. He said: “I accept the award also as an honor, not only to South Africa, but to the whole continent of Africa, to all its people, whatever their race, colour or creed. It is an honor to the peace-loving people of the entire world, and an encouragement to us all to redouble our efforts in the struggle for peace and friendship.”
As evidenced in the words of the Nkosi Luthuli – the ANC has throughout its history been rooted in the spirit of progressive internationalism: an internationalism that has advanced unity for the peoples of the Global South.
The ANC has consistently affirmed its our commitment to the struggle for a humane, just, equitable, democratic and free world: in pursuit of a better Africa, and a better world.
Let us deepen our ties with the continent including through trade ties. Ultimately, our prosperity and success is inextricably tied to the success and prosperity of the whole of Africa. United, as Africans, we must shape the next global economic agenda.
Issued by the African National Congress
Zizi Kodwa 082 330 4910
Khusela Sangoni 072 854 5707
National Communications Manager