Africa Day

Africa Day Quick Facts - NG

2024 Date25 May 2024
2025 Date25 May 2025

Africa Day

Africa Day History

Africa Day commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), presently known as the African Union (AU). It is observed to celebrate the unity and progress of the African continent and its people, while also reflecting on the challenges faced by Africa. The observance fosters a sense of solidarity among African nations and facilitates collaboration towards attaining the collective aspirations for development, peace, and prosperity.

The origin of Africa Day stems from the heroic struggle of African countries against colonialism and apartheid. In 1963, leaders from 32 African nations convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to form the OAU which aimed at promoting the independence, territorial integrity, and cooperation among African countries. Nigeria, being Africa's most populous country and a key player in the continent's political and economic landscape, has always been a major contributor to realizing the objectives of the OAU/AU.

In Nigeria, Africa Day is marked by various activities that emphasize the promotion of the continent's rich cultural heritage and fostering unity. These activities may include panel discussions, seminars, symposiums, and cultural performances that engage the Nigerian public on pertinent issues affecting the African continent. Many of these events are organized by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and educational institutions, showcasing Nigeria's commitment to the achievement of the AU’s Agenda 2063 – 'The Africa We Want'. Africa Day is observed annually on May 25th.

Africa Day Facts

  • The Organization of African Unity (OAU) was established on May 25, 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the aim of promoting unity, solidarity, and cooperation among African countries.
  • One of the most notable achievements of the OAU was the adoption of the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa. This convention became the foundation for addressing refugee issues in the continent.
  • The OAU played a crucial role in decolonization and the fight against apartheid. It supported numerous African liberation movements and worked towards the independence of several African countries, including Angola, Mozambique, and Western Sahara.
  • Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with about 206 million people. Often referred to as the "Giant of Africa," Nigeria is a significant player in the continent's political and economic landscape.
  • Nigeria is a founding member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), established in 1975 to promote regional economic cooperation and integration in West Africa.
  • Nigeria has long been a champion of pan-Africanism – the belief in the unity and solidarity of African countries. Nigerian leaders like Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo were known pan-Africanist figures who advocated for the freedom, unity, and progress of African nations.

Africa Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Spend the day reading novels, short stories, or poems written by African authors. Dive into the works of renowned writers like Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Wole Soyinka, or Ngugi wa Thiong'o.
  • Take the opportunity to learn basic words and phrases from African languages such as Swahili, Yoruba, Zulu, or Arabic (widely spoken in North Africa). Online resources and language apps can be helpful in this endeavor.
  • Explore and support African-owned businesses or organizations. Purchase products like clothing, accessories, or home décor that celebrate African culture.
  • A great way to celebrate Africa Day is to try some traditional African cuisine. Check out local restaurants and food festivals where you can sample dishes from different African countries.
  • Some people choose to spend Africa Day volunteering their time and services to the less fortunate members of their communities.
  • Engage with organizations or initiatives that aim to foster collaboration across African nations, such as promoting regional trade, cultural exchange programs, or participating in pan-African events.

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