Africa Day

Africa Day Quick Facts - ZA

2024 Date25 May 2024
2025 Date25 May 2025

Africa Day

Africa Day commemorates the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which took place on May 25th, 1963. The primary aim of this event is to celebrate African unity, achievements, and progress while reflecting on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Across the African continent, this day is recognized as a public holiday which symbolizes the aspirations of Africans for a better future, and it evokes a sense of solidarity in the fight against poverty, corruption, and injustice.

Africa Day holds significant historical value as it was during the very same year of OAU's formation that African leaders displayed an unwavering commitment against apartheid in South Africa. The foundation of OAU, today the African Union (AU), represented the collective determination of African states to support each other for the sake of peace, progress, and integration, which greatly contributed to the eventual abolishment of apartheid in South Africa. In this way, Africa Day serves as a symbol of both South Africa's fierce resistance against apartheid and its eventual success in establishing a more equitable and inclusive society.

In South Africa, Africa Day is observed through cultural events, symposiums, and educational activities that emphasize themes of African unity and progress. Public figures, educators, and community leaders also use this day to address pressing social issues within the nation, often drawing on their shared African identity and history. 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.
  • South Africa was not a founding member of the OAU due to its apartheid policies and was only admitted to the organization in 1994 after the end of apartheid and the election of Nelson Mandela as president. It was a symbolic gesture, showing that South Africa was now fully embracing its African identity and forging ties with the rest of the continent.
  • The OAU's Algiers Summit in 1968 marked a turning point in its stance on apartheid. It declared apartheid as a crime against humanity, solidifying its commitment to support the struggle against racial discrimination in South Africa.

Africa Day Top 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.
  • Use social media platforms to share interesting facts, stories, or images related to Africa. Educate others about Africa's rich history, cultural heritage, and contemporary achievements.

Africa Day References and Related Sites

www.un.org: Afica Day 2022

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