The African Union has marked Africa Day by paying respects to its citizens who died during AU peace keeping missions since 2000. Their names have been put on a wall at the Peace and Security building at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Most of the names on the wall are of the soldiers who lost their lives in Somalia under the African mission, AMISOM, a mission that has since become the flagship mission of the AU. The wall has close to 1000 names from 15 African union missions, but it is believed there are thousands more whose names are not written in the wall.

Ismaeil Chergui, AU Peace and Security Commissioner, says the wall honours those who lost their lives while holding the flags of their respective member states high.

“To us, these stars who remain alive in our minds, were men and women of courage. They gave us the greatest sacrifice possible. They will inspire us for year and years to come. We give honour to them for holding high the flags of their respective member states.”

Afterwards, the AU hosted a celebration for Africa Day at the headquarters. Pius Koroma from Sierra Leone, says that he wants to tell Africans to promote African music.

“I want to tell Africans, as brothers and sisters; let’s promote African music, let’s dance to African music, let’s promote our culture, let’s move our culture. One love Africa.”

 

Different nationalities showcased their countries’ products. Many agree the value of the African brand needs to be spread further.

“In Africa we have Ubuntu. In Africa we are warm to each other, in Africa we are united; this is what Africa means.”

Africa Day is celebrated every year and in member states activities run from the beginning of May.