President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for unity as the continent celebrates Africa Day on Wednesday. Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union, on this day in 1963.
It is intended to celebrate and acknowledge the successes of the OAU in the fight against colonialism and apartheid, as well as the progress that Africa has made while reflecting on the common challenges that the continent faces in a global environment.
President Ramaphosa has called on communities and civil organisations supported by the South African Human Rights Commission to initiate dialogues that foster unity in the face of glaring tensions and sporadic violence against foreign nationals in the country.
South Africa has seen the birth and mushrooming of Operation Dudula, allegedly aimed to tackle illegal immigration in the country.
However, President Ramaphosa says at the root of the discontent is poverty, inequality and unemployment.
The President has called on South Africans not to resemble the apartheid regime, warning that the country may be seen as a place of intolerance.
University of South Africa’s Professor Everisto Benyera says Africa is still struggling in terms of leadership:
A home of hope
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in his message on Africa Day says the continent has a potential to grow its economy despite global problems such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Guterres also says today is a reminder of the multiple challenges preventing Africa from reaching its full potential, including the COVID 19 pandemic and its devastating impact on African economies, climate change, unresolved conflicts, and a severe food crisis.
” Africa is home for hope. On Africa Day we celebrate the enormous promise and potential for this diverse and dynamic continent. The world must stand together in solidarity with all Africans to strengthen food security and put nutrition within reach for every person.”