Africa Day celebrates the day when the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was formed in 1963. It acknowledges the progress that Africans on the continent have made, as well as reflecting on the challenges that may still lay ahead for the continent as a whole. These challenges include armed conflict, poverty, and climate change.
Last year, the theme for Africa Day was “We are Africa – Opening the doors of learning and culture from Cape to Cairo”. This year, the theme is “Building a better Africa and a Better World”.
History of Africa Day
Since World War II, African leaders have gained greater political power under European rule on the African continent. The process of decolonization exhilarated between 1945 and 1965 with a number of African countries gaining their own independence over their colonial counterparts, with Ghana became the first African country south of the Sahara to gain independence on 6 March 1957. It became an admired country for other African countries still struggling under colonial rule.
To encourage and observe the process of decolonization in Africa, African Day was established to promote “the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolize the determination of the People of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.”
Africa Day presents an opportunity for all Africans to reconnect with their identities in support of the manner in which African governments unite to develop a better Africa and a better world.