English Africa Service – Vatican City
The African Union (AU) headquarters is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
As a way of celebrating Africa Day, several African nationals; Africans in the diaspora as well as descendants of Africa, have organised commemorative cultural events that highlight the vibrancy of African cultures, foods, and traditions. Most of these will be virtual events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Silencing the Guns in the context of COVID19
A Virtual Conference (webinar), Silencing the Guns Initiative, organised by the AU’s Department of Peace and Security is planned for 25 May 2020, at 3.00 p.m. East Africa Time.
Organisers said they want to sensitise and generate interest among African Citizens about the nexus between development and peace. The AU further says it is not just about guns, it is about what drives people to resort to firearms. This year’s Africa Day theme seeks to address those underlying issues. The AU also wants to encourage country-level and sub-regional programmes of action towards silencing guns in Africa.
Africa Day Solidarity Concert
Also, as part of the celebrations this year, the African Union Commission (AUC) has organised an Africa Day Benefit Concert. The two-hour event will feature some of Africa’s big names in music. The Virtual Music Concert is slated for Monday 25 May 2020, 18:00 to 20:00 hours East African Time. The concert can be viewed on the MTVBase YouTube channel.
Recognising the power of music and the crucial role African artists play in the fight against COVID-19 on the continent, the music concert will advocate for financial contributions from well-wishers to the Africa Union’s COVID-19 Response Fund. It is also the aim of the AU to engage African youth, especially young musicians, to join forces and work hand in hand in with governments in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is Africa Day?
Africa Day is observed annually on 25 May, to commemorate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which was created on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The OAU is the precursor of the African Union (AU). The day is observed as an official national holiday in Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Namibia, Zambia, Mali, Mauritania, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
This year marks the 57th anniversary of Africa Day. Besides celebrating Africa’s decolonisation, it is also a day of sober reflection on how African countries can consolidate peace and democracy on the continent. Africa faces a myriad of daunting challenges that seek solutions.