The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MoFARI) has outlined a week-long activities to mark the 54th African Union (AU) Day, on the theme: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in the Youth”. Activities to mark the Day, which falls on Thursday, May 25, include a Health Walk from the premises of MoFARI, on Saturday 20, through the Liberation Road to the Flagstaff House and back to the MoFARI through the Switchback Road, Civil Aviation Social Centre and the Airport Round About. There would also be a What Do You Know Quiz Programme in the studios of Ghana Television on Sunday, May 21, and sustained Media Engagement on the celebration through radio and television talk-show from Monday, 22 to Wednesday, 24 May. The events would culminate in a Flag Raising Ceremony at the Fore Court of the State House on the morning of May 25, by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps. The curtain would be drawn on the celebration with a cocktail reception in the evening of Thursday, May 25, at the Accra International Conference Centre, where the Africa Diplomatic Corps is invited to come along with their country dishes to share with all participants. The Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of the AU, was founded on May 25, 1960, in Addis Baba, Ethiopia. Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, was a pillar as one of the Founding Fathers of the OAU, which was formed in the week of the collective quest by African leaders, at the time, to work together in seeking the political emancipation of the African continent from the shackles of colonialism and the ills of imperialism. Mr Mohammed Habibu Tijani, Deputy Minister, MoFARI, speaking at a media launch of the event, said the celebration of the AU’s 54th Anniversary would afford member countries the opportunity to take stock of the achievements and failures of the Organisation. He said the OAU was a very bold and successful initiative by African leaders in response to the aspirations of the African people to achieve their quest for self-self governance.
“In championing the cause to totally liberate the Continent from the shackles of colonialism, the Body has encountered huge challenges to state formation and nation building that found expression in various conflicts on the Continent,” he stated.
“Africa has also had its fair share of the ills of dictatorships and bad governance that have not augured well for the attainment of the progress desired by the Continent. “Subsequently, the African Union was formed in July 2001, with a shift in focus from political to socio-economic emancipation of the African Continent.
“In all this, it has always been underscored that the conditions of peace, security, democracy, and good governance are the fundamental requirements for successfully pursuing the new vision for the socio-economic renewal of the African Continent.” Mr Tijani explained that these reflections towards achieving the Pan-African vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing dynamic force in the global arena”, culminated in the adoption of the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and its flagship programme the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in the early 2000.
He said these initiatives were meant to foster democracy and good governance as well as deepen regional cooperation and integration on the African Continent. “Subsequently and during the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU in 2013, African leaders adopted a solemn declaration in agenda 2063, which is a set priority areas for the development of the Continent over a 50 year-horizon”. He urged Ghanaians to be conscious of this fact in order to avail themselves of the mindset and interventions necessary to actualise the collective vision of the OAU/AU in their lives. Mr Francis Albert Yankey, the Chief Director, MoFARI, said over the past 54 years, the AU, despite its shortcomings, had chalked some successes such as the promotion of continental integration , peace and security.