Africa Day: What it means and what it should remind us of

On this day in 1963 the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was founded, and it for this reason that many across the continent celebrate Africa Day.

However, in his latest article for the Mail & Gaurdian, human rights advocate Professor Barney Pityana says that the African Union (AU) needs to rejuvenate its role as a reflective and self-correcting body on the continent.

The theme for local celebrations of Africa Day is 'We are Africa'. Picture credit: www.gov.za

Africa needs an honest evaluation:

According to Pityana, programme advisor for the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, Africans need to, beyond celebration; have a sober assessment of the continent's progress and development.

Organisations by their nature are sustained by their ability to self-correct and any organisation that does not honestly reflect on itself is sure to die or live a life of lies.

Pityana says that although the continent has made great advancements, there have been a number of unfortunate reversals to this progress including what he calls the illegal invasion Libya and the fall of its then leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Pityana says the AU needs to reassess the effectiveness of the mechanisms used to evaluate African governance, such as the Charter of the United Nations and the African Peer Review Mechanism.

4 ways to continuously celebrate Africa, according to EWN’s Jean-Jacques Cornish:

African correspondent for Eyewitness News JJ Cornish says that although the AU is an imperfect body, we can celebrate Africa Day and the continent on a continuous basis. He gives the four following ways to do so:

1. Africans should be more conscious of the continent’s current affairs and critical of the state of governance.

2. Africans should make an active effort to learn about the continent and the history of its different countries and regions.

3. Africans must not fall into the trap of romanticising the continent; but rather, maintain a realistic view.

4. We must realise that the categories of African optimism and African pessimism become futile when it comes to the diverse lived experiences of people on the continent.

Redi Tlhabi asked for listeners' thoughts during her open line:

Andile is not satisfied with African leadership

Andile says that African leaders are not transparent about their practices on the continent. He feels that decisions made by state leaders and African organisations are not communicated to the citizens of the continent, therefore accountability is hard to achieve.

I think they need to simplify issues for us. We have a pile up of problems that we cannot run away from. We have leaders who aren't solution-based; instead, they are embezzling our resources and causing confusion. We are being taught the wrong type of leadership skills.

Listen to the full conversation with Africa Melane, standing in, on Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:


This article first appeared on 702 : Africa Day: What it means and what it should remind us of


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