Be honest with me here! Were you aware that today is Africa’s Day?
I, Jide Salu did not, if I must confess. Thanks to google, with its beautiful caption as usual.
According to the official website ( http://www.africaday.info) set up to celebrate and provide information, – it hasn’t been declared a public holiday in Nigeria or any African country to the best of my knowledge (surprise, surprise). It is the annual commemoration of the 1963 founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), presently recognized as the Africa Union (AU). The African Union, comprised of 53 member states, has brought together the continent of Africa to collectively address the challenges it has faced, such as armed conflict, climate change, and poverty.
WIKIPEDIA has it that, Africa Day is the annual commemoration on May 25 of the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). On this day, leaders of 30 of the 32 independent African states signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 1991, the OAU established the African Economic Community, and in 2002 the OAU established its own successor, the African Union. However, the name and date of Africa Day has been retained as a celebration of African unity. This years theme of Africa Day is “Africa and the Diaspora.” The New York celebration will be held in New York City on May 31, 2011. In Nairobi, it will be celebrated at Uhuru Park Recreational Park.
This years theme of Africa Day is “Africa and the Diaspora.” The New York celebration will be held in New York City on May 31, 2011.
So, how come I am not aware of this day? Not that I am asking for a public holiday. Apparently, the Irish, through Irish Aid has been active in supporting and promoting Africa Day since 2008 through its own events and through providing support for organisations and community events to take place. Impressive stuff. For this year, Irish Aid have announced that they will be funding twelve events in Dublin, Limerick and Galway and have encouraged other organisations and groups involved in education and development education to participate in the celebration.
So, Africa Day according to Irish Aid through http://www.africaday.ie , Africa Day in Ireland is an initiative of the African Union which falls on the 25th May each year. A weeklong series of events with African music, dance, film, history, educational activities, sport and art and will take place between May 21st and May 29th to mark Africa Day in Ireland. The aim of the week is to celebrate the diversity and potential of the African continent and increase awareness of Ireland’s many links with Africa.
Africa Day in Ireland also offers an opportunity to celebrate the heritage and identity of African communities living in Ireland. The aim also is to raise public awareness of Irish Aid, the Irish Government’s overseas development programme, and the countries in which it works. All good stuff.
So my question is this, what has or, let me put it this way….do Africans, or African countries, do we really recognise this day? Is it significant in anyway? If it is, how come many of us are not aware of this day, considering we find the flimsiest of excuse to celebrate? I am very surprised? Or am I just been naive?
The theme for this year is “Africa and the Diaspora.”! Ohk! So what does that really mean?
I have done a little bit of research and, to be honest with you, Africa, the birthday girl, the continent been celebrated by the world has shunned its “birthday”. I really don’t get it?
But for all its worth, I hereby wish all my African brothers and sisters a Happy Birthday.
Femi Sanyaolu, aka “Chairman” na u dey celebrate with Africa o…Happy birthday to you my brother.