Africa prepares to mark 50 years of continental unity

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - As African nations mark the 50th anniversary of their unity this year, they should give the continent's young people hope for and a stake in the future, African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said here Thursday.

"Young people must have a voice in the affairs of the continent ... and the Union and its organs must harness their energies so that they contribute to the development of Africa," the AU chief executive told the opening session of the 22nd Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council.

Dlamini-Zuma acknowledged the fact that Africa faces many and difficult challenges, but said they were not "so difficult as to be intractable and defeat our collective will and wisdom to resolve."

"Throughout history Africa has faced challenges from slavery to colonialism to apartheid. Armed with nothing but our determination and unity, we have overcome.

"Inspired with this illustrious history, I am confident that Africa's march towards greatness, towards our cherished goal of a prosperous continent at peace with itself and living in peace with others, will continue.

"The more united and organised we are, the quicker will be the pace and the shorter the journey," she said.

On 25 May 2013, the African continent will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of today's AU.

Dlamini-Zuma said the newly-elected AUC would rely on the guidance of the AU leaders to prepare the occasion.

When Africa's founding fathers set up the OAU, its main mission was the liberation of the continent from colonialism.

"As we reflect on the 50 years of our Union, we must, as President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana urged, apply the single-mindedness and strength to achieve the mission of the social and economic liberation of our continent," Dlamini-Zuma recalled.
-0- PANA AR/SEG 24Jan2013  

24 Janeiro 2013 10:38:40

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