On 25th May, in Beijing (People’s Republic of China), as in other parts of the world, celebrations were held for Africa Day. The celebration involved various ambassadors from African countries, diplomats, and representatives from diplomatic missions.
The celebration invited reflections on the situation on the continent, and to recall the freedom and independence for which so many citizens fought throughout the 20th Century. This date, which celebrates its 54th anniversary, is spreading to various countries throughout the world.
The choice of this date is due to the fact that on 25th May 1963, the main African leaders met in Addis Abeba (Ethiopia) to formalise the birth of the Organisation fro African Unity (OAU). This institution laid the first stone for the idea of Pan-Africanism, which seeks greater collaboration among African States, and whose main aim was the liberation of the remaining countries, which still remained under the yoke of colonialism, an aim which achieved its great success, according to the Ambassador from Guinea Conakry, Sow Ibrahima Sory, representing H. E. Alpha Conde, sitting President of the African Union (AU).
In addition to providing unity and solidarity among African States, the OAU serves as the collective voice of the continent, and promotes international cooperation and the fight to eradicate colonialism, added Sory.
Africa Day has become a national fiesta in many countries on the continent, commemorating various events: the union of African countries, their liberation and, in addition, it celebrates “Africanness”, a global phenomenon which includes African citizens, the diaspora, and all those who feel part of the African universe.
This commemoration provides an important opportunity to reflect on the progress and transformation experienced by the continent, together with problems that continue to prevent development, such as wars, insecurity, inequality, among others, according to the speech during the event by the Ambassador from Chad, in representation of African ambassadors in China.
In addition, he also recognised that through the transition of the OAU to the AU, African countries and peoples have striven for political unity, economic development, and an improvement in the quality of human life.
In recent years, relations between China and the AU have been strengthened, as demonstrated by the frequent high-level exchanges, and fruitful practical cooperation in various sectors.
The AU conference centre, built with Chinese support, is now a milestone with regards to China-Africa friendship and cooperation, he declared.
In December 2015, the forum on China-Africa cooperation, held in Johannesburg (South Africa), was a success, and ushered in a new era of mutual cooperation and common development for China and Africa. Through the combined efforts of the two parties, the results of the summit are being fully applied, he concluded.
Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea