Africa Day observed in South Africa
Cape Town (South Africa), May 25 (Xinhua-ANI): South Africans marked Africa Day on Friday, with events of the first global African Diaspora Summit (ADS), cultural activities and a parliament debate with the theme of "Celebrating African Cultural Renaissance through Dialogue".
"This year, 25 May-Africa Day-is of special significance because it is the 10th anniversary of the formation of the African Union (AU), which succeeded the OAU (Organization for African Unity) and has continued to build on the mandate and achievements of the OAU, while also making efforts at realizing the vision and objectives of the AU," the parliament said in a statement.
This year's Africa Day coincides with the opening of ADS in Johannesburg, which brings delegates from across the continent and the African diaspora across the Atlantic to discuss how to best harness skills and energies within Africa and abroad, for the social and economic development of Africa.
Also on Friday, celebrations were held in Midrand, Gauteng province to mark Africa Day.
Africa Day has its origins in the founding of OAU on May 25, 1963 in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, where leaders of 32 African states signed a founding charter to "promote understanding among African peoples and cooperation among African states in response to the aspirations of African people for solidarity, in a larger unity transcending ethnic and national differences."
In a speech marking the event, President Jacob Zuma said that while the African continent should promote Afro-optimism, challenges such as possibly not meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline must be addressed.
"It is of concern that while the world is three years away from the Millennium Development Goals deadline of 2015, we face the threat of Africa not meeting this deadline. This is one task that the AU Commission must be preoccupied with," Zuma said.
Zuma called on Africa to reverse "self-hate and Afro-pessimism, " saying, "We must promote the principles of self-love, Afro- optimism, Ubuntu and the respect for human worth and human dignity."
"We are now one people, and must work together for the betterment of the peoples of African descent, regardless of geographical borders." (Xinhua-ANI)
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