Today is the 57th anniversary of Africa Day commemorating the foundation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year we are celebrating the event which took place on May 25 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with a virtual conference organized by the Peace and Security Department of the African Union Commission Silencing of the Guns initiative and the theme “Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID19”, an urgent call for a ceasefire throughout the African continent in order to best address the healthcare emergency.
The initiative wants to give impetus to the primary objective launched by the AU for the year 2020, and to raise collaborative efforts among member states, the Reginal Economic Communities (RECs), Civil Society Organizations and the private sector.
The event prominently features women and youths, whom the campaign seeks to protect the most.
During my intervention, I will be focusing on the importance of involving the interested parties in the development of active programs at a national and sub-regional level to silence the guns in Africa in the long-term, paying particular attention to the current global context.
Raising awareness and generating interest among African citizens about the nexus between development and peace is fundamental.
Promoting innovative ideas on how “Silencing the Guns” can be used to drive a more integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa forward.
Because of the Coronavirus, the event was faced with many delays, but in the early months of 2020 the African Union was able to create a network connecting thousands of African citizens engaged in promoting silencing the guns with programs of action and a continuous dialogue among stakeholders (governments, youth, women, private sector and media, among others) on Africa’s common destiny.
Today’s conference will be crucial and the conclusions will feed the Upcoming Extraordinary AU Summit in Johannesburg.
Following today’s High-Level forum, other engagements will take place from June 1 to June 8. This intense week will focus on implementing the “Silencing the Guns” project as part of the flagship projects and programmes of Agenda 2063, Africa’s blue print for its long-term socio-economic and integrative transformation.
To participate at the conference scheduled for 3:00 3.00 p.m. East Africa Time, you must register in advance at the following link:https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_C13uac-XQ7-SjJYI9WKPFw
Happy Africa Day!