Journalism in the service of society

AFRICA DAY: Celebrating 60th anniversary of OAU-AU with ‘Our Africa Our Future’

THE Pan- African cultural group, Age of Aquarius, has rolled out plans to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 2023 Day of the Organisation of African and the African Union with a full evening of artistic expressions.

The event will hold from 6pm on Thursday, May 25 at the Bogobiri House an art hotel, located at 9 Maitama Sule Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, with the theme: Africa Future Youth Future, and it will feature music, poetry, spoken word performances, drama skits, comedy, movie screenings, art exhibitions and other such creative items.

Head of the group, the pan-Africanist musical artist, Duro Ikujenyo, mentioned that his band, Age of Aquarius, will be on duty, with other creatives, musicians, poets, culture activists and advocates to mark the epochal day.

In a media advisory issued during the week, Ikujenyo, one of the 3-man pioneer members of the ‘The African Youth Pioneers’ founded in the 70s by the Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, counsels on how the OAU-AU Day, celebrated all over the continent and parts of the world, should be celebrated.

The theme for the OAU-AU celebration is: Our Africa Our Future.”

Ikujenyo, the dexterous pianist, reminds the media in Africa in particular, that the day provides an opportunity to seize the narrative about Africa, by telling the story on the journey of the continent since 1963 when the OAU was founded.

He also advised: “The Media is also expected to promote the flagship projects of the Africa Agenda 2063 which is provided at the following link:  https://au.int/en/agenda2063/flagship-projects  These actions on media engagement  will ultimately contribute significantly to bringing the AU closer to the African people and promote the reputation of the AU among its primary stakeholders, the African people.”

He writes further:

WHAT: COMMEMORATION OF AFRICA DAY, MAY 25, 2023

  • Legendary celebration this year of the 60th anniversary of the  establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now the African Union (AU)
  • This 60th anniversary is being celebrated under the slogan: “Our Africa Our Future” using the hashtag #OurAfricaOurFuture

WHEN: On 25 May 2023, the Pan African Organisation will be celebrating its 60th anniversary. 

  • Activities to mark the historical moment will be commemorated all over the African continent by the fifty-five (55) member countries of the AU. All AU Member States are expected among other things, to showcase major successes, milestones, challenges, and way forward under Agenda 2063
  • Commemorative awareness raising through the different media outlets are ongoing and will be intensified during the month of May 2023 

WHO: The African Union Commission (AUC) through its Information and Communication Directorate (ICD)  is inviting all  Media Houses  to seize the opportunity of  the historical commemoration of the OAU-AU 60th anniversary come, 25 May 2023, to raise awareness around the Pan African ideals of the OAU Founding Members as well as educate the population on the history of Africa, while shaping the narrative and journey of the continent towards achieving its  socio-economic and political development for “ The Africa We Want ”. 

  • All public and private media organs of African Union (AU) Member States are invited to join in this awareness endeavour by including thematic reflections around the journey undertaken by their respective countries after independence.

EXPECTED OUTCOME:

As per the Declaration of the Fourth Specialized Technical Committee (4th STC) on Communication and ICT, STCCICT4, of October 2021, AU Member States were called upon to :

  1.  “Cooperate with the AU Commission, in making their national public broadcasters available to disseminate information coming from the Commission in the month of May 2023” and raise awareness on the Africa Day celebration, in the context of ensuring that all African citizens know more about the celebrations and the role of the AU, in building the corporate identity of the African Union while promoting the AU symbols.
  1. Media representatives, editors, journalists are expected to play the AU Anthem on all national public broadcast stations along with the national anthems. They should also raise awareness on the need for government authorities to implement same in the national institutions, in addition to flying the AU Flag alongside their national Flag. This proposal is supported by the Solemn Declaration on the 50th Anniversary of the OAU/AU of May 2013, which declared the commitment of Heads of State and Government to fly the AU flag and sing the AU anthem along with national flags and anthems; and to advance our African identity and Renaissance. 

The AU anthem, in all six languages is available on the AU website: https://au.int/en/about/symbols

  1. Raising of the AU flag alongside national flags in Member States. In addition to the Solemn Declaration. This proposal is also supported by DOC/ ASSEMBLY/AU/10(XII), which requested the Commission to take all necessary measures to reproduce the new flag with all the islands represented, distribute it to all Member States and popularise it among partner countries and other parts of the world. 

The AU flag is available on the AU website: https://au.int/en/about/symbols 

  1. Broadcast on national TV and radio stations, interactive information and educative programs with resource persons from the AU and at national level, leaders and authorities within the countries with good knowledge about the AU as well as Heads of AU Representation Missions / Organs/ Institutions/ academicians/ students etc…, in which they will outline the impact of the AU and address the actions taken to enhance the development agenda of Africa.
  1.  Videos about some flagship projects of the AU and major achievements could be found at the following link:  https://au.int/en/videos/760 

WHY: Created in 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now the African Union (AU), has always celebrated the “Africa Day” on 25 of May, in recognition of the vision and milestone achieved towards “An Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.” This, in remembrance of its founding members, whose dream was to strive for a united Africa, at peace with itself, and representing a dynamic force in the world arena and more especially, the fight against colonialism. Eventually most African countries achieved independence in the 50s through the 60s and later in the 90s with the fight against Apartheid.

Background: The media has an important role to play in shaping the narrative about Africa rising and occupying its rightful position as a key player on the international scene. Hence, the media has the responsibility to educate, enlighten and popularize the success stories of the continent in the different socio-economic and political areas as well as raise awareness about the activities of the African Union.

To that effect, as part of the commemorative activities to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the OAU-AU, media houses and editors are called upon to joint efforts in promoting and raising awareness on the values, vision, missions and panafrican ideals of the continental organization. AU Member States are expected to join in the celebration as a recognition of the milestone and achievements of the African continent, 60 years after the creation of the OAU in 1963. 

In this regard, the AU Commission through its Information and Communication Directorate would like to kindly remind Editors of national media houses, of the need to use this opportunity to include in their different TV and Radio programs as well as Press articles, historical facts / content generation, showcasing Africa’s journey, its achievement and aspiration since the creation of the OAU-AU in 1963. This, in the context of the development efforts of their respective countries, in a bid to better the lives of their population in all socio-economic and political sectors, including education, infrastructure, women and youth’s empowerment, peace and security, fight against poverty, rural economy and agriculture, human rights, science and technology, freedom of expression, cultural identity etc… 

During the yearlong commemorative period, Media houses are also expected to include in their broadcast and editorial programs, round table conversations and interviews around thematic issues with resource persons within the government, civil society, academicians, religious and opinion leaders, decision makers and all classes of people. They should reach out to all classes of the population by using all available channels and local language to broadcast and to disseminate the information so as to enlighten and educate the population on the progress made by Africa since independence.   

Inquiries on the public awareness campaign should be sent to:

Mrs. Wynne Musabayana, Head of Communication, Directorate of Information and Communication, E-mail: [email protected]

Media Contact:

  1. Mrs. Esther Azaa Tankou, Head of Media and Information, Directorate of Information and Communication, E-mail: [email protected] and could be reached by WhatsApp on Tel: +251911361185 
  1. Mr. Molalet Tsedeke, Media Center Coordinator, Information and Communication Directorate; E-mail: [email protected],  WhatsApp: +251-911-630-631  

Comments are closed.

Naija Times