News / Africa

    AU Golden Jubilee to Highlight Pan Africanism, Renaissance

    Heads of the African States pose for a group picture in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January, 27, 2013, during the African Union Conference.
    Heads of the African States pose for a group picture in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January, 27, 2013, during the African Union Conference.
    James Butty
    The deputy chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission says, in spite of peace and security challenges, Africa has seen much improvement over the last 50 years.

    Erastus Mwencha said there are less conflicts on the continent today than 10 years ago, and the growth rate over the last 10 years has averaged around five percent, much better than many parts of the world.  

    He also said Africa today is in charge of its own destiny and affairs.  

    Mwencha, who is also chairperson of the organizing Committee of the Golden Jubilee celebration (May 25) to mark the founding of the Organization of African Unity, said this year’s theme is Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.

    “If you look at Pan-Africanism, it is what really inspired the Africans, particularly in the Diaspora, to find their own expression, to fight for justice and equality, and also independence of the continent, and of course the solidarity that we are seeing on the continent, for the continent to work for each other to eliminate colonialism,” he said.

    Mwencha said the African Renaissance themes are social cohesion, democracy, economic rebuilding and growth, and the establishment of Africa as a significant player in geo-political affairs.

    “As you know, at independence, Africa was a battleground of East-West, rivalry, call it the world war, the Cold War, and Africa was, therefore, adopting dogmas or philosophies which were not homegrown.  But, in the last 20 to 30 years, Africa has, first of all, taken up a lot of the continent’s challenges on its own hand, finding African solutions to African challenges, but also developing its own philosophy and strategy of how to manage the continent,” Mwencha said.
    Butty interview with Mwencha
    Butty interview with Mwenchai
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    He said, in the last 10 years, the continent has been growing much faster than before.  Mwencha said there is a great deal for Africans to celebrate during the golden jubilee.

    “In many African countries, at independence, there were very few Africans with a university degree, infrastructure, and socio-economic development in general.  But, of course, one has also to recognize that, during that period, Africa has its own challenges.  And, as I mentioned earlier, Africa did not find its own space, to design its own policies, to implement its own programs.  Africa is now asserting itself, and I think that is one of the greater achievements,” he said.

    He said like many regions of the world, Africa has its own challenges.  But, Mwencha said the difference today is that the continent is taking charge of its own destiny.

    “There are difficulties all over the world.  If you look globally, Africa is doing much better than many parts of the world," he said. "The growth rate in Africa for the last 10 years averages over five percent." 

    "Yes, there are challenges.  We’ve had our own challenges in the area of peace and security, but if you see [that] 10 years ago you had more conflicts on the continent than today.  And so, yes, there are challenges, but Africa is getting on top of those challenges and taking responsibility in managing those challenges,” Mwencha said.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mukoma Joe
    May 08, 2013 11:55 PM
    Taking charge of its own destiny hardly described the atrocities that certain African countries have experienced, examples Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and several others. Please Erastus do try and be more transparent and not simply avoid
    the truth. Humanitarian issues are important in any Country.

    by: amujoma from: harare
    May 08, 2013 7:56 AM
    Thanks for that good observation like what Zimbabwe is doing the only problem is for us to control our economies that is the remaining struggle ,for example Nigeria mines oil but locals are not benefiting ,there are paying high prices for petrol

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.