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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid