Each year on the 25th May the world recognises Africa Day, celebrating the African continent and commemorating the founding of the Organisation for African Unity, the original pan-African intergovernmental organisation predating today’s African Union. The first Africa Day was celebrated on 25 May 1963, when 32 African nations convened in Addis Ababa, the seat of the present-day African Union. Originally a day to mark the continent’s progress towards liberation from colonialism, now it is a commemoration of African cooperation, unity, spirit and creativity, on the continent and among the global diaspora.
The African Union’s Africa Day 2021 theme is “Arts, culture and heritage: levers for building the Africa we want”, recognising Africa’s rich artistic and cultural legacy and the contribution these can make in the continent’s future prosperity.
Today, Africa’s move towards greater cooperation is reflected in the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), covering all 55 member states of the African Union and creating the largest free trade area in the world. Through the reduction of tariffs and removal of barriers to intra-continental trade, AfCFTA will boost Africa’s income by $450 billion by 2035, lifting 30 million people out of extreme poverty in the process.
Since the earliest days of Aequitas Global, we have engaged in communications work that has had a transformative impact on the continent’s citizens. Whether that be in voter engagement in the democratic process in Sierra Leone, campaigning for environmental justice in Nigeria, supporting efforts to tackle HIV/AIDS in Namibia or supporting access to finance for African women across the continent.
Nations in Africa are starting to look beyond covid-19 and building back stronger rapidly growing the fintech industry. Looking to the future, there is great grounds for optimism when it comes to Africa, and that is what we choose to celebrate this Africa Day.