Addis Ababa — African continent is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and its successor, the African Union today.
The 60th Anniversary celebration of OAU-AU is being observed under the theme “Our Africa, Our Future.”
It was on 25 May,1963, that 32 Heads of independent African States met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ,along with leaders from African liberation movements to craft a way forward for Africa’s complete independence from imperialism, colonialism and apartheid.
The outcome of the meeting was the creation of Africa’s first post-independence continental institution, the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
The OAU was formed as a manifestation of the pan-African vision for an Africa that was united, free and in control of its own destiny and this was solemnised in the OAU Charter which was adopted on May 25 Africa Day, 1963.
In 1999, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU decided convened an extraordinary session to expedite the process of economic and political integration in the continent.
On 9 September, 1999, the Heads of State and Government of the OAU issued a Declaration (The Sirte Declaration) calling for the establishment of an African Union.
In 2002 during the Durban Summit, the African Union (AU) was officially launched as the successor to the Organization of African Unity.
The celebration of the 60th anniversary is an opportunity to recognize the role and contribution of the founders of the continental organization and many other Africans on the continent and in the diaspora who have contributed greatly to the political liberation of the continent, and equally, to the socio-economic emancipation of Africa.
It is an opportunity to share the information, knowledge and best practices of the past and to encourage each other to take on the vision of the AU, as well as to drive the realization of the “Africa We Want”, under Agenda 2063.
It is also an opportune moment for the African Union to reflect on the spirit of pan-Africanism, which connects the past to the present and to the continent’s aspirations for the future.