Greetings in the name of His & Her Imperial Majesties Qedamawi Haile Sellassie I & Itege Menen Asfaw,
This is another one of the many interpretations of the Scriptures from the light of Ras Tafari by, I, Lidj Yefdi (pronounced Lij, Yef-dee).
With that said, today marks a special observance throughout the world that is a growing phenomena coined as,……
“Africa Day” (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.); (now known as the African Union) on 25th of May, 1963. It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world.
The Organisation of African Unity (O.A.U.), was established on May 25th, 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; with 32 signatory governments. One of the main heads for O.A.U.’s establishment was none other than Kwame Nkrumah.
Organization of African Unity founding members’ (heads of state during 1963)
The OAU’s founding by the then, African nations that had the main aim of bringing the African nations together and resolving the issues within the continent. Its first ever conference was held on May 1st, 1963 in Addis Ababa; In that conference, the late Gambian historian, and one of the leading Nationslists & Pan-Africanists at the time — Al-Hajji Alieu Ebrima Cham Joof delivered a speech in front of the member states—in which he said:
- “It is barely 75 years when the European Powers sat round the table in Germany each holding a dagger to carve up Africa for its own benefit.… Your success will inspire and speed up the freedom and total independence of the African continent and eradicate imperialism and colonialism from the continent and eventually neo-colonialism from the globe… Your failure, which no true African in Africa is praying for, will prolong our struggle with bitterness and disappointment. I therefore adjure that you ignore any suggestion outside Africa and holding that the present civilization, which some of the big powered are boasting of, sprang up from Africa, and realising that the entire world has something earthly to learn from Africa, you would endeavour your utmost to come to agreement, save Africa from the clutches of neo-colonialism and resurrect African dignity, manhood and national stability.”
The First Congress of Independent African States was held in Accra, Ghana on April 15th, 1958. It was convened/proctored by then, Prime Minister of Ghana; Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and comprised representatives from countries such as: Egypt (then a constituent part of the United Arab Republic), Ethiopia, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (which is now a Republic) and, of the host country Ghana.
The conference showcased progress of liberation movements on the African continent in addition to symbolizing the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation. Although, the Pan-African Congress had been working towards similar goals since its foundation in 1900, this was the first time such a meeting had taken place on African soil.
An archived Invitation Letter to the First Known Pan-African Conference at Westminster Town Hall in July, of the year 1900.
The Pan-African Congress, following on from the 1st Pan-African Conference of 1900 in London; was a series of meetings, held in 1919 in Paris (1st Pan-African Congress), 1921 in London (2nd Pan-African Congress), 1923 in London (3rd Pan-African Congress), 1927 in New York City (4th Pan-African Congress), 1945 in Manchester (5th Pan-African Congress), 1974 in Dar es Salaam (6th Pan-African Congress), 1994 in Kampala (7th Pan-African Congress), and 2014 in Johannesburg (8th Pan-African Congress), that were intended to address the issues facing Africa as a result of European colonization of most of the continent.
Fifteen African countries were represented. Their goal was to change the way Europeans governed Africa, with the eventual goal of African independence. Their second goal was influence the Versailles Peace Conference at the end of World War I.
The Pan-African Congress gained a reputation for being known as a peace maker for decolonization in Africa and in the West Indies, areas of the world. The P.A.C., made significant advances in the advocacy of the Pan-African cause. One of the demands was to end colonial rule and end racial discrimination, against imperialism and it also demanded human rights and equality of economic opportunity. The manifesto given by the Pan-African Congress included the political and economic demands of the Congress for a new world context of international cooperation.
But, in any odds, five years after the Conference of 1958 in Ghana, on 25th of May, in 1963, representatives of thirty African nations met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, hosted by Emperor Haile Selassie I. By then, more than two-thirds of the continent had achieved independence, mostly from imperial European states. At this meeting, the “Organisation of African Unity” was founded, with the initial aim to encourage the decolonization of Angola, Mozambique, South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. The organization pledged to support the work conducted by freedom fighters, and remove military access to colonial nations. A charter was set out which sought to improve the living standards across member states. Selassie exclaimed, “May this convention of union last 1,000 years.”
The charter was signed by all attendees on 26 May, with the exception of Morocco. At that meeting, Africa Freedom Day was renamed Africa Liberation Day. In 2002, the OAU was replaced by the African Union. However, the renamed celebration of Africa Day continued to be celebrated on May 25th, in respect to the formation of the O.A.U.
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