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African Liberation: A day turned week of unity and solidarity

The 25th of May commemorates the liberation of African countries and facilitates discussions key to our collective material survival, our continued albeit precarious independence, and our advancement. This year Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity declares May 23rd to 29th as African Liberation Week.

For decades Pan-Africanists and activists have agitated for inward-facing rather than outward-looking dependency. Despite the bounty of her resources in arable land, rich flora and fauna, mineral deposits, energy potential, maritime and inland waterways, a large part of the continent is still need insecure. Our dependency on financial, food, education, health, and security bailouts dictates our development and influences our foreign policies.

When African countries gained formal independence, this new freedom brought the expectation of national development through a global lens. The issue was and remains that this expectation is enmeshed in international institutions and practices evolved gradually but anticipate rapid development that mirrors their own in a fraction of the time. Playing catch-up is a risky and expensive business. And as donor activities increase in scope and depth, so does the precariousness of sovereignty.

In the contemporary context, sovereignty is not a concept won in the past, it is an interrogation of how forces can impact a state’s ability to partake in the freedom and autonomy that sovereignty promises.

Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye (eds.), authors of a paper discussing, “Transnational Relations and World Politics” ask, can a state truly be free when, “economic interdependence, technological change and the proliferation of non-state actors have compromised or eroded (its) sovereignty?”

Liberation Day— Unity in the face of crippling debt and growth limitations

African Liberation Day of Africa Day is an opportunity for the exploration of common and binding issues. It forces us to not only reflect on the uncertainty of our current situation but also acknowledge our shared ambition for an emancipated tomorrow.

During the 2020 commemoration, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission sternly urged that “There is an urgent need for Africa to chart its own course… We should, in full lucidity, boldly opt for an innovative approach that is inward-looking rather than outward-looking. Let us live on what we have, using what we have, in other words, let us live within our means!”

“Our common ambition, that of our leaders and hundreds of millions of Africans is to advance with greater force and resolve towards this horizon,” he added.

Africa for Africans

Since 2017, Africans Rising for Justice, Peace, and Dignity has run a parallel mobilisation campaign for all Africans grassroots organisations, trade unions, community groups, women’s organisations, faith groups, youth groups, local associations, media, and individuals to act on specific themes or issues relevant to the local, and continental contexts.

In 2021, they organised and connected with African activists and movements working to build healthy communities under the theme “Pan-Africanism in the 21st Century: Our Health, Our Rights, Our Future.” Using the hashtag #Rise4OurLives they provided a platform to discuss the physical well-being of all Africans and freedom, democracy, and social justice issues.

Over a week, 240 activities and events were held in 32 African countries and 7 countries in the diaspora. The events included youth dialogue sessions on transparent elections, climate change, human rights, and the future of Africa.

In 2022, Africa Rising will utilise the week of the 23rd to the 29th of May to delve into Decolonisation – capturing the unfinished business of decolonisation, Gender justice – ensuring gender equality in carving the Africa We Want, Health – equitable access to quality healthcare amid COVID-19 and Climate and Environmental Justice – advancing the push for climate and environmental justice.

The week’s activities, events, dialogues, and campaigns will be under the hashtag #AfricaWeWant.

Find details on how you can join the conversation online or the upcoming events and activities in your area, here.

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