Africa day recognises and commemorates the formation of the organisation of African Unity (now known as the African union) on 25 May 1963. The visionaries behind the creation of Africa day had it upon them to ensure that the future of the continent was safe, secure and full of optimism for its people. They embraced diversity as the driving vehicle behind fostering change and intertwining understand. However, Africa Day should not only be a day to celebrate our diversity in the form of diplomatic functions and academic workshops. It should also be a day when we assess our future as a continent.
For starters, we should reflect on ways to create development-oriented initiatives aimed at further empowering the African people. It is no secret, though the continent has come quite far since the conference was convened, there still exists grave challenges that continue to undermine the developmental paradigm across the continent. This is not merely the case on the continent at large, but the conditions that plague the continent also plague the trajectory of the South African socio-economic framework. Evidence of this is highlighted by the continued poverty, inequality, unemployment and other phenomena such as crime and disease.
Activators can in essence use a vast number of initiatives to observe Africa Month. Activators can mainly focus on the challenges Africa still faces as well as taking the notable successes forward. Conscientisation of the masses to their reality through community workshops, which resonate more with the people on the ground are paramount and key. At these community workshops, Activators can aim to establish solutions on how best they can initiate effective community leadership in order to solve various socio-economic problems such as unemployment, poverty, crime etc.
Activators in highlighting critical gender issues, gender-based violence and various other social issues that continue to affect the continent at large as well as South Africa must also bring social issues forward. For instance in 2015, the organisers of the Africa day celebrations at continental level set the Africa Day celebration theme as the “Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063″. At an event in New York City, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson, delivered a message from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which he said, “Let us… intensify our efforts to provide Africa’s women with better access to education, work and healthcare and, by doing so, accelerate Africa’s transformation”.
Indeed Africa’s transformation is paramount if there is to be an equitable opportunity when it comes to access to healthcare, education and work. It is now the Activators responsibility to use the platform to go out and share such initiatives with the people, to give out ideas and directions as well as get the overall opinion of the masses on the ground as to how their day-to-day trials can be addressed.
Activators could also run with their own theme for Africa Day as a way of commemorating and observing Africa day. For instance, the Activator Tshepo Mabuya based in the Free State has come up with an initiative via his organisation Afrika Mayibuye Entrepreneurship Hub Accelerator (AMEHA).
This initiative is called Pan Afrika Day Entrepreneurship Lecture (PADEL) and it is a flagship of Afrika Mayibuye Entrepreneurship Hub Accelerator Non-Profit Company.
PADEL is a Pan African platform that brings together entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs from all occupations who have dreams of building a better Africa that will claim its rightful place in the global community.
PADEL aims to promote Pan Africanism through entrepreneurship, innovation and collaboration amongst the entrepreneurship community of South Africa and the broader African continent, the aim is to create a vibrant Pan-Africanist entrepreneurship ecosystem. The aims and objectives of PADEL are as follows:
To revive the Pan-African vision carried out by the founding fathers of Africa more than 50 years ago. To ensure that entrepreneurship is at the centre in the quest to achieve the aims and objectives of Vision 2063. To promote a culture of growth and excellence amongst entrepreneurship. To enable entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs to forge partnerships and collaborations amongst themselves in order to build a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem and landscape. To revive the spirit of Pan Africanism amongst entrepreneurs so that they build businesses that aim to serve and develop Africa.
Photo credit: Gov.za