The African Day celebration, formerly known as The African Freedom and African Liberation Day is the annual commemoration of the formation of the OAU(Organisation of African Unity) now known as the African Union which was founded on the 25th of May, 1963.
According to Wikipedia, the first congress of independent African States was held in Accra, Ghana on 15th April 1958 and was convened by the then Prime Minister of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
The purpose of the celebration of the African Freedom Day is “to mark each year, the onward progress of the liberation movement and to symbolize the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation”.
Per the logic that every celebration ought to mark an achievement, it is really mind boggling as to how Africa keeps on celebrating something which cannot be seen. Reviewing the purpose of the African Day celebration, we find two very intriguing statements.
The first is to mark each year, the onward progress of the liberation movement. The multimillion cedi question is that has there been any enviable progress in African governance which ought to be marked for celebration? Of course, Africa has achieved freedom from colonialism but has that freedom metamorphosed into independence? With the cancer called corruption seated deep and wrecking uncontrollable havoc in the body of most African countries , there is no other option than to run back to those who hitherto oppressed us and used us as slaves to develop their lands, for help. With an educational system which rewards the power of memory but not intelligence, how can Africans be ingenious enough to create for themselves a true path of liberation?
The second purpose of the African Day celebration leaves much more to be desired. The celebration is supposed to “symbolize the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation”. This is quite strange. Who celebrates a mere desire(determination) to achieve a purpose. If the purpose has not been achieved, is it prudent enough to celebrate the determination you have put into fighting for that unachieved purpose?
I honestly believe that this second purpose must be changed into something more practical and achievable if not, we will keep on celebrating mere emotions which is absolutely not in a right direction.
This is reminiscent to what happened in Ghana during the fight for independence. The United Gold Coast Convention(UGCC) at the time had their slogan to be ” self government within the shortest possible time”. An unsatisfied and independence drunk Kwame Nkrumah would have none of that as he reasoned that the slogan of the UGCC symbolised cowardice as well as a lack of specificity of purpose. Kwame Nkrumah’s CPP then came out with the slogan “self government now” which was a statement of intent and specificity of purpose.
The same principle ought to be applied to the African Day celebration’s purpose. I reiterate the fact that it is an absolute “no brainer” to celebrate a mere determination to achieve a purpose.
How many African nations have been able to reach a state where they do not rely on foreign aids? Is Africa really free from foreign domination and exploitation? Is Africa really working towards achieving freedom from foreign domination and exploitation. Of course colonisation has been done away with but what about the bigger threats of neocolonialism and imperialism?
Now let us look at this: The United States of America which is a union of states within America have one common currency which is the American dollar. The European Union which is a union of European countries also use a common currency, the EURO. What about the African Union? We keep on struggling to find unity within ourselves to have a common currency which is meant to be the epitome of togetherness.
Fifty five years after the formation of the African Union, Africa is still plagued with underdevelopment. Dependence on foreign aids has become an order of the day and our education is doing little to arrest the issues we face as a continent. Meanwhile, curriculum experts have it that a curriculum must be drafted with the problems a particular society is facing so that after implementation of the curriculum, we can find solutions to the problems of that particular society.
Awake! Mother Africa, Awake!!! for your children are languishing in the pits of hopelessness, underdevelopment and poverty.
Have we asked ourselves why most political leaders in Africa travel to the foreign countries for healthcare as well as reasons why most of the African Leaders send their children to these same foreign lands for education?
Africans must arise but untill then, we will keep on celebrating a hoax in the name of AU Day. May we be enlightened.