Celebrating Africa Day 2020

Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Its maiden conference was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with representatives of thirty African nations on 25 May 1963. Africa Day is celebrated on the continent and around the world. The OAU became the African Union on 9 July 2002 in Durban, South Africa.

A long road towards African unity ensued, slowly breaking down barriers, overcoming apartheid, military dictatorship, fighting poverty, discrimination and the remaining impact of colonialism. Today, most African countries are democracies. An African passport, to facilitate travel within the continent, is on the horizon.

In 2018, the Museum of African Civilizations opened in Dakar, Senegal. African art is returning home, and African cultural heritage is celebrated worldwide, alongside contemporary artists from Africa and the diaspora.

In 2019, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 54 of the 55 African Union nations went into force and entered its operational phase. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022.

Face masks on sale in Lagos – Photo by Eyes of a Lagos Boy

Recognizing the importance of peace and stability for African renewal, a virtual conference themed “Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID-19” was organized by the Department of Peace and Security of the African Union Commission (AUC). The conference, according to Reliefweb.int aimed to give impetus to “silencing the guns in Africa,” the AU 2020 theme of the year. It also sought to strengthen collaborative efforts among the member states, regional economic communities (RECs), civil society organizations (CSOs) and the private sector, to support the campaign for peace.

In parallel, ViacomCBS Networks Africa presented the “Africa Day Benefit Concert at Home” by MTV Base Africa and YouTube, hosted by Idris Elba. This special programme aims to raise funds to support the food and health needs of children and families in Africa affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proceeds will go to the World Food Programme and UNICEF for distribution to affected communities across the continent.

The online concert was opened by Nigerian superstar Davido and closed by Burnaboy, it included performances by Adekunle Gold (Nigeria), AKA (South Africa),  Afro B (Ivory Coast), Angelique Kidjo (Benin Republic), Bebe Cool (Uganda), Busiswa (South Africa), C4 Pedro (Angola), Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania), DJ Maphorisa & Kabza De Small (South Africa), Fally Ipupa (DRC), Ismael Lo (Senegal), Kida Kudz (Nigeria), Ladysmith Black Mambazo (South Africa), M.anifest (Ghana), Nandy (Tanzania), Nasty C (South Africa), Niniola (Nigeria), Reekado Banks (Nigeria), Salif Keita (Mali), Sauti Sol (Kenya), Seun Kuti (Nigeria), Sho Madjozi (South Africa), Stonebwoy (Ghana), Teni (Nigeria), Tiwa Savage (Nigeria), Toofan (Togo), Yemi Alade (Nigeria) and others.

See the concert:

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