NEW: Diplomats speak on Africa Day

25 May, 2024 - 11:05 0 Views
NEW: Diplomats speak on Africa Day Africa Day

The Sunday Mail

Gibson Nyikadzino

Zimpapers Politics Hub

AFRICAN diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe and leaders across the world, on Friday paid tribute to Africa’s independence, progress, aspirations and diversity, as the continent commemorates the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity, now African Union, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on this day in 1963.

This year’s commemorations are being held under the theme “Educate an African fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa”.

According to the African Union’s Agenda 2063, one of the goals for the African continent is to attain “well-educated citizens and skills revolution underpinned by science, technology and innovation”.

In a statement, Equatorial Guinea’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, who is also the Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps, Mr Jose Ela Ebang said Africa Day is a symbol of unity.

“Africa Day is a symbol of unity of all African countries, a continent of 55 countries with more than 1 billion inhabitants, a continent full of multiculturalism,” he said.

“Agenda 2063 includes not only Africa’s future aspirations but also highlights essential programmes that might improve Africa’s economic growth and development, resulting in the continent’s rapid transformation.”

Mr Ebang noted that the many projects being undertaken by Africa in the education sector, like the establishment of an African Virtual and E-University, are intended to leverage ICT-based programmes to expand access to universities.

Angola’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Agostinho Tavares said through the One World in Schools (OWIS) initiative, his country is now looking at redesigning the cooperation strategy among African countries to explore more potential in the education sector.

He also called for an urgent need to address security issues which are hindering the free movement of goods and services through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“Africa today still faces stability and security problems in different countries,” said Ambassador Tavares. “It is therefore not feasible for some countries to open borders that could allow for a greater flow of commercial exchange and the free movement of people and goods.

“Regrettably, today we are witnessing in the 21st century the seizure of power in Africa through coups which must be condemned by all countries that love peace and democracy.”

In recognising Africa’s cultural importance, Australia’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Minoli Perera celebrated the day on Thursday last week.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Mr Sergey Lavrov said: “Africa continues to gain political weight and establish itself as a pillar of the emerging multipolar order.

“Dynamic integration processes and rapidly growing markets make it possible for Africa to play an increasingly meaningful role on the global stage.”

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