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Africa celebrates historic day

Update: May, 23/2014 - 08:48

The 51st anniversary of Africa Day will be celebrated on May 25. To mark the occasion, the Dean of the African Group in Ha Noi, Cherif Chikhi, Ambassador of Algeria, writes to Viet Nam News.

Cherif Chikhi, Ambassador of Algeria to Viet Nam. — Photo dangcongsan.vn

On Sunday, Africa will celebrate the 51st Anniversary of the foundation of the Organisation of the African Unity (OAU), which then became the African Union (AU). Indeed, it is on May 25, 1963, that the African leaders signed, in Addis-Abeba (Ethiopia), the Agreements setting up the Panafrican Organization. Each year, Africa commemorates this historic date which marks the strong will of Africans to live in solidarity and to be liberated from the colonial yoke.

The constitutive act of the African Union was adopted in July 2000, in Lome, capital of Togo. In May, 2001, the act became effective, marking a one-year period during which members had to transform the OAU into the African Union, setting up the bodies involved in the new institution, such as the Conference, the Commission and the Executive Council).

The African Union inaugural summit was held in July, 2002, in Durban, South Africa, marking the end of the interim period. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, president of the African commission, said Africa must build confidence in itself, in its stability and obligation to be driver of its destiny. In this regard, the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) was a significant event by Africans to take over their own destiny and to be part of the changes taking place at the global level. NEPAD reflects a strong desire of the African countries to promote profound changes in order to steer Africa onto the path of sustainable development. It was created in 2001 with the consolidation of two other plans proposed by Africa, namely the Omega plan and the Millennium African Program (MAP). The same year, the former OAU established the Heads of States Committee for the implementation and monitoring of NEPAD, comprising the leaders of South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and Senegal.

NEPAD, created in 2001, is an African initiative that aims to fight underdevelopment, poverty and instability. This management of African issues occurs with the participation of the African populations and within the framework of a new partnership concept with the external world, mainly based on mutual responsibilities and interests. NEPAD was integrated into the African Union during the Algiers Summit, in March, 2007.

Moreover, Africa gives more importance to the concept of good governance. Thus, it operates through the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), to promote democracy and good political governance.

The 35th OAU Summit held in Algiers in 1999 agreed on the rejection of any anti-constitutional changes of government. Since this decision, the African Union no longer is open to leaders who came to power by means other than democratic.

The inter-African co-operation favours increased trade and investment between African countries and the realisation of infrastructure projects, especially in the fields of transport, energy and telecommunications.

Agricultural development and the food security, also priority fields in Africa, were the main points of the agenda of the 22nd AU Summit early this year in Ethiopia. In the cultural plan, both great pan-African festivals, held in Algiers in 1969 and 2009, contributed to a greater understanding of the cultural riches of the continent.

More efforts deserve, however, to be provided in favour of the African populations. Besides, it is important to resolve crisis and conflicts existing in certain regions of the continent because peace and security are key prerequisites to development and access to well-being.

Africa has established ties of co-operation with various regions of the globe. We recall the organisation in Ha Noi of two Viet Nam-Africa forums: the first in May, 2003, and the second in August, 2010. The meetings promoted important economic potentials that can be used for fruitful partnerships.

The 50th anniversary of this important event was solemnly celebrated last year in Africa and other parts of the world. Ha Noi also marked the occasion with the participation of the Viet Nam Union Friendship Organisations (VUFO), and Vice-President Mrs Nguyen Thi Doan. A round-table was also organised at the Vietnamese Institute for Africa and Middle-East Studies (IAMES) with the support of the South African Embassy.

The bonds between Africa and Viet Nam were woven within the difficult context of struggles for independence. We are convinced that our countries will continue to move forward together in the path of development and progress. — VNS

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