We wish all our colleagues, friends and family in and from Africa a very happy AFRICA DAY 2020.
AFRICAN LIBERATION DAY, celebrated on May 25 commemorates the establishment, in 1963, of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
Today, the AFRICAN UNION (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999).
“African world heritage: a remarkable diversity” L. Eloundou & I. Odiaua, UNESCO, 2012
“On this day 57 years ago, the Organisation of African Unity was born. From the beginning it was dedicated to the idea that only through unity could Africa safeguard its independence and unlock its potential. Today we pay tribute to our forebears the founders of the OAU whose dream of greater African integration and unity has endured.”
Chairperson of the African Union President Cyril Ramaphosa on the Occasion of Africa Day
The main objectives of the Organisation of African Union OAU were to rid the continent of the remaining vestiges of colonisation and apartheid; to promote unity and solidarity amongst African States; to coordinate and intensify cooperation for development; to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States and to promote international cooperation. The OAU Charter spelled out the purpose of the Organisation namely:
- To promote the unity and solidarity of the African States;
- To coordinate and intensify their cooperation and efforts to achieve a better life for the peoples of Africa;
- To defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity and independence;
- To eradicate all forms of colonialism from Africa; and
- To promote international cooperation, having due regard to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On this AFRICA DAY, as with every day, we recommend the highly engaging and informative text “African world heritage: a remarkable diversity (Patrimoine mondial africain: une diversité remarquable)” by Eloundou, Lazare and Odiaua, Ishanlosen. The illustrated 204-page book may be viewed courtesy UNESCO’s digital library, or acquired via select bookshops.
The publication is supported by World Heritage Convention which provides an international platform for safeguarding cultural and natural heritage, and a showcase for the diversity of African heritage.
According to African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), while 51 African countries have signed the World Heritage Convention, 12 of them have no sites on the World Heritage List. The challenge for Africa is to increase the resources available to inscribe more sites. A total of 9 African countries have sites which appear on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The AWHF is a strategy for dealing with the challenges faced by many African countries regarding the implementation of the 1972 Convention. The AWHF has been established to foster a better understanding of African heritage cultural significances and values. To fulfill this mandate resources are mobilized to contribute towards the promotion and safeguarding of African World Heritage Sites and the education of people on the importance of African natural and cultural heritage.