|OAU/AU 50th Anniversary celebrations logo|
The year 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the existence of the Organization of African Unity/African Union (OAU/AU). During this period, African states have witnessed notable improvements in economic and political governance. Positive trends have been recorded in terms of the development of various state systems, the building and consolidation of democracy, respect for the rule of law, constitutionalism, human and peoples’ rights, accountability, economic management and the resolution of crisis and conflicts to create appropriate conditions for growth and development on the continent.
Arising from the primary mission of the Organization of African Unity, Africa fast tracked the political liberation of most states on the continent. It led the struggle of the international community in the fight against colonialism, racial discrimination and apartheid, and contributed significantly to the fight for social justice, equality, economic emancipation and an equitable and peaceful world order. It also enjoined solidarity among African states and partnership with other regions of Asia, South and Latin America to foster global peace and security and anchor Africa’s influence and leverage in a rapidly changing world.
|Some of the founding leaders of the OAU. |
Critical challenges and difficulties remain as evidenced in continuing incidences of political and social instability, famine, disease and corruption, problems associated with the pace of economic and social development, particularly those related to endemic poverty, food insecurity, low human capital, illiteracy, limited infrastructural development, poor governance structures and low levels of political socialization. Associated with this is the portrayal of the African narrative as a ‘single story’, in which the worst features are presumed as characteristic and Africa easily dismissed as a hopeless continent.
The 50th Anniversary celebrations provide a unique opportunity to recreate the African narrative by putting it in perspective to enthuse and energize the African population and use their constructive energy to set and implement an agenda for unity, peace and development in the 21st century. The thrust of this agenda is a program of social, economic and political rejuvenation that links the past, present and future in order to create a new generation of Pan-Africanists that will harness the lessons learnt and use them as building blocks to consolidate the hope and promises of the founding parents. This in essence would reignite the ideals of Pan-Africanism and Renaissance among all sectors of African people on the continent and the Diaspora, especially the youth and future generations.
Young People at the 50th anniversary celebrations
As an activity to be implemented at the level of the Commission, the main goal of the youth programme of the 50th Anniversary is to realize meaningful and concrete engagement by mobilizing young people as stakeholders in defining and shaping the next 50 years towards African Unity. Their contributions to the history of the continent, is not only in demographic terms but also as the age cohort that has underpinned the past 50 years of solidarity, shared values and independence.
|African Youth Forum 2013 Banner; flagship activity of the youth program for the 50th Anniversary celebrations.|
The youth programme will be addressing the legendary of past movements and heroism of its bearers. It will actively enlist a critical mass of conscious and emerging young leaders at continental level towards the idea of an African identity and the future of its shared values and path to sustainable human development and socio-economic growth and advancement.
The programme will provide the opportunity for African youth to interact with its leaders (Heads of State and Government) and also sign-onto a consensus statement that will be titled "On this we Agree".
The programme will be implemented through a partnership with the Pan African Youth Union, development partners and organizations. The Inter-departmental working group on Youth at the AUC and the Working group of partners to be chaired by the PYU will manage implementation with overall coordinating team being led by the working group and others forming technical and advisory arm of the programme.
The programme is expected to deliver;
- Clear linkages on the role of youth participation as the epicenter for the future of African Unity,
- Knowledge on African contributions to global growth and development,
- Constructive participation towards African Renaissance and the 2063 Vision statement,
- Follow-up activities to the celebration, including the institutionalization of specific recommendations at continental level and,
- Renewed Pan African Youth Movement on African Unity.