AU Plans 50th Anniv. Celebration

The African Union (AU) says that it is planning to expand celebrations of its fiftieth anniversary for a year.

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of AU Commission in Liberia, Ambassador Toyin Solaja said that on Africa Day, Saturday May, 25 2013, the AU office in Monrovia would be hosting a dinner party at the Monrovia City Hall.

Ambassador Solaja said that already in the AU’s 54 member states torches have been lit to kick off activities for the year.  Liberia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs lit the torch in Liberia.

Activities that are planned in Liberia and in other member states include debates, documentaries, and football tournaments, among others.

He stated further that the idea of the 50th Anniversary celebration is to continue the rise of Africa in the perceptive of Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance.

On May 25, 1959, Presidents William V.S. Tubman from Liberia, Sekou Toure from Guinea and Kwame Nkrumah from Ghana created the Organization of African Unity (OAU); the organization was however launched in 1963.

The objective of the then OAU was to combat colonialism, fight apartheid, and foster unity among African nations, among others. Within the OAU charter it is stated that African nations could not interfere in each other’s state of affairs.

In 2003, African nations decided that some of the languages within the OAU Charter were outdated and did not fit some present day realities. The new Charter that was created by member states then changed the OAU to African Union (AU).

Within the new document that was agreed upon by member states, it gave the AU more powers and roles in seeking the interest of its member states. The organization also tries to encourage economic development in its member states and encourages its members to assist their neighbors in terms of courage or otherwise.