OVER THE WEEKEND, a colorful ceremony was held in observance of ‘African Liberation Day’ with the keynote speaker hailing the success of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the African Union (AU).
AFRICAN LIBERATION DAY is Liberia’s way of celebrating the formation of the OAU which was later renamed the AU.
A PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION declaring Saturday, May 25, 2013 was issued which stated that Liberia joins other Member States of the African Union to celebrate its 50th Anniversary on May 25, 2013 following an adopted decision by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union at its session held in January 2011.
DR. AUGUSTINE KONNEH spoke on the topic “The Historical Overview Of Liberia’s Role In The Formation Of OAU: An All Embracing African Regional Organization” first provided a historical evolution of the OAU in 1963 that eventually led to the AU’s formation in 2002.
DR. KONNEH WHO is the Director-General of the Foreign Service Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in his historical explanation of the OAU’s formation said the organization was born out of the striving of leaders of the new nations of Africa for regional cooperation.
DR. KONNEH EXPLAINED that after the independence of some of these nations, they sought to create organizations along the line of their colonial relations, leading to Anglophone and Francophone countries that created a measure of regional consciousness.
IN TERMS OF the difference between the OAU and the AU, Dr. Konneh clarified that the AU is simply an enlargement of the OAU in terms of structure and implementation such as the AU’s call for interference in keeping peace and security opposed to the OAU’s previous policy.
HE SAID THE AU’s success in the past ten years is remarkable, listing some achievements of the AU as enhancing democracy through the monitoring of elections and the African Peer Review Mechanism that ensures that those who are seceding become economically viable.
INDEED, DR. KONNEH’S statement at the observance of African Liberation Day is right and to the point that the AU is an enlargement of the OAU in terms of structure and implementation and so we urge leaders of the AU to continue the dreams and aspirations of the founders of this regional body.
BY THAT WE mean that the AU must continue its role of peace keeping and further extend its activities by embarking on efforts that will see the union having a common currency and common market as being done by other world bodies. This we think will promote the long awaited African unity something for which our past leaders strived for when they founded the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
NOW IS THE time that Africa rises above its limit and meet its present day’s realities. Let Africans boast of competing with others the world over and begin to promote the manufacture and use of modern technologies and do away with the dependency syndrome.
THIS CONTINENT CALLED Africa has come of age and must be prepared to stand on its own. Let us tell ourselves as Africans that YES INDEED, WE CAN and that others must also depend on us. We have the natural resources to boost our economy wisely.
GONE ARE THE days when Africans were used to kill one another by giving out their resources in exchange of arms and ammunitions to destroy themselves while others sat and laughed. Unity is strength and therefore, let Africa keeps the torch of unity burning till we can reach the point where the founders of this Union want us to be as Africans.