CELEBRATING AFRICA: REFLECTIONS ON UNITY, PROGRESS, AND INCLUSION

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By Morapedi Sibeko 

  • Africa Month, observed in May, commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963, highlighting the continent’s journey towards independence and unity.
  • The theme for Africa Month 2024, “Educate an African fit for the 21st Century,” underscores the importance of accessible and relevant education for all Africans.
  • As part of Africa Month, the Department of Social Development will host an Interfaith Engagement in Cape Town, promoting cooperation and understanding among different faith groups to foster a more cohesive society.

Africa Month is observed in May and serves as an occasion to consider the accomplishments, inclusion and varied history of the African continent. This month marks the anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity’s (OAU) founding in 1963, a critical turning point in the continent’s quest for independence from oppression and unity. The African Union’s 2024 theme, “Educate an African fit for the 21st Century,” emphasises how crucial it is to create sustainable educational networks to give more Africans access to inclusive, relevant, high-quality, and lifetime learning.

In honour of Africa Month, let us pause to consider the path that has led to this point. South Africa broke free from the bonds of apartheid thirty years ago, and since then, the country has been moving towards democracy and inclusivity. It was an example of optimism winning over despair and togetherness over divide. South Africa has come quite a distance since then in creating a society founded on the values of justice, freedom, and opportunity for all. We have recognised that our differences strengthen our country and shape our shared identity, and we have embraced our variety as an element of strength.

Through the confirmation of shared destiny, Africa Month offers us the chance to advance African unity and broader regional integration. This is an occasion for the country to embrace differences and celebrate common history and beliefs.  The Deputy President will host an Interfaith Engagement in Cape Town, on 3 May 2024, as part of the Department of Social Development’s (DSD) involvement during Africa Month. Together, leaders of different faiths will strengthen current alliances with the government, advancing the goal of constructing a more cohesive society and nation.

The Interfaith Engagement promotes the value of cooperation and communication between groups of people who practice different faiths in fostering tolerance, understanding, and peace. Let us unite in the spirit of peace and cooperation to celebrate our differences and recognise our shared humanity. We work to create empathy and respectful bridges via communication and cooperation in order to promote a society in which every person is respected and included.

The month of May is dedicated to commemorating Africa’s history, valuing its diversity now, and looking forward to a prosperous and united Africa for future generations. As a country, let us take hold of this chance to renew our dedication to the principles of harmony, understanding, and respect for one another.

 

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