It was a show of confidence and optimism on May 13th when Ambassadors and Diplomatic representations from over a dozen countries launched festivities to mark the 50th anniversary celebrations of the African Union at the Congolese Embassy in Washington DC.
In his introductory remarks, Congolese Ambassador Serge Mombouli mandated by African Ambassadors to serve as co-Chair of the anniversary celebrations cited achievements that Africa has recorded since the Organization of African Unity which later transitioned to the African Union was created fifty years ago. All the countries in the continent are free today and Africa has the potential to become a global power in the next fifty years he said. The challenge now is to build a strong, prosperous and United Africa said Mombouli.
On the factors that militate for a brighter future for the continent, Ambassador Mombouli strongly supported by his colleagues from Botswana, Kenya and Mauritius pointed to the transformation taking place, its resources and the youthfulness of its population. There are visible signs that the continent is adapting to new forms of technology as it continues to move forward the Ambassadors concurred.
A major point of discussion at the press conference was the important role of the diaspora.Africa has five regions Mombouli said and the 6th region is the Diaspora. The African Union takes into cognizance the important role of its Diaspora he said.
Ambassador Tebelelo Mazile Seretse of Botswana said it speaks volumes today when the country that has the highest number of female representation in politics is Rwanda, when the country that leads in the index of business development is Mauritius or when the second country in terms of baseline profitability index in the world is Botswana coming after Hong Kong.
Other activities to mark the anniversary celebrations include a dance reception organized by the spouses of the African Ambassadors Association in collaboration with the African Union at the Smithsonian National Museum on May 17, and a workshop on May 21 at the Embassy of Congo on the role of the African Diaspora in African Nature Conservation. The events will culminate on May 23 with a gala evening at the Washington Hilton Hotel.
The AU is a continent wide organization consisting of 54 states. It was established on May 26, 2001 in Addis Ababa and launched on July 9, 2002 in South Africa to replace the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states. The AU’s secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The goals of the African Union are to achieve greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and the people of Africa; and to promote sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies. It is currently led by Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma from South Africa.