–Prez Sirleaf declares
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has by Proclamation declared Thursday, May 25, as “Africa Day,” to be observed throughout the country as “working holiday.”
According to a Foreign Ministry release, Africa Day, formerly known as Africa Liberation Day, has been celebrated annually on May 25 to mark the determination of the people of Africa to liberate the continent from foreign domination and exploitation.
The day also witnessed the signing of the charter establishing the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU).
As a founding member of the OAU, now the AU, the Liberian government joins other member states of the organization to celebrate ‘Africa Day’ under the theme, “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in Youth.”
The proclamation states that the OAU was formed and established on May 25, 1963 to, inter alia, rid the continent of the remaining vestiges (remnants, leftovers) of colonization and apartheid; to promote unity and solidarity among African States.
It was to also coordinate and intensify cooperation for development, to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member states, and to promote international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations.
It further states that the AU, comprising 54 member states, continues to provide an effective forum that enables its members to adopt coordinated positions in international forum on matters of common concern to the continent and defend the interest of Africa effectively.
The proclamation notes that in the creation of the OAU and its subsequent transformation into the AU, Liberia has remained conscious as a pioneer leader of her African vocation and consistently projected a spirit of collaboration with fellow African States to ensure the consolidation of independence and peace on the continent.
In this respect, Liberia’s strong advocacy of regionalism as a path to African Unity has laid the foundation for the flourishing of sub-regional organizations with the core objective of promoting cooperation across borders and protecting the rights and safety of the African people.
President Sirleaf has therefore called on all government ministries and agencies and business houses to cooperate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to execute appropriate programs befitting the occasion.
Meanwhile, as part of activities marking the observance of the day today, May 25, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the African Union Liaison Office in Liberia and the African Diplomatic and Consular Corps will hoist the flag of the African Union at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the morning.
Other activities are planned for later in the evening.