People around the world are celebrating African unity today, the 49th annual Africa Day.
From concerts to business forums, events will be held around the world to discuss and strengthen the global African bond.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said yesterday: “Each year, Africa Day provides an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of the peoples and governments of Africa.”
On this day 49 years ago, the Organisation of African Unity, the precursor of the African Union, was established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by 32 representatives of African countries.
South Africa became the 53rd member on May 23 1994.
This year, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation is hosting the first Global African Diaspora summit, which will be attended by 64 heads of state, including President Jacob Zuma, in Sandton, Johannesburg.
“Africa Day acknowledges the progress that we, as Africans, have made while reflecting upon the common challenges we face in a global environment,” department spokesman Nelson Kgwete said.
No African celebration would be complete without its fair share of music and dance. A number of musicians from Africa will perform in South Africa in honor of Africa Day.
Dance, culture, art, theatre and poetry programmes will be held at the Sanaa Africa Festival in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, at the weekend.
Artists such as Ringo Madlingozi, Dorothy Masuku and Cameroonian Della Tamin will perform on Sunday.
Malian singer Salif Keita will appear at the new Soweto Theatre, in Jabulani, on Sunday.
Nigerian singer Femi Kuti will speak at the Open Forum Conference in Cape Town.
The Johannesburg Arts and Culture Department is hosting a three-day Africa film festival at Sandton City.