A great initiative is happening today throughout Africa, attempting to garner pan-African solidarity towards ‘calling out our leaders on (Africa’s) failures and building a better, more just, more peaceful and sustainable Africa’. The ‘Africa Rising’ initiative was created by a group of 272 people from 44 African countries assembled in Arusha, Tanzania in 2016. The greatest thing about this meeting was that young Africans were at the core of this movement with ‘social inclusion, peace and shared prosperity’ as its themes.
The initiative uses a strongly symbolic date: May 25 marks the day that the Organisation for African Unity (now known as the African Union) was established. The organisation’s original aims were to ‘promote solidarity between African nations and to eliminate colonialism in Africa’. Today, the ‘Africa Rising’ movement seeks to solidify this unity and move towards a common goal; the goal of a better Africa that is more just, more peaceful and more sustainable.
The significance of May 25 for ‘Africa Rising’ is that ‘we can remind ourselves, our leaders and the world that we are tired of waiting for (that) liberation to be delivered. And to show (our leaders) that we are prepared to take action and hold political and business leaders accountable and reinvigorate the journey to that better life for all.’
This is a much needed cause and movement led by young Africans, and I hope that it will ruffle some feathers, and that a pan-African revolution will slowly start to rumble. The likes of the Arab Spring shows that youth are agents of change and social media is a tool for revolutionary change.
I am not on the African continent at the moment, but I will do my part from where I am: I will use the hashtag #25May2017 and share it with all my networks, along with this blog post and the original article by Kumi Naidoo. In solidarity, I will also switch off my lights between 7 and 8pm, to recognize that ‘there are still millions of Africans living in absolute energy poverty, which has consequences for education, health and economic activity’. I will encourage my networks to do the same and also light a candle as ‘a signal to our leaders, who do not have the political courage to lead in the way that we need them to, that we will not allow them to destroy the futures of the current and forthcoming generations.’
Africa let us Rise!
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2017/mar/26/africans-are-rising-we-can-hold-our-leaders-to-account-and-build-a-better-kind-of-futureby Kumi Naidoo- Launch Director ‘Africa Rising’
Image by Sarah Walsh, from here: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2017/mar/26/africans-are-rising-we-can-hold-our-leaders-to-account-and-build-a-better-kind-of-future#img-1