NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 — Africans around the globe have been urged to take the lead towards ownership and control over the future of the continent in its economic, political, and cultural dimensions to be self-reliant.
Lamin Muhammed, the Co-ordinator Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity- a pan-African movement of people and organizations, working for justice, peace and dignity said in a statement, that the time is ripe for Africans to take center stage in protecting the continent’s wealth, environment, people, and future.
Muhammed stated that the movement is keen to ensure that the power of the grassroots is harnessed in their quest to ensure African wealth and resources belong to Africans alone.
“No more should we allow our resources to be extracted for the benefit of foreign companies while our people live in abject poverty. We no longer should allow ourselves to be divided. We no longer should accept the state of affairs where corruption and bad governance reign supreme everywhere on the continent,” Muhammed said.
He made the comments Monday when he officially launched the African Liberation Week mobilization which began on May 23 and expected to run up to May 29.
While commenting on the one-week event, the Africa Rising Co-ordinator said the movement is supporting the organization of activities by fellow Africans across the continent and diaspora around this year’s theme “Africa for Africans” which he said reflects the need for renewed unity amongst Africans all over the world to own, control and manage their own affairs without interference.
“Alongside this theme, more activities will focus on sub-themes that speak to specific issues: Decolonization, Equitable access to healthcare, Gender justice, Climate, and environmental justice,” he added.
He noted that in Kenya, more than 44 activities will be organized by both individuals and organizations across the country.
“Each year, African Liberation Day is recognized on May 25th to promote unity and solidarity among African people and states. The commemoration is an opportunity to mobilise all Africans — grassroots organisations, trade unions, community groups, women’s organisations, faith groups, youth groups, local associations, media, individuals, etc. — to take action on specific themes or issues relevant to the local as well as continental contexts,” Muhammed stated.
He pointed out that under this year’s program, they have managed to record over 500 activities which be organized across 50 countries in Africa and the African Diaspora throughout the week.
“Out of these, 167 are online or virtual events, while the rest are physical. The main thrusts of these activities are climate change, building rural/grassroots power, women’s empowerment, support for activities, and others. Instead of duplicating these actions, Africans Rising provides the needed support to make them succeed at the grassroots,” Muhammed said.
The Africa Rising movement was born in August 2016, a convening of engaged Africans African citizens and the people of Africa who agreed on ways to achieve the vision of African unity and liberation.
According to Mohammed, the vision was driven by the “quest to liberate Africa and her oppressed black people from the shackles of colonial rule.”
This year marks the 59th anniversary of the African Liberation Celebration, which is also the 5th anniversary of the launch of the Africans Rising movement.
African Liberation Day is set aside for the commemoration of May 25th, 1963 — the historic day that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The conference, which started on May 23 that year in Addis Ababa, was a decisive platform for the future of Africa.
“The discussions focused on many things, but principally on liberation and unity. It was to be decided whether African countries were to bind together to form one giant country or to move independently but with cooperation amongst themselves.
The conference ended on May 25th with the formation of the Organisation of African Unity to work towards gradual unity. Today, the OAU is the African Union,” he said.