Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Africa Day - Peace and Security in Africa

Africa Day is an annual commemoration of the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963. On that day 32 independent African states signed the founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 2002, the OAU became the African Union. Africa Day is celebrated around the world.

Africa Day 2010 will focus on “Peace and Security in Africa”. For us here in the Novitiate we will seek to mark this day in an appropriate way through prayer and celebration.

"Africa is a paradox. It is one of the richest continents on the planet ... yet most Africans remain poor. The disempowerment of ordinary people underlies Africa's gravest problems.
In all of their incredible diversity, Africans share common bonds that tie them together and that they must cherish in their communities, nations, regions, and across the continent. It is fundamental that Africa's leaders create the conditions under which their peoples gain confidence, dignity, and a sense of self worth - with the citizens themselves actively participating in this effort.
The struggle to preserve what they have and hold it close to them is one that all Africans should engage in. When we have nothing to call our own, we have nothing to to reflect back to us who we truly are... (and) we are vulnerable to anyone who wishes to exploit us.
Africans must make a deliberate choice to move forward together toward more cohesive macro-nations, where all can feel free, secure, and at peace with themselves and others, where there is no need for any groups to organise violence against their neighbour. Then everyone would begin to reap the benefits of unity in diversity."
- Wangari Maathai.

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