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African Union celebrates 60 years

25 May 2023

African Union (AU) continues to stand on its principles of self-determination, freedom and political independence, which are key to socio-economic development.

Speaking in Gaborone yesterday on the occasion of the AU’s 60th anniversary, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Lemogang Kwape said the day was for reflecting and celebrating.

“We are very proud that despite all known challenges that plague our continent, the African Union has and continues to make commendable strides for the betterment of lives of all Africans,” he declared. 

Dr Kwape attributed said the AU’s triumphs in the past 60 years to the wisdom and sacrifices of statesmen who deliberated and came up with ideas and collective solutions, with the key aim of securing a bright future for the continent and its people.

“It is through this collective effort that we will achieve our common vision of Agenda 2063 and beyond,” he said.

The minister commended AU member states for embracing the idea of regional economic integration and making concerted efforts towards the vision.

Minister Kwapa said one of the AU’s achievements was the progress the organisation had made regarding operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

He said the 2023 theme,  Accelerating Implementation of the AfCFTA, recognised the need to expedite intra-African trade and integration as a key economic aspect to advancing the continent.

The minister noted that 46 member states, including Botswana,  had rectified the agreement and expressed optimism that the rest would soon follow suit.

He stressed the need for Africa to continue speaking with one voice and supporting those who continued to be denied full actualisation of fundamental principles.

“Regrettably, today we still have some countries in the continent that have not attained their political independence and self-determination,” he said.

Minister Kwape decried the acts of terrorism, unconstitutional changes of government and instability still prevailing in Africa.

There was need to deliberate on silencing the guns in order to realise prosperity for all, he said.

Dr Kwape said the solution also lay in all member states calling for political emancipation through the AU, UN and other relevant bodies. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Gontle Merafhe

Location : Gaborone

Event : Africa Day

Date : 25 May 2023