The Democratic Alliance (DA) wishes all Africans on the continent and in the diaspora a joyous Africa Day tomorrow. On this day we celebrate Africa’s independence, rich history and diverse cultures.
The formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), brought the promise of a peaceful, prosperous and united Africa.
The people of our great continent have, over the centuries, suffered a great deal from slavery, colonialism, apartheid, war and poverty. While Africa and her people have made great strides, many are still suffering.
It is fitting that Cyril Ramaphosa will be inaugurated as President of the Republic of South Africa on Africa Day. We congratulate him on his inauguration and will work with him over the next five years to build an inclusive and united South Africa for all.
Next year the President will take up his seat as Chair of the African Union, and as we commemorate the formation of the OAU we encourage him to use his term to further an agenda for human rights, democracy, the rule of law, freedom and peace in Africa.
President Ramaphosa must commit himself and the AU to doing away with ‘big man politics’, and focus on integrating the economies of the continent, and making space for young people to lead. Ultimately he has an opportunity to ensure that the AU delivers on its mandate, especially where injustices occur.
The AU cannot be a talk shop and protection agency of big men and dictators and must be vigilant and proactive in defending the voiceless and oppressed.
In countries such as Equatorial Guinea and Rwanda we have strong men clinging onto power, whilst in Zimbabwe and Tanzania we see a rise in new governments infringing on human rights and resorting to violent repression.
In order to prosper, what Africa needs is peace and prosperity. We have seen in Sudan how the will of the people can topple a dictator. Strong leadership is required from the AU in order to ensure that this new found freedom evolves in a stable and democratic state.
With its diversity of people and resources, Africa has the potential to be a leader of the world.
We wish the people of this great continent a happy and jubilant Africa Day.
Nkosi sikelel’ Afrika!