Africa Day is observed annually on 25 May, to commemorate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which was created on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The OAU is the precursor of the African Union (AU). The day is observed as an official national holiday in Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Namibia, Zambia, Mali, Mauritania, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
This year marks the 57th anniversary of Africa Day. Besides celebrating Africa’s decolonisation, it is also a day of sober reflection on how African countries can consolidate peace and democracy on the continent. Africa faces a myriad of daunting challenges that seek solutions.
Today, May 25 is Africa Day and while primarily a commemoration of the formation of the African Union (AU) back in 1963; additionally, it has also become an opportunity to unapologetically celebrate Africa while providing a moment for reflection on how far we’ve come as a continent and as a people.
Because, with this year’s theme focused on “Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID19”; there has never been a more important time for deep reflection on our collective present and future as Africans.
Also, Countries on the African continent are celebrating Africa Day, 25 May 2020, with several activities prominent of which is pushing forward the Africa Day theme: “Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID-19.”
As a way of celebrating Africa Day, several African nationals; Africans in the diaspora as well as descendants of Africa, have organised commemorative cultural events that highlight the vibrancy of African cultures, foods, and traditions. Most of these will be virtual events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Africa Day Solidarity Concert
Also, as part of the celebrations this year, the African Union Commission (AUC) has organised an Africa Day Benefit Concert. The two-hour event will feature some of Africa’s big names in music. The Virtual Music Concert is slated for Monday 25 May 2020, 18:00 to 20:00 hours East African Time. The concert can be viewed on the MTVBase YouTube channel.
Recognising the power of music and the crucial role African artists play in the fight against COVID-19 on the continent; the music concert will advocate for financial contributions from well-wishers to the Africa Union’s COVID-19 Response Fund. It is also the aim of the AU to engage African youth, especially young musicians; to join forces and work hand in hand in with governments in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic.
ViacomCBS Networks Africa and YouTube will host an Africa Day benefit concert with; Africa’s biggest stars on Monday 25 May, to raise COVID-19 funds for food and health assistance in Africa.
The ‘Africa Day Benefit Concert At Home’ aims to raise funds to help families and children in the continent affected by the coronavirus pandemic by donating all proceeds raised.
“Taking a moment to shine a light on African arts to benefit the African homeland and its people. A continent of this size should find a way to dig deep and stand up for one another at a time like this. It’s important for the future and history will not forget,” Elba said.