African continent had celebrated six decades of independence under the umbrella of the African Union, with high expectations for brighter economic prosperity and tourism development.
The continent had celebrated on Thursday this week 60 years of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and its successor, the African Union.
The 60th Anniversary celebration of AU has been observed under the theme “Our Africa, Our Future”.
OAU was formed on 25 May, 1963 when 32 heads from independent African States met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, along with leaders from African liberation movements and created a political and economic roadmap that paved a way for Africa’s complete independence and political and economic development.
Heads of the independent African states formed the OAU with a vision of pan-Africanism and United Africa that would be free to control of its own destiny and resources.
In 1999, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU convened an extraordinary session to expedite the process of economic and political integration in Africa.
On 9 September, 1999, the Heads of State and Government of the OAU issued “The Sirte Declaration” calling for the establishment of an African Union.
In 2002 during the Durban Summit, the African Union (AU) was officially launched as the successor to the Organization of African Unity.
The celebration of the 60th anniversary is an opportunity to recognize the role and contribution of the founders of the continental organization and many other Africans on the continent and in the diaspora, working hard to foster political and economic development in Africa.
With a vision of “Africa We Want” under the continent’s Agenda 2063, African states are currently encouraging each other to reflect the Pan-Africanism spirit for the continent’s future.
Rich in tourism and natural resources for tourist development, Africa stands as the future destination for global tourists and leisure travelers.
Through his message to mark the Africa Day 2023, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili said that Africa is a vast and diverse continent, with vibrant cities and rich cultures.
“Africa is home to the world’s youngest population, as well as to a rapidly expanding middle class Africa is also a hub of entrepreneurship and innovation and boasts some of the most exciting tourism destinations on the planet”, said the UNWTO Secretary General.
“For many millions of people across the continent, tourism is a real lifeline. But the sector’s potential is still to be truly realized. Managed properly, tourism can accelerate socio-economic recovery and growth. It can spur wealth creation and inclusive development”, Pololikashvili said.
The removal of tariff barriers and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area undoubtedly brings new opportunities for Africa.
Facilitating the free movement of individuals for business, for work or for studies, will help reduce economic disparities between regions, and deliver more opportunities, particularly for the most vulnerable, including women, who form the majority of the tourism workforce.
At the same time, regional collaboration and harmonized aviation policies in line with the Single African Air Transport Market will help us achieve the objectives of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the UN Agenda 2030.
“We have also realigned our UNWTO Agenda for Africa: Tourism for Inclusive Growth. It aims to directly support our Member States responding to the current challenges of tourism, particularly the need for more trained workers, more decent jobs and more and better-targeted tourism investments”, he said.
“Above all, we will continue to advocate for tourism as driver for positive change and a pillar of economic growth for the continent. On behalf of everyone at UNWTO, I wish you all a happy Africa Day”, concluded the UNWTO Secretary General through his message.
The Galilee International Management Institute of Israel had sent a message and said that Africa Day is the perfect occasion to celebrate the strong and thriving ties between Galilee Institute and the entire African Continent.