Today, we celebrate the cradle of mankind and blessed continent and home we call, Africa.
We mark the very first collaborative effort in unifying our response as a continent to the struggle of decolonisation through the successful establishment of the Organization for African Unity (OAU) in 1963, now known as the African Union.
As we turn to history to reflect on our continent, we must be reminded of the many sacrifices and absolute perseverance and dedication to a unified vision by many leaders who endured countless criticism and disregard by colonial forces.
This vision of a unified and collective approach in aiming to connect and understand the universal injustices within the diaspora is now better known as Pan-Africanism.
The core values of the IFP since its founding 45 years ago, remains that of African Humanism – ubuntu/botho, solidarity and unity in diversity. We share these values and it too makes up the tenets of Pan-Africanism.
Pan-Africanism does not mean that all African people are the same. The strength of Pan-Africanism comes from the diversity of our 54-member states, the thousands of cultures, traditions and languages and all our natural resources and the deeper appreciation for the continent as a whole.
Today as we continue to build on the foundations and the legacy of the African Union, many of our leaders and especially our continents’ youth should capitalise on the current digital era that will expand the pan-African narrative to a wider audience.
We must fully immerse ourselves and take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution by using various platforms to engage in debates and to foster greater links to engage in continental cultural exchanges and information sharing.
The revival of Pan-Africanism into the 21st Century means that the philosophy itself cannot just be discussed by the historians, elites, educated and upper middle-class African people. Pan-Africanism must be owned and shared in the minds and hearts of all African people.
The message we must send to the world, is that we are proud to be African and we are proud of our diverse histories and that we are able to address our continental issues through innovation born on our own soil.
We must reconnect to our history and shared values if we are to make further progress.
We must commend the great strides which have been made in the democratisation of our continent and the many successful stories of member states in deepening and strengthening its democracies and democratic institutions.
As we celebrate and appreciate our continent and its people, through the peaks and troughs of our challenges and successes, we commit ourselves to remain united and to remain hopeful that we can indeed achieve greater heights together.
Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111 0539