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Stakeholders commemorate Africa Day

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By Aminata Kuyateh

Africa Catalyzing Action for Nutrition (AfriCAN) in partnership with the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) Saturday joint rest of the African countries to commemorate African Liberation day under the theme: building nutrition literate communities “Good nutrition starts with me youth initiative”.

The event marked annually on May 25th, this day is steeped in history and significance, symbolising the relentless pursuit of freedom, unity, and self-determination.

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The origins of African Liberation Day trace back to the First Conference of Independent African States held in Accra, Ghana, on April 15, 1958. Convened by the visionary leader Kwame Nkrumah, the conference gathered representatives from eight independent African countries. It was there that the foundation was laid for the Pan-African movement, emphasising the need for a collective struggle against colonialism and imperialism.

The day serves not only as a reminder of past struggles but also as a platform to address contemporary issues facing the continent.

In The Gambia, the day is marked with vibrant celebrations, including traditional music and dance, public lectures, and exhibitions highlighting the nation’s rich cultural heritage.

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Board chair at AfriCAN, Dr Namanga Ngongi emphasised the importance of the day in fostering a sense of unity. “African Liberation Day is a reminder of our collective strength and resilience. It is a day to honor those who fought for our freedom and to inspire the younger generation to continue the struggle for a more just and equitable Africa.”

Dr Ngongi disclosed that in 1963, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was established, coinciding with the formation of African Liberation Day. “This was a crucial step in uniting the continent against colonial rule and apartheid. The OAU, which later became the African Union (AU), has since been a cornerstone in promoting political and economic cooperation among African states.”

Dr Ngongi said despite the progress made since the days of colonial rule, Africa continues to face numerous challenges. “Economic disparities, political instability, and social injustices remain prevalent in many parts of the continent. African Liberation Day serves as a poignant reminder that the journey towards true liberation is ongoing. While we celebrate our achievements, we must also critically assess the work that still needs to be done. African Liberation Day is not just about looking back; it is about envisioning a future where every African can thrive,” he pointed.

Executive director, AfriCAN, Ms Istaou Jallow said this year’s theme highlights the urgent need to address food insecurity, which affects millions of Africans. “The AU’s commitment to sustainable agricultural practices and economic policies is crucial in tackling these issues. As African Liberation Day is celebrated, it stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of a continent that has weathered centuries of adversity. It is a day to honor the past, celebrate the present, and commit to a future where the dreams of freedom and prosperity are realised for all Africans. The collective journey towards liberation continues, driven by the education,  resilience and unity of its people.” she said.

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