Egypt offered space at Liberation City President Mnangagwa chats with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga upon his return from Egypt at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare yesterday. Picture Justin Mutenda.

Herald Reporter 

President Mnangagwa has given the Arab Republic of Egypt space at the Museum of African Liberation in Harare to construct a statue of their founding president as the continent celebrated Africa Day yesterday.

The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of 55 member states that make up the countries of the African continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), (1963-1999).

Speaking to journalists at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport on arrival from Egypt where he was attending the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meeting, President Mnangagwa said the new crop of African leaders should now champion economic development of the continent. 

“So the current crop of African leaders are now focused not only on political integration, but on economic growth, mordenisation and industrialisation so that Africans can stand up. I can see the future generations of Africa will be the leaders of the new order as we move on,” he said. 

The President said the history around the creation of Africa Day on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa – Ethiopia, was when the founding fathers of Africa’s independence, the great friends of Africa like Kwame Nkuruma, Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Mobito Keita, came together and created the OAU.

The vision was to unite African countries as a continent to support the decolonisation of African countries which were still under foreign domination. 

“That marks in my view the rising up of Africa as a continent, giving itself an identity, a solid continent of the African people.  Now 60 years down the line when it is now called AU, African Union, which actually is a greater union than being an organisation. It gives it more strength and more solid identity, as a union,” he said. 

“So the rest of Africa, I belief, every single African country actually celebrated this day (yesterday).  I was with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi of Egypt and I was praising the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Fortunately, President El- Sisi has very high regards for the late former President because he was a stalwart of the founding fathers of the unity of Africa,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said he had held discussions with President El Sisi about the relations between the two countries.

“I was telling him of course that 60 years ago, I was one of those students who were in Egypt for military training. He laughed and I think he must have been very young.  Then I said as a result of that commitment at that time by the Egyptian people to support the liberation of African countries, we have established Museum of African Liberation.

“Of course I had sent a special envoy, Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi (to Egypt) and he gave me a very positive reply that President El Sisi wanted to participate and also bring artefacts relating to the liberation of several African countries which they supported.

“So I told him that well, we have already given a piece of land to Mozambique, where they are going to put a statue of Moses Samora Machel and I am also offering the same so that they have a statue on that museum for former President Nasser. He was extremely excited and he indicated that he was going to give us maximum support to achieve that recognition.”

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