THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs in conjunction with African diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe is hosting an African cultural evening in Harare to celebrate and commemorate the 54th anniversary of the creation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which is now the African Union (AU).
The Africa Day celebrations will see the showcasing of African cultural performances by representatives of different African countries through song, dance and poetry.
The anniversary celebrations will be held under the theme, “Investing in Youth” in view of the fact that the majority of Africa’s population is youths under the age of 35, hence the need to secure their future.
Briefing journalists in Harare yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the Africa Union has achieved the principle objective for which it was established and that it is now focusing on economic liberation and prosperity for its people.
He said this new agenda was brought alive by one of the OAU’s founding fathers, President Mugabe during his tenure as chairman of the AU.
He paid tribute to the President for spearheading the industrialisation of Africa agenda which saw him launching agenda 2063 and its beneficiation and value addition thrust.
Minister Mumbengegwi also saluted President Mugabe’s leadership of the organisation for advocating self-financing for the organisation’s projects saying self-financing ensures ownership of the programmes and that they will be carried out at the desired pace.
In this regard the AU has launched the AU Foundation to mobilise resources for the continent’s projects and programmes and eventually wean off the union from donor dependency.
President Mugabe has kick started the foundation’s funding by contributing 300 head of cattle which are being auctioned in different parts of Zimbabwe and the proceeds will be handed over to the headquarters at the midyear summit in July.
On conflicts on the continent and specifically DRC, Lesotho and others, Minister Mumbengegwi said the ultimate responsibility to end them rests with the peoples of those countries themselves and not regional or international organisations such as Sadc, the AU and the United Nations.
He attributed the presence of conflicts to disproportionate distribution of resources. — ZBC News-HR.