Celebrating African Diversity and Success
Saturday, 25 May 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Africa Day. On this day in 1963, the Organisation of African Unity, presently recognised as the African Union, was established. This day is also seen as celebrating African diversity and success, and highlights the cultural and economic potential that exists on the African continent. In 2013 we celebrate the theme of Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance.
Why Africa Day Events?
The African Union is conscious of the obstacles that prevent the continent to develop and bridge the gap with developed societies. By organising Africa Day events, the African Union wishes to implement the commitment made in 1963 and in subsequent Protocols, to improve the living conditions in Africa and for every African to profit from the many social, cultural, economic and trade opportunities on the continent. From the Western Cape perspective, by inviting academic institutions, civil society, the Diplomatic Corps, the African Diaspora and the private sector, the Western Cape Government aims to work together to create sustainable partnerships on the continent starting with a realisable programme of action.
Africa Day has been marked as an important day for the Western Cape and has been observed by the Western Cape Government for the past few years. Africa has untapped trade and economic opportunities and the Western Cape Government’s efforts have shifted to consolidate economic relations on the continent. Besides trade and economic opportunities, we have almost 6 000 learners attending Western Cape schools from the rest of Africa and almost 8 500 students studying at our four Tertiary Institutions. The drafting of an International Relations and Africa Strategy has already unpacked numerous opportunities for the Western Cape to engage meaningfully with the continent. Building a knowledge-base in Africa not only ensures a skilled workforce for the Province, but also that education is a major export of the Western Cape economy.
The Western Cape Government has partnered with WESGRO, University of Cape Town, and University of the Western Cape as well as the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Nedbank, the African Consular Corps, Artscape Theatre Centre, Southern Cross Foundation on Ekasi African Unity Tournament and St Mary’s Cathedral to consolidate our Africa Day 2013 programmes. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) is involved in exciting activities that contribute to social and cultural cohesion in communities. These include the Province-wide celebrations and a series of indigenous games.