From emancipation to growth and development
Africa Day and the 55th anniversary of the African Union almost coincided when the Windhoek-based diplomatic community hesitated to celebrate either the one or the other. Eventually, the gala dinner to celebrate Africa Day, was moved to this week Monday, where a colourful motley of diplomatic staff and government dignitaries celebrated the anniversary of the turning point in Africa’s history.
Namibia’s First Lady, Madame Monica Geingos delivered the key note address focussing on the new public private partnership paradigm. She also emphasised the importance of open and honest communications saying that people only grow when they understand the issues and are included in the development narrative.
“In order to grow people must understand the issues that affect them all. While it feels as though there is generational conflict, it is not more than there has ever been” she said stressing that generational conflict is to be expected, but it becomes a problem when people do not respect each other and [do not] listen to one another.
Madame Geingos urged both the youth and their elders to listen to one another, have honest conversations, even with issues that are sometimes considered taboo such as sex and HIV/AIDS, to create unlikely partnerships which will aid in the socio-economic development of Africa as a whole.
Formally known as African Liberation Day, Africa Day commemorates the establishment of the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) which subsequently transitioned to the African Union. Mirroring political developments during this process, the African Union’s aspirations for Africa gradually shifted from emancipation to peace and unity through democracy, inclusive growth and sustainable development.
The celebratory gala dinner was sponsored by Standard Bank.