Africa Day Marked in South Africa

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In short
What is good for Africa is good for the world. That was UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moons message in a message to mark of Africa Day on Wednesday.

The annual international event offers the continent an opportunity to reflect on its history, liberation struggle, economic and social development, and a celebration of its rich and diverse cultures.

This year's Africa Day is themed "Year of Human Rights, with particular focus on the Rights of Women"

In a statement, Ban Ki-moon said addressing inequality is imperative so that the continent is not left behind.

He said Africa's economic prospects looks bright despite slum in the global economy.  Africa growth according to Ban Ki-moon is projected to increase to 4.4 per cent in 2016, from 3.7 percent in 2015.

He therefore urged Africa's leaders to use these gains to address rising social and economic inequalities, and ensure that no African is left behind.

Addressing Social inequalities according to Ban-Ki Moon will be crucial for tackling root causes of conflicts, terrorism and violent extremism, and fostering peace and stability.

He also commended Africa's bold initiative on "Silencing the Guns by 2020", which is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063's First Ten-Year Implementation Plan.

Ban Ki-moon in a statement also pledged the UN's support to Africa's vision 2063 agenda.

He said under Agenda 2063, Africa's priorities include investing in its people, with an emphasis on women and youth; developing manufacturing and agro-processing; building transport, water, sanitation, energy and ICT infrastructure; domestic resource mobilization and stemming illicit financial flows; ending conflict; promoting human rights; and expanding democratic governance.

"Africa also has the opportunity to pursue industrialization in a more environmentally sustainable manner, including through climate-smart agriculture, renewable energy and arresting deforestation. I encourage African nations and their partners to spare no effort in advancing these priorities. The United Nations is committed in its support."

African Union (AU) chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said while the Union has created many frameworks and instruments to achieve an inclusive, democratic and prosperous continent.

She however said there are still many challenges ahead regarding effectively ensuring that critical norms and laws became a reality for African people.

"This cannot happen without the collaborative efforts of the government, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.

She said this year the AU wanted to place its focus on women's rights as it was a fundamental obligation and because it made economic sense.

President Jacob Zuma said: "Many countries on the continent provided refuge to many South Africans who went into exile and provided material, social, political and military support.

"Africa Day thus provides an opportunity to celebrate that African solidarity and to continue expressing it through the ongoing support for many on the continent who are caught up in conflict.
 
 

 

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