Africa Day not only marks the anniversary of the birth of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), on 25th May 1963, it also recognizes the need to embrace the values of equality, peace and progress that our forbears dreamt of.
Today Seychelles proudly joins the rest of Africa in celebrating Africa Day. This is an occasion, for us not only to celebrate, but also an opportunity to take pride in our continent and its boundless diversity.
On this day, we need to reflect on the promise of Africa. Seychelles reaffirms this and stands in unity with all Africans determined to further our aspirations, and ambitions. These aspirations today are reflected in many things, not least on how Africa can further achieve Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Our Continent was built on the fusion of diverse peoples, and we drew inspiration and support from Africa’s longing for self-determination, freedom, and unity.
Africa Day not only marks the anniversary of the birth of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), on 25th May 1963, it also recognizes the need to embrace the values of equality, peace and progress that our forbears dreamt of. We owe it to them, to their sacrifices, and their devotion to steer our continent in the direction so as it may reach its full potential.
As leaders of the world of today, we are conscious that the lessons of our forefathers are the bridges linking our current generations to the next one, as we are further inspired by the core principles of solidarity, unity and the restoration of pride and dignity.
On this day, we need to reflect on the promise of Africa.
In 2017, as we commemorate Africa day, we do so inspired by the theme “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in youth”, as a driver for continued sustainable development, progress and advancement of our continent.
The greatest wealth of nations are its people, and in particular their youth. As a young continent, our challenges should be transformed into greatness through the mobilization of our youth, to not only achieve the success we deserve to have but critically to redefine the future of our continent.
In Seychelles, our youth are the driving force behind many of our cross -sectoral achievements. Our vision lies on Seychelles’ capability to mobilise the strength and dynamism of our youth, who are already playing pivotal roles in the development of Seychelles and changing the socio-economic landscapes of our nation.
With strong indications of success not only evident in Seychelles, but across the African continent, we must continue to nurture the energy and spirit of entrepreneurship, of industry and self-empowerment of our young people and in doing so harness the potential of the next generation.
The theme also reflects on the urgency, to provide platforms, opportunities, support and resources to our youth, to foster their devotion and spirit, to not solely aspire to be leaders of tomorrow, but to be exemplary leaders of the current era. We, as the leaders of the African continent, must lead by example.
The perceived differences of our continent should never be utilised as weapons of our own disharmony. Our differences should be celebrated as stepping stones, leading to an Africa were unity, peace, stability, development, inclusiveness, respect and tolerance reign.
In celebrating the strengths, determination and courage of our great continent, let us celebrate Africa day 2017
Let us celebrate our Youths.
Happy Africa day.