The Dean of theAfrican ambassadors, High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa H.E Mpendulo Jele hosted a festive reception to celebrate Africa Day 2017.
The Day is celebrated by the African nations every year to express their solidarity and commitment to freedom, liberty, democracy and human rights. H.E Walid Abu Ali, ambassador of the State of Palestine was the chief guest at the reception, who joined other African ambassadors in the cake cutting ceremony.
Addressing at the reception, High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa H.E Mpendulo Jele highlighted the importance of Africa Day which symbolised unity of the African nations and their common causes. He said, this time the African nations express their solidarity with the Palestinian people who are struggling for their just right to statehood and freedom of occupied Palestinian lands from Israeli occupation. He said, the African nations have bitter memories of colonialism and they feel it was their moral obligation to support the struggle of the subjugated people.
H.E Walid Abu Ali, ambassador of the State of Palestine, in his address expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the African nations for their support to the cause of Palestinian people. He was confident that the Palestinian people will attain their goal as they are determined to liberate themselves from the Israeli occupation at all costs. The Africa Day reception was marked by African ethnic dances by young African men and women. Most of the Africans attending the reception wore traditional colourful dresses. African children were a great attraction at the function who were colourfully dressed and were in festive mood.
A large number of ambassadors as well as prominent Pakistanis attended the reception.
Africa Day formerly known as African Freedom Day or African Liberation Day is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) now known as the African Union. It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world. The First Congress of Independent African States was held in Accra, Ghana on 15 April 1958. It was convened by Prime Minister of Ghana Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
The Conference called for the founding of an African Freedom Day, a day to “…mark each year the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolize the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.” The conference was notable in that it laid the basis for the subsequent meetings of Africa heads of state and government during the Casablanca Group and the Monrovia Group era, until the formation of the OAU in 1963.
Five years later, on 25 May 1963, representatives of thirty African nations met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, hosted by Emperor Haile Selassie. By then more than two-thirds of the continent had achieved independence, mostly from imperial European states. At this meeting, the Organization of African Unity was founded. Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent. Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. In the late 19th century European countries colonized most of Africa. Africa also varies greatly with regard to environments, economics, historical ties and government systems. However, most present states in Africa originate from a process of decolonization in the 20th century.
Other African nation’s embassies operating in Islamabad such as Tunisia, Sudan, Lebanon, and Algeria actively participated in the celebrations. There were stalls of their local cuisine and foods which the whole participants enjoyed a lot.