The United Zimbabwe Alliance joins Zimbabwe and the rest of the African continent and the World in commemorating Africa Day. This is an important day on our calendar, as it provides us an opportunity to reflect on the socio-economic and political achievements that we have made as a continent.
Celebrated under the theme: “Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent”, this year’s celebrations are very important as it comes at a time when Africa is still grappling with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which exacerbated our continent’s socio-economic inequalities and revealed significant gaps in the health care and social protection systems of African countries.
As we reflect on our African history and the aspirations that spawned the creation of the Organisation of African Unity (O.A.U) on May 25 1963, the precursor to the African Union (AU) established in 2002, it is important that we continue to advocate for greater unity among African countries, free from colonialism.
Today, the AU’s vision remains the same as it was in 1963, but ours should be a continent where peace and security and regional integration are implemented and recognised as the cornerstones of democracy. An independent Africa can become a continent of prosperity, but this will require political cooperation and diplomacy. As UZA, we believe that for Africa to achieve inclusive and sustainable development, peace and unity should be at the forefront of the developmental trajectory. A peaceful Africa will foster and promote socio economic development and improved wellbeing for our people.
As we commemorate this year’s theme, UZA calls on fellow African leaders to invest in initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area, which potentially could free millions of Africans from poverty. Infrastructure development must become a priority as this promotes the free movement of goods and services. Our continent is blessed with abundant resources which when properly managed and distributed, have the potential to change our status as a continent.
The onus rests on us as Africans to stop engaging in civil wars and for our governments to respect citizens’ rights, including freedom of movement, association, and expression. The AU’s Constitutive Act specifically commits us to promoting democracy and good governance.
UZA’s mission is the betterment of the lives of every Zimbabwean by building and safeguarding a democratic, free and transparent society that is conducive to the prosperity of all citizens, therefore it is important that we work towards promoting a free and prosperous Africa that belongs to us all. Every African person is important from the woman tilling the land in Binga to the mothers selling tomatoes by the side of the road in Chipinge. The African child living in rural Chivi to the entrepreneurial innovator who has just embarked on a venture-backed start-up company all deserve support, recognition and social conditions that enable them to thrive and prosper. To realize all this, we need to ensure political accountability at all levels, engaging all Zimbabweans in policy formulation, public affairs and nation building with zero tolerance for corruption.
An inclusive Africa that benefits everyone is what we need to promote under a transparent and just leadership that is people centered. UZA wishes Zimbabwe and Africa a Happy Africa Day!