On the 25th of May 2013, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union will mark 50 years since its establishment.
Chairperson of the African Union Commission Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Dr Teodros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia jointly lit the symbolic torch on to kick of the celebrations on 8th April at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
Dr Dlamini Zuma noted that the torch symbolizes the desire to reverse the current story line of despair into the real narrative of opportunity and potential.
AU leaders wished that the jubilee will allow Africa to speak with one voice leading sustained unity.
However, many like Policy Analyst Okello Lucima and spokesperson of the Uganda People Congress (UPC) regret that the organization has failed to include the voices of ordinary Africans.
Celebrations will be held under the theme of “Pan Africanism and African Renaissance” in AU member states, starting on 25th May and will last for 12 months.
During the months the AU has identified twelve areas as challenges that will be addressed each of the months.
These include priority areas such as women empowerment, health, education, peace and security, governance and democracy, and food security.
The celebrations are aimed at bringing together African s in the continent and the diaspora to promote an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.
But according to Newton Balenzi of the Pan African Movement in Uganda, affairs of the AU remain with the top political leaders and rarely trickle down to the citizens.
Coinciding with the launch, the AU leadership took time to reflect on the need of the continent to refocus on the shared values such as self-reliance.
The Golden Jubilee intends to honour of the generations that went before us and to inspire current and future generations.