President Jacob Zuma on Sunday urged South Africans to learn the African Union anthem, and asked companies and institutions to fly the African Union flag alongside that of the national flag.
“On this 21st year of being part of the AU, we must begin a new chapter and formalise the promotion of the AU and our African identity in every aspect of life,” Zuma said while speaking at an Africa Day event at the University of Pretoria.
“Starting today, every school, church or community choir and individuals, must practice the African Union anthem so that we can sing it at all our important gatherings and celebrations.”
We urge South African institutions and companies to begin flying the African Union flag together with the South African flag.”
Africa Day is officially celebrated on May 25 to commemorate the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now known as the African Union (AU).
South Africa joined the OAU on May 23, 1994.
Zuma said South Africans should reclaim their African identity which was suppressed during the apartheid era.
South Africa would continue working with the AU to advance peace and stability on the continent.
“We are proud of our modest contribution to the success of the continent through involvement in peacemaking, peacekeeping as well as reconstruction and development, working within the ambit of the African Union with other sister countries,” said Zuma.
“We continue to work together as Africans to find solutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Mali, Sudan, the Central African Republic and other parts of the continent facing challenges such as Burundi in recent weeks.”
While the continent continued to show advancements on the economic front, more work needed to be done, said Zuma.
“Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. We have a sound socio-economic development plan in the form of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD. We have clear programmes to advance infrastructure development, industrialisation and advancement in agriculture, health and other social programmes,” he said.
“The challenge is to make the growth inclusive and for it to translate into an improved quality of life for the one billion Africans who inhabit our continent.”