Africa Day fizzles out

There was no celebrations to mark Africa Day in Kenya, but the country’s President Uhuru Kenyatta is urging the continent to work together to fight extremism.

Africa has 54 countries, but only six; Ghana, Mali, Namibia, Zambia, Lesotho and Zimbabwe observe the day with a public holiday. Celebrations in these countries began early.

Africa Day is celebrated annually within the African continent to mark the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on 25 May 1963 and the African Union in 2002.

Nobel peace prize winner and Egyptian scholar Mohamed ElBaradei said on Africa Day it is generally good to celebrate, but not in Africa right now.

ElBaradei told journalists in Pretoria today that there were still too many problems in Africa, and even the world, and reflection was needed instead.

“It is good to celebrate, but it is also good to say we have a lot of problems on our hands. I don’t think it will suffice to celebrate now. I think it is time for reflection and to say we have a lot of problems on our hands. We owe our people a lot in terms of governance, and governance continues to be a major issue in Africa,” he said.

He said countries had to ask themselves if military intervention was the only way or whether there was another way to address the issues.

Elbaradei used to head the International Nuclear Atomic Agency.