Honourable Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces
Ladies and Gentlemen
Africa Day marks the day, on the 25th of May 1963, when countries in Africa that had achieved freedom from colonialism, came together to sign a declaration to form the Organisation of African Unity (OAU),
Since that time, the African continent has transformed in many ways and today we now have the African Union which works diligently towards creating a positive future for the people of our continent.
South Africa is an integral part of Africa and our national interest is inextricably linked to the stability, unity and prosperity of the continent. The fifth democratic Parliament will continue to strengthen relations with other Parliaments in Africa and spread a message of unity.
Our country’s celebration of Africa Day is a time for us to celebrate the progress that we – as Africans – have made, while reflecting upon the common challenges we face in the global environment.
Two years ago we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the AU. We looked back with measured satisfaction at the road we have travelled. But we also committed ourselves to doing more and better in the next fifty years.
Agenda 2063 is about the Africa we want to build in the future. It connects the Africa of yesterday to the Africa of today and the Africa of tomorrow. The past has given us many lessons that we can use to drive bravely into a future of collective prosperity and unity.
Agenda 2063 is premised on seven aspirational pillars, which are:
A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development
An Integrated Continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan Africanism
An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for Human Rights, Justice and the Rule of Law
A peaceful and secure Africa
An Africa with g cultural values and ethics
An Africa where development is people-driven, relying particularly on the potential of women and youth and
Africa as a g and influential global player and partner.
Agenda 2063 also gives priority to regional integration as a key vehicle for Africa’s accelerated social and economic development. As such, our Parliament has placed regional integration as one of its areas of strategic focus in terms of our International Relations.
Parliament, as guided by South Africa’s foreign policy, actively participates in various regional, continental and international forums to promote the African agenda and the role South Africa plays in this regard.
This is embodied in our membership and commitment to the SADC-Parliamentary Forum. In July 2015, our Parliament will be hosting the 37th Plenary Assembly of the SADC-PF. This will provide us with an opportunity to further showcase our commitment to regional integration and working towards achieving the aspirations of Agenda 2063.
Honourable Members and distinguished guests
As we celebrate Africa Day, let us also reflect on the recent wave of attacks by a small minority against our brothers and sisters from various parts of the African continent. I wish to state unequivocally, that South Africa and its people are committed to a prosperous and united future for our continent.
During this week, Parliament will engage critically on a range of issues related to our beautiful continent. Included among the planned activities for the week are:
A public discussion by leading academics and civil society representatives on unity and integration on the continent
A joint sitting to debate Africa Day. The theme of the debate is: “We are Africa – united in our diversity in aancing the ideals of Agenda 2063”
I wish to conclude by reflecting on the words of Amilcar Cabral who said that “our own reality can only be transformed by detailed knowledge of it, by our own efforts, by our own sacrifices”. It is only us as Africans, who can define our future, and it is through our work as a united people that will give our children the future that they deserve.
I thank you
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENT OF THE RSA
Source : Parliament of South Africa