The Gambian State celebrates Africa Union Day on 25th May 2020, vis-a-vis the Trade Union organization and employers who observed the day amid the COVID-19 experience. The continental union which consists of fifty five member states was announced in the Sirte Declaration in Libya, on 9 September 1999, calling for the establishment of the African Union. The bloc was founded on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and launched on 9 July 2002 in Durban, South Africa. The intention of the AU was to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, by 32 signatory Governments. The OAU was disbanded on 9 July 2002. The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and Governments of its member states, elected by the people.
Hence as a reminder, African Leaders should understand that the African Union (AU) is a social model that is deeply rooted in the conscience of African society. It is a raft for social and economic legislation and balances the market economy and social fabric of the people of the continent by providing the social framework for solidarity especially in favor of the most needy. The continental body is also in constant quest for a better quality of life for the people of the continent and depends on all interested parties accepting their responsibilities by engaging in dialogue. The objectives of the AU are amongst others, the following:
1. To achieve greater unity, cohesion and solidarity between the African countries and African nations;
2. To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States;
3. To accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent;
4. To promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples;
6. To promote peace, security, and stability on the continent;
7. To promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance;
9. To establish the necessary conditions which enable the continent to play its rightful role in the global economy and in international negotiations;
11. To promote co-operation in all fields of human activity to raise the living standards of African peoples;
12. To coordinate and harmonize the policies between the existing and future Regional Economic Communities for the gradual attainment of the objectives of the Union;
13. To advance the development of the continent by promoting research in all fields, in particular in science and technology; and
14. To work with relevant international partners in the eradication of preventable diseases and the promotion of good health on the continent.
The concrete expression of this model within the overall process of integration reveals an extraordinary ability to emerge from successive crisis together, through progress on the social, economic and democratic fronts. The AU should therefore be extra anxious to perpetuate the social model aspect of the Union for our common heritage and uplift the lives of the people from hunger, poverty, deprivation, protracted wars, human rights abuses, etc., and etc., that plagues and hampers the continent’s development endeavors.
On this occasion therefore, I salute the courage of ‘our founding fathers’ and pray that we the current pallbearers will continue to strive for the continent and better the lives of our people in all aspects. I wish everyone a happy and fruitful Africa Liberation Day. Long live in Africa!
A Luta Continua !!!!!!!!
Pa Modou K.B. Faal.
Executive Secretary General,
Gambia Workers’ Confederation.