Rethinking “Africa Liberation Day”


By James F. Mendy

May 25th every year is observed as Africa Liberation Day. This is very significant and worth much of reflection than celebration. Critical thinking keeps landing me on the following questions:

  1. Do Africans really know what these significant days really mean?
  2. Do we really understand its purpose?
  3. Is Africa really moving towards the realization of Africa Liberation?
  4. Have we Africans done much about what we are observing every year on this day?
  5. Should it really be a day that we should sit at home and don’t go to work?
  6. Is this day not been misinterpreted, and the people misguided?

These and many others, call for a rethink of “Africa Liberation Day”.

History tells us that this day was born out of the conscious struggle of African people against oppression.

Hence the first Conference of Independent African states was held in 1958, and 15th April was declared African freedom day.  This was to mark the progress of the liberation movement in Africa, each year. It was also to symbolize the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.

After the founding of the OAU in 1963, 31 Heads of African States declared May 25th as African Liberation Day.

This thus serves as a bedrock upon which we can rededicate ourselves to the struggle.

My understanding tells me that, we should not think that we are celebrating our liberation, rather reflect on our achievements towards liberation and making sure that we get a complete liberation of Africa. Africa cannot be liberated until the following are met by all Africans and African states:

# Economic Independence

#Social and cultural Independence

# self-reliance

# a well  enlightened population

# industrialized African states

# excellent health care

# food self-sufficiency

# emancipation from mental slavery, etc

We have to believe in ourselves and be proud of what we have.

Now comes the question what is really taking us back? We have to know that to realize a complete liberation; we have to start from individual Africans right up to our governments.

  1. Do we value what is ours as Africans?
  2. Do our governments have the political will to liberate Africa?

So every single African must be ready to liberate Africa in order for this to be realized or else we will be singing this every year for nothing. Liberation is not merely about giving speeches by intellectuals, activists, politicians etc. We have to act and live it. It is work that has to be done. A generation must sacrifice and do it for other generations. This cannot be possible where everyone wants to live a luxurious life and like the very westerners, we are pointing fingers at. The main obstacles to Africa Liberation are Africans themselves. We emulate the westerners in dressing, speaking, thinking, social and cultural lives. Above all, we are their enablers in all that we accuse them of.

Unless we Africans reexamine ourselves to take the right path, this is far from realization.

  1. Are we ready to have a United Africa?
  2. Are we ready to do away with hatred and selfishness?
  3. Are we ready to love and help our fellow Africans?

Any time that we sort out the above questions and many relevant others, then we will have a lot of hope of emancipating Africa.

Our leaders and governments must have that political will.

Individual Africans must be ready for it, and then we will think of a dream come true.

Today, Africans believe that going to the west is the solution to our problems, and yet we talk about the liberation of Africa.

Liberating Africa is not about building fences because we live in a global community. This, we must not be fooled. We are talking of being fully independent and self-reliant. We are not going to create enemies to achieve this. Together, we can realize this while maintaining our friendship with the entire world, irrespective of race, colour, or religion. Africa can constructively emancipate itself. Our liberators did their part and we gained self-rule, so we all have to fight for complete emancipation.

I wish you all a very happy and fruitful Africa Liberation Day. Long live Africa! Long live Africans! and long live our friends, brothers and sisters of other continents. Together we make a global community. Love you all!