As colonialism ended on the African continent, the leaders of thirty-two newly independent African states gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to establish the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on the 25th May 1963.  The establishment of this organisation, was primarily intended to promote unity and cooperation among African states, uphold self-government and respect for territorial boundaries and eradicate all forms of colonialism from Africa.

This is an important day for all Africans because it does not matter where we come from or where we are, we get to sit and reflect on the history of slavery, colonialism, and racism and how much we have overcome together as Africans.

We are going through a lot of challenges as a continent.  The underdevelopment continues till today. Africa is debt burdened; with ever deepening economic crisis we still go through double standards, racism, and climate injustice etc. We must be united if we want to overcome our challenges.  United Africa would lead the continent in the right direction towards independence, economic emancipation, eradication of poverty and advancement of Africa. 

Historically and to date migrants helped build the economy of South Africa and this form of unity is critical for the region. etc. The South African government must be bold enough to deal with Xenophobia and put in mechanisms that deal with the ongoing violence and inhumane way in which sisters and brothers of this continent are treated.

Africa must unite against xenophobia and all forms of exploitation and oppression. Racism and xenophobia are the rejection of our shared humanity. They create holes in the social fabric that makes our communities strong.  Instead of fighting each other, let\’s celebrate one another. We have different, diverse and rich unique cultures, that we should celebrate on this day.  Without genuine African unity, our continent will remain at the mercy of imperialist domination and exploitation. 

Rural Women’s Assembly South Africa condemns in the strongest term the Xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans manifested in sporadic assaults, looting and petrol bombing of their shops in our country. We are concerned of the level of anger and aggression that leads to fellow brothers and sisters beating and burning one another. There was a time in history when Africans fought with Africans for Africans against Europeans. Sadly, today the tables have turned, and things have changed. It\’s sad that we have come to a point whereby Africans kill and fight against one another.

No amount of frustration or anger can ever justify these barbaric attacks. We cannot put a price on human life. Rural Women’s Assembly South Africa is open to all, without any discrimination whatsoever, we still remain a social force that promotes multiculturalism, peace, sisterhood and concern for others, leading constructive contribution to our communities and countries. We re-affirm our commitment to holding the values of diversity and inclusion. We believe in the ideal of African national unity. The strength and wealth of Africa is in its unity and sisterly love for one another. We are after all Africans before we are South Africans.

Let’s all stand together and continue the spirit of unity. Happy Africa Day 

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