Today, the 25th of May, 2020, the Zimbabwe Institute of Diplomacy joins
the rest of the African Continent in celebrating Africa Day and the birth of
the African Union. This year’s celebration takes place when Africa and the
World are facing a common enemy – COVID19, 5 371 700 cases and
344 815 deaths. We have failed to celebrate the Day with fanfare this year
due to the pandemic Africa has recorded 112 009 cases and
3 339 deaths.

The Pandemic COVID19 should not thwart Africa’s resolve of a United
Africa to fulfil the dreams of our founding and most famous leaders and
intellectuals; Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Kenneth Kaunda,
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein, Ben Bella, Hastings Banda, Seku Toure,
Maurice Yameogo, Modibo Keita, Haile Sellassie I, Julius Nyerere,
Amadu Ahidjo, including observer leaders of Liberation Movements who
encompassed Joshua Mqhabuko Nkomo, Robert Gabriel Mugabe,
Joachim Chissano, Edwardo Dos Santos and Nelson Madiba Mandela to
mention a few among other prominent figures. We, therefore, take this
opportunity to convey the best wishes to all Africans everywhere. Our
celebrations should reinforce Pan Africanism, African solidarity and unity
in diversity. It should also reflect an affirmation of the progresses and
challenges we have encountered as a continent along our Road to
Freedom and Economic Emancipation.

As we are celebrating Africa Day, we must be reminded of what the
founding fathers of the OAU and later the AU, had envisaged when they
formed this continental body and uphold the ideology of Pan-Africanism.
As Zimbabweans we are challenged to renew our commitment to the kind
of unity and solidarity that carried our forebears to victory over the
subjugation of colonialism. We must continue to respect and tolerate
different political affiliations, cultures, ideologies, races, genders, and
languages. It is through appreciation of such differences that we are
strong and can learn to love and care for each other.

As a fast-developing continent, we must harness the greatest potential in
our youth to determine the development trajectory of Africa that will breed
the “Africa We Want;” – a strong united and influential global player and
partner as envisioned in the Agenda 2063. This roadmap is of urgent
necessity to consummate the potential of Africa’s large youth population
into a demographic dividend including the untapped potential on the
African continent. Africa must now expeditiously aspire to reach the goals
of the complementary Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable

As Africans our hope is in unity and solidarity, as Zimbabweans our hope
is diversity and we have to replace those vicious circles of exclusion with
the virtuous circles of inclusion, love, togetherness and peace. We shall
conquer COVID19.


Zimbabwe Institute of Diplomacy

Harare, 25 May 2020