The origin of Africa Day

Africa Day is a public holiday in nine African countries, observed annually on May 25, to commemorate the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

Ghana gained independence from Britain in 1958. Africa Day was observed for the first time the following year when Nkwame Nkrumah called a meeting of all independent African states.

At the time, only eight countries had gained their freedom from colonialism – Ghana, Ethiopia, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Liberia. While Algeria and Cameroon were not free at the time, they were represented at the meeting of independent African States.

Topics on the agenda included wanting liberation and the acknowledgement of human rights after centuries of oppression. That was the start of Africa Day, at the time it was known as Africa Liberation Day.

Four years later, representatives from 32 African countries gathered in Abbis Ababa.

The Africa Day theme for 2019 is “Healthy Lifestyle Prolongs Life”. It was selected to show the link between an unhealthy lifestyle and premature mortality.

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