African Union Day: Unlocking our continent’s potential

Saturday, May 25, marked a momentous occasion in the journey towards African unity and solidarity as the entire continent observed African Union (AU) Day. 


This year's theme: "Educate an African fit for the 21st Century," shines a spotlight on transforming education across the continent. The 2024 celebration focuses on building resilient education systems that provide inclusive, lifelong, quality and relevant learning opportunities for all Africans.

In alignment with the Continental Strategy on Education for Africa (CESA), this initiative recognises the power of education in shaping the continent's future. As we commemorate AU Day, we reflect on the progress made and the challenges that still hinder our growth.

First of all, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), launched in 2018, has the potential to create a single market for goods and services, boosting intra-African trade and economic growth.

However, its full implementation faces obstacles, including ratification delays, infrastructure gaps and non-tariff barriers. To overcome these, member states must prioritise ratification, invest in trade facilitation infrastructure and harmonise policies. The benefits of a unified market are immense – increased economic diversification, job creation and improved living standards.

While poverty remains a persistent scourge, with over 400 million Africans living below the poverty line, there is still hope to move our people out of poverty and embrace prosperity as has been done elsewhere within the last 50 years or so.

 To tackle this, we must prioritise sustainable development, invest in education, health care and social protection programmes. The AU's Agenda 2063 sets ambitious goals for poverty reduction. However, more needs to be done to address the root causes of inequality and ensure inclusive growth.

Africa's youthful population presents a significant opportunity for growth and innovation. With over 60 per cent of the population below 25, we must invest in education, skills development and entrepreneurship programmes to harness this demographic dividend.

This will not only drive economic growth but also reduce youth unemployment and migration. Furthermore, Africa's vast arable lands offer immense potential for agricultural growth and development.

By investing in sustainable agricultural practices, irrigation systems and rural infrastructure, we can unlock the continent's full agricultural potential. This will enable Africa to become the breadbasket of the world, feeding its growing population and exporting the surplus produce to global markets. Such a development will not only improve food security but also create jobs, stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty.

However, the Daily Graphic is disappointed at the growing political instability, particularly in West Africa, which poses a significant threat to regional security and development. The recent surge in military takeovers undermines democratic gains and perpetuates cycles of violence.

The AU must strengthen its conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms, supporting mediation efforts and ensuring swift sanctions against unconstitutional changes of government. Additionally, investing in good governance, democratic institutions and civic education will help prevent such crises.

As we celebrate AU Day, we at the Daily Graphic acknowledge the progress made towards African unity and development. However, we must confront the challenges that hinder our progress.

By fully implementing the AfCFTA, addressing political instability, tackling poverty, harnessing our youthful population and taking advantage of our arable lands, we can uncover Africa's full potential and create a brighter future for generations to come. 

Let us recommit to the AU's vision of an integrated, peaceful and prosperous Africa, where all citizens can thrive and reach their full potential.

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...