This week We celebrate Africa Day, this day is an opportunity for Africans to remember that on May 25, 1963, 32 African countries signed the Charter of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), later becoming the African Union (AU). Only 30 of them were independent of colonial rule at the time. The founding charter demanded greater unity among African countries. He supported the independence of African countries from colonialism and apartheid and promoted economic and political cooperation with the aim that all people on the continent would live freely and in prospered.
Bad news does not always come from Africa, in the case of COVID-19, and according to official figures, Africa is the continent where fewer people have died from coronavirus, even though, at the beginning of the pandemic, the worst forecasts for this region have become. The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) estimated in April 2020 that more than 300,000 Africans could die from the pandemic, but today deaths do not exceed 130,000. At the economic level, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which aims to create the world’s largest single market for products and services, came into operation on 1 January. While it is early to see the results, this operational phase is the beginning of an ambitious continental commitment that pursues more economic growth, increased foreign investment and greater industrialization in Africa.
The challenges for Africa externally are based on renewing Africa’s discourse and image of the world, this is the fight against global structural racism suffered by the continent. According to a report by the Spanish foundation, Alternatives, presented this week by Elsa Aimé, talks about “racist and unequal logical” elements that unbalance the relationship between the European Union (EU) and Africa; As this report cites, “global structural racism” continues to determine the continent’s development on issues such as vaccination and pandemic management. Issues such as immigration policies and diplomacy are approached in a “condescending” way.
Internally, the continent is calling for the fight for inclusive and sustainable development that guarantees the well-being of its peoples. To achieve this, economically, it needs to provide the African Continental Free Trade Area with the tools necessary for its proper functioning, this common market can be an opportunity to take millions of people out of poverty, on the other hand, infrastructure must be improved and the free movement of goods and people.
Finally, the most important challenge that awaits the continent is the fight against inequalities, protecting children’s rights, empowering women, respecting freedoms and defending the rights of its citizens. As a Suajili proverb says: “If you don’t plug the holes, you’ll have to rebuild the walls.” Africa is cited to take care of what it already has in order to meet the challenges of the future.