Let’s be resilient, says VP Mohadi

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Let’s be resilient, says VP Mohadi 
Vice President Kembo Mohadi delivers a lecture to students and deans (out of the picture) at the University of Zimbabwe’s Innovation Hub in Harare yesterday. – Picture: Kudakwashe Hunda.

Joseph Madzimure-Zimpapers Politics Hub

AFRICA Day is a celebration of liberation, resilience and transformative possibilities that lie ahead, VP Kembo Mohadi said yesterday.

Giving a public lecture to students at the University of Zimbabwe titled “Liberation Movements and African Unity: Why Resilience Matters for Sustained Transformative Possibilities”, VP Mohadi said Africa Day is a day to remember the sacrifices made, strength displayed and collective vision for a united and prosperous Africa.

“As the continent moves forward, the lessons of the past and the unwavering spirit of resilience will remain crucial in achieving a brighter future for all Africans,” said VP Mohadi.

Africa Day, celebrated on May 25, resonates deeply with the continent’s history.

It marks the birth of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, a culmination of decades of struggle and a powerful symbol of African unity.

To understand the significance of Africa Day, he said there is need to delve into the historical context that originated this Pan-African idea.

Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira also attended the lecture.

VP Mohadi narrated that the journey towards unity began with the First Congress of Independent African States held in Accra, Ghana  in 1960.

This gathering, he said served as a crucial stepping stone to effect the idea. 

“Thirty-two newly independent nations came together, forging ties and fostering a sense of solidarity. The congress laid the groundwork for a more formal continental organisation, recognising the power of a collective voice in a world dominated by colonial powers. 

“The significance of the Accra Congress in amplifying Africa’s voice cannot be overstated. Prior to 1960, newly independent African nations often found themselves isolated and at a disadvantage in international negotiations. 

“Colonial powers still wielded considerable influence and individual African states lacked the economic and political clout to effectively advocate for their interests. 

“The Accra Congress changed this dynamic. By bringing together leaders from across the continent, it created a unified front that could no longer be easily ignored,” said VP Mohadi.

The congress, he said served as a powerful symbol of decolonisation efforts.

“The sheer number of newly independent states present sent a clear message to the remaining colonial powers: Africa was united in its desire for self-determination. This collective stance undoubtedly put pressure on European nations to accelerate the process of decolonisation. 

“Secondly, the congress allowed African leaders to present a united front on economic development. Colonial exploitation had left many African nations impoverished and with weak economies and limited resources. 

“But by speaking with one voice, they could now negotiate more favourable trade deals and secure international aid on a collective basis. This economic solidarity had the potential to accelerate development across the continent,” he said. Furthermore, the Accra Congress fostered a unified stance on global issues.

The Cold War was raging in 1960, and newly independent African nations were wary of being drawn into the conflict. By presenting a united front on issues of neutrality and non-alignment, African states could protect their sovereignty and chart their own independent course in the international arena. Indeed, the Accra Congress was a powerful display of African unity.

He said it demonstrated that by speaking with one voice, the continent could amplify its message, defend its interests, and pave the way for a brighter future. 

“This new found solidarity laid the foundation for the creation of the OAU just three years later, marking a significant step towards a more unified and influential Africa,” he said.

A united Africa, with its significant population and growing economic clout, VP Mohadi said can have a greater say in shaping global governance institutions.

This, he said includes advocating for reforms in organisations like the United Nations Security Council, where Africa is currently under-represented.

“A more influential Africa can push for a fairer global order that addresses issues of concern to the continent, such as climate change, debt relief, and international development assistance. A united Africa’s influence extends beyond simply advocating for its interests. 

The continent can also play a more active role in international peacekeeping and conflict resolution. By leveraging its combined resources and diplomatic experience, Africa can contribute to fostering peace and stability in regions experiencing conflict. 

This leadership role on the global stage enhances Africa’s reputation as a responsible and influential member of the international community,” he said.

A University of Zimbabwe Political Science student Ropafadze Maumburudze commended VP Mohadi for giving them an insight on the history of Africa, birth of the African Union and contributions of founding fathers to achieve the independence of Africa.

“We are happy to meet VP Mohadi who gave us an insight on the history of Africa. I have learned so much about the history of Africa. As students, we now understand the history of our continent, where we are and where we come from,” said Ms Maumburudze.

“It’s a rare opportunity to get first- hand information from a senior Government official to give a lecturer to students. 

“It’s an honour especially for me to get a well-researched lecturer from VP Mohadi about the Africa Day and the liberation struggle.”

 

“We expect to get more lectures from senior Government officials. I learnt that Africa Day is not only celebrating about the culture, but also remembering the liberation struggle, so it’s an honour VP Mohadi gave the background of how the Africans overcame the process of colonisation,” said Munyaradzi Ndlovu another University of Zimbabwe student.

Another political science student Never Mutara, said he now understood the Pan-Africanism agenda from VP Mohadi on why Africans should remain united.

“It was very educative to know that we should not rely only on foreign artists, but also our own local artists who know our background. I now understand our history, where we are coming from and where we are going as Zimbabweans,” Mr Mutara. 

On May 25, 1963, the dream of a unified Africa materialised with the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 Thirty-two independent states signed the OAU Charter, outlining a commitment to unity, non-interference in internal affairs and the complete eradication of colonialism.

This marked a historic turning point, offering a platform for African nations to address shared challenges and advocate for a unified stance on the international stage

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