The National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO), the umbrella body of NGOs operating in Zimbabwe joins the continent in celebrating Africa Day.
Africa made history on the 25th of May 1963 by establishing the Organisation of African Union (OAU), which was later, in 2002, renamed the African Union. The coming together of African countries was historic in many ways as it provided a continental platform to achieve greater unity, cohesion and solidarity between the African countries and African nations, defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States and accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent. Thus, as we commemorate Africa Day we are indeed celebrating African unity.
NANGO recognizes the numerous instruments that have been developed by the continent in a bid to address economic, political, social, trade and governance issues. Of note are the Agenda 2063, Agenda 2030, Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), Programme for Infrastructural Development in Africa (PIDA), African Mining Vision (AMV), Science Technology Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA), Boosting Intra African Trade (BIAT), Accelerated Industrial Development for Africa (AIDA) amongst other agreements and action plans. These are critical in addressing extreme poverty, inequalities, disease and conflict in the continent. We therefore, wish to echo the voices of the marginalised and disenfranchised communities across Africa on the need to work together towards the Africa We Want. Africa that has improvement in the standards of living, inclusive and sustained economies; increased levels of regional and continental integration; a population of empowered women and youth and a society in which children are cared for and protected; societies that are peaceful, demonstrate good democratic values and practice good governance principles and which preserve and enhance Africa’s cultural identity. On behalf of civil society, NANGO encourages effective implementation of these policies and alignment to regional legal frameworks that are aimed at attaining sustainable development in Africa.
We note that Africa continues to experience extreme poverty, high inequalities, human rights abuses, rapid urbanisation, food insecurity, violent conflict, health threats, increased vulnerability to natural disasters, high corruption, poor policy implementation, political fragmentation, gender inequality, acute illicit financial outflows, huge debt overhang and many other economic, social, environmental and governance ills. As we celebrate Africa Day, we also take cognizant of these challenges that ravage our societies resulting in socially, economically, politically and environmentally dysfunctional societies. The unity that was demonstrated by our founding fathers, which set the foundation of the AU and inclusivity are still as important today as they were back then. We encourage our governments to accelerate implementation of the continental instruments, which are critical in transforming our continent into the Africa We Want.
Africa is heavily endowed and blessed with key natural and human resources that are key in contributing towards inclusive and sustainable development where all segments of society realize their social, economic, political rights in a progressive manner. We continue to call for more inclusive democratic processes that ensure that ‘No One is Left Behind’ by including women, youths, children, persons with disabilities, indigenes, elderly, amongst other disenfranchised groups.
As civil society organisations we are concerned about heavy police and military presence, stifling legal frameworks targeting civic organisations, politicization of public offices, media polarization as well as lack of trust between governments and civ society organisations. These factors contribute significantly to shrinkage of civic space across Africa. The continent should ensure that there is a conducive civil society operating environment and strengthened synergies between government and civil society as the two stakeholders are key in driving development in Africa.
Africa is our home and no other do we have so let us superintend it well for the current and future generations.
NANGO is the officially recognised coordinating body of NGOs operating in Zimbabwe. It is a non-partisan, non-profit making organisation and non-denominational coordinating body of NGOs in Zimbabwe. It is mandated by its membership to coordinate the activities of NGOs, represent the NGO sector and strengthen the voice of NGOs in Zimbabwe.