TODAY, we celebrate Africa Day across the continent.
It’s a special day, which affords us a chance to take stock of the successes the continent has had.
In Africa, which is the third largest continent, we also take the opportunity to share some of the challenges faced by our people.
As we mark the special day, which has been declared a public holiday in some African countries, we need to reflect on the progress the continent has made.
Historically, this special day was set aside to acknowledge the success stories of the African Union (formerly Organisation of African Unity).
The organisation was formed on May 25 1963.
This year, we are marking 60 years of the existence of AU, which is celebrated on May 25, every year, as Africa Day.
The 2023 celebrations will be held under the theme “Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade.”
As the theme suggests, African leaders and policy makers have shown their commitment towards developing Africa.
This can be established through trade and commerce.
Africans should also learn to trade among themselves before they think of overseas markets.
African leaders should help open new industries to ensure that we manufacture most of the goods we import overseas.
We can’t be a dumping ground for second hand vehicles and clothes when we have the manpower and knowledgeable people to do the same job.
Africa is rich in mineral wealth, wildlife and other resources, which makes it one of the richest continents.
However, some of the countries in Africa are poor despite being rich in natural resources.
Civil wars, diseases and natural disasters have made life difficult for many Africans.
While we can do very little, when it comes to natural disasters, we can do more as a continent to stop the civil wars which have always found a fertile battling ground in Africa.
In line with this year’s theme, African countries should form pacts and trade among themselves freely.
With many Africans facing food shortages, our leaders throughout the continent should fight to address these challenges and deal with the menace which climate change has brought.
The effects of climate change are strongly being felt on the continent, which calls for action to be taken.
We can only ignore the effects of climate change at our own peril.
Some of the devastating droughts and natural disasters we face are as a result of climate change.
Culturally, Africans should uphold Ubuntu, love and unity, which define us as a people.
Africans should learn to embrace other races and nationalities and make the continent a better place to live.
The day would mean nothing if we don’t address the challenges we face across the continent and also celebrate the success which we have achieved.
We need to deal with drug abuse, crime, child rape, corruption, among other vices.