Africans and friends of Africa from all over Australia descended on Canberra to celebrate Africa Day in a beautiful ceremony at the Albert Hall.
This year marks the 16th Anniversary of the Africa Union which was changed from the Organisation of African Unity on the 9th of July 2002 by its last chairperson, ex South African President Thabo Mbeki.
The theme for Africa Union this year is “ Winning the fight against corruption: A sustainable path to Africa’s transformation.”
The head of the African Diplomatic Corps His Excellency Mr Nabil Lakhal of Tunisia in his opening remarks, stated that corruption is a threat to the development aspiration of Africa and its people.
“It is a scourge that needs to be eradicated if we are to lay the ideal foundations of secure and stronger institutions of development in our national, regional and international systems of cooperation.” he said.
He further paid tribute to African heroes and heroines who fought so hard to liberate our continent from the vestiges of colonialism, racism and apartheid as well as supporting the alienable rights of the oppressed nations all around the world.
On the 21st of March 2018, 44 African Heads of State and Government signed the African Free Trade Agreement which will cover a market of 1.2 billion people with a gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion across all the 55 Member States making it the world’s largest free trade zone in terms of participating countries. Mr Lakhal urged Australia to take advantage of the free trade.
“We wish to encourage Australian stakeholders to take advantage of the numerous opportunities availed by this new free trade area including infrastructure, education, renewable energy, agriculture, financial services and tourism sectors for the mutual benefit of or two continents.” he said.
Representing the Australian government in the reception were Senator Scott Rayan, president of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Australia, Honourable Mark Coulton MP, Assistant minister for trade , tourism and investment as well as Senator Penny Wong, Shadow minister for foreign affairs and other members of parliament.
Delicious African delicacies like jollof rice, couscous , goat meat soup, shisa nyama , koshari, fried plantain, fried cassava and a lot more were served to all.
Kofi Osei Bonsu
The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth. It is obvious that man is himself a traveler; that the purpose of this world is not “to have and to hold” but “to give and serve.” There can be no other meaning – Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell
Source: Kofi Osei Bonsu