Africa Day 2020: 21 Notable Quotes by the Founding Fathers of African Union


Africa Day 2020: 21 Notable Quotes by the Founding Fathers of African Union


Africa Day is observed annually on May 25 to commemorate the founding of the Organization of African Union (OAU), the precursor of the African Union (AU), which was created on may 25, 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Africa Day is intended to celebrate and acknowledge the successes of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU now the AU) from its creation on May 25, 1963, in the fight against colonialism and apartheid, as well as the progress that Africa has made while reflecting upon the common challenges that the continent faces in a global environment.

This year’s celebrations will happen virtually and online due to the massive impact of COVID-19 on the continent and the world under the theme: “Silencing The Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development and Intensifying the Fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

To celebrate this day, we have put together famous quotes by Africa’s founding fathers!

We must take every care to know who we invite to assist in the development of our resources, because there is a fear, which is my personal fear, that, if we are not careful, we may have colonialism in a different form. Our countries can be colonized economically, if we are not careful. It is also important that we fight against economic domination by other countries.

Sir Alhaji Abubakar Tarawa Balewa, Prime Minister of the Federation of Nigeria.

Unless we establish African unity now, we who ate sitting here today shall tomorrow be the victims and martyrs of neo- colonialism .

— H.E Kwame Nkrumah, President of the Republic of Ghana [1963]

We must bear in mind that the interest of Africa will best be served by those who belong to Africa, and whose primary loyalties lie with Africa.

— H.E Aden Abdulla Osman, President of the Somali Republic. 1963

Our children may learn about the heroes of the past. Our task is to make ourselves the architects of the future

— Hon Jomo Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, 1963

The people of Africa are praying. They are praying for the triumph of Pan-Africanism over narrow nationalism and regionalism

— H.E Julius Nyere, President of the Republic of Tanzania, 1963

We should forget our former quarrels and dissensions. History reminds us that small conflicts of this kind involve dangers of balkanization that are too serious for us to take lightly

— H.E Moktar Ould Daddah, President of the Republic of Mauritania, 1963

Fight and resist any imperialistic attempt to split Africa by using tendentious designations such “Africa south of the Sahara.” Such a definition is aimed at separating Africa from its northern territories. Africa Sahara must be a bridge to unite us, not an obstacle to divide us.

— His Majesty King Idris I, Libya, 1963

The African must fight unceasingly against the appetites of foreign domination, whether called colonialism, neo-colonialism or imperialism. It is our present task to unmask and mercilessly to stigmatize every slightest sign of colonialism aiming to undermine the independence of the African States, whether under an economic or a cultural guise.

— His Majesty Mwami Mwambutsa, I, King of Burundi, 1963

Although our countries have gained their political independence, mental decolonization remains to be won. We are convinced that the mental decolonization of our people will enable us to resolve some of the difficulties which oppose us to each other.

— H.E François Tombalbaye, President of the Republic of Chad, 1963

Brushing aside every obstacle, contemptuous of all pressures, we must then proceed, stage by stage, to concrete actions, looking only to the ideals of liberation and African unity.

— H.E Modibo Keïta, President of Mali, 1963

The time for high sounding words, slogans and cliches, and good intentions has come to an end; this is the time for concrete proposals and for action.

— H.E Apollo Milton Obote, President of Uganda, 1963

The African unity that we are firmly decided to achieve – this African unity I say, must be an efficacious weapon to annihilate forever foreign domination in all its forms on our continent.

— H.E David Dacko, President of the Central African Republic, 1963

It is not enough to identify our problems. Neither is it enough for us to meet before them, what is important is to combat them on all levels and according to the needs of the circumstances.

— H.E Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of the United Arab Republic of Egypt

The setting up of realizable projects, modest as they might be, I’d infinitely note advantageous than the best filled book of unexecuted schemes.

— H.E Joseph Kada-Vubu, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, 1963

We have a common soul, which is embodied in our African-ness. All that is needful is to recognize it and take it on. That means we must begin by rejecting all fanaticism, whether racial, religious or linguistic…

— H.E Leopold Sedar Senghor, President of the Republic of Senegal [1963]

In the great task to watch, we have set ourselves at this crucial moment in our continent’s history, let us thin like men of action and act like men of thought.

— H.E William V.S. Tubman, President of the Republic of Liberia [1963]

The time had now come to confront, to weigh, to discuss, to understand each other and to shake hands; the time has come to find out not who was right and who was wrong, but to seek out that which must unite us and to abolish that which might divide us; the time has come for us to achieve complete fulfillment.

— H.E Maurice Yameogo, President of the Republic of Burkina Faso. [1963]

Whether we wish it or not, the organization of the modern world is based upon the existence of several large groupings, and to hope that separately we shall find the key to our problems is to condemn ourselves but also to slow asphyxia. The salvation of all of us and future of our well- beloved African depend on our unity alone.

— H.E Felix Houphouë-Boigny, President of the Republic of Ivory Coast. [1963]

The principle of African unity must be the foundation stone of the foreign policy of African States.

— H.E Gilbert Youlou, President of Congo (Brazzaville) [1963]

We cannot logically denounce the Foreigner for having divided us, nor can we continue to complain of this division if, once having become masters of our destiny, we prove ourselves incapable of restoring this Unity.

— H.E Ahmadou Ahidjo, President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon [1963]

Above all, we must avoid the pitfalls of tribalism. If we are divided among ourselves on tribal lines, we open our doors to foreign intervention and its potential harmful consequences.

— His Imperial Majesty, Hails Selassie I, the Emperor of Ethiopia [1963]

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