What is African Liberation Day

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Today it seems the African people at home have come to realize the importance and relevance of African Liberation Day (ALD), the day declared by African leaders, especially those who really wanted African unity, to commemorate the achievements registered in liberating Africa from the days of slavery to colonialism to political freedom, as well as to re-strategize and plan the path to onward political and economic growth and development for the continent.

As we celebrate ALD in The Gambia, which was actually observed yesterday on 25 May, we try to throw some light into what is African Liberation Day.

African Liberation Day (ALD) was born out of the conscious struggle of African people against oppression.

In 1958 on the occasion of the First Conference of Independent African States held in Accra, Ghana, attended by representatives from eight independent African states, the 15 of April was declared African Freedom Day to mark each year the onward progress of the liberation movement in Africa, and to symbolize the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.

Later in 1963, upon the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), 31 Heads of African states declared May 25 as African Liberation Day.This important, historic event has been observed and institutionalized in various places worldwide every year since its inception.

For the children of Mother Africa, ALD serves as bedrock upon which we can rededicate ourselves to the struggle for Pan-Africanism – One United States of Africa.

ALD gives us a chance to become more politically educated about the history and current reality of Africa; in addition to Africa’s relationship to the struggles of other oppressed people of the world.

ALD is a chance to hear directly from women, men and youths who are on the frontline of struggle for Pan-Africanism, and other just struggles.

It is also a chance to celebrate our glorious and rich culture. But most importantly, it is a chance to dedicate our energies and our commitment to the African Revolution.

Africa needs to grow, politically, economically and socially. While other nations are coming together to unite and work to bring about development that would change the condition of their people and continents for the better,African leaders, decision makers and people are busy fighting each other or for land, power and ill-gotten wealth.

About 50 years ago many nations in the world, especially in Asia and even in Europe, were as poor and stranded as Africa is today.

However, most of the nations of other continents have tried very hard to transform and revolutionized for the better the political, economic, social and cultural landscapes of their nations, whilst Africa is still lagging behind.

We, therefore, have to continue to challenge ourselves to ensure we as a people are able to plan and achieve the transformation of our continent.

“Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”
Mattie Stepanek