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Activists commemorate African Liberation Day

May 27, 2010, 12:21 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

African Liberation Day (Africa Day), is a day set aside by the African Union to celebrate African liberation, unity, and integration.

In this regards, the Youth Organisation for African Unity (Youth O/AU) on Tuesday, the 25th May commemorated the day with a march-past from Churchill's Town at Galp Petrol Station to Buffer Zones in Tallinding, where speeches were delivered by various speakers.

Speaking at the occasion, the National Coordinator of Youth Organisation for African Unity, Mr. Fakuru Sillah told the gathering that the association started in Mali as "Jeunesse OUA". He said their Gambian chapter is aimed at advocating for the empowerment of women, and youths in particle.

Focusing on the day, Mr. Sillah heaped encomiums on Pan- African heroes who have died in the struggle for African unity. He cited the life and struggle of Kuwameh Nkrumah, who led Ghana to independence and his role in facilitating the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (AU).

He noted that "unity in diversity is what Africa needs to understand and realise our dream of ultimate political unity."

"As we continue to struggle for African integration, young people are full of ideas for African integration and energy to make it happen, therefore the need to support youth initiatives by political authorities will be very vital," he emphasised.

Mr. Sillah further indicated that Africans cannot struggle to realise their potential, "if we continue to marginalise more than half of its continent populace (women)."

In his keynote address, the Minister of Trade and Regional Integration, Mr. Abdou Kolley said that the OAU was established at a time when Africans were still under the yoke of colonialism.

He said achieving African regional integration and economic development call for sacrifice, change in mindsets and a common sense of purpose, backed by strong commitment at all levels.

Noting that young people represent a sizeable proportion of the population in many African countries, he said the need to reorient their energies for effective contribution to economic development will be crucial.

He further indicated that the ideals of Pan-Africanism cannot be achieved without serious commitment to conflicts, resolution, peace-building, public accountability and the consolidation of democracy and rule of law throughout the continent. He challenged youths as future leaders of the continent to advocate and support these ideals to become reality.

Other speakers included Ms Oumie Ceesay, the Secretary- General of Youth O/AU, Mr. Ebrima Badjie, the Chairperson of the organisation and Mr. Marchel Mendy, the Executive Secretary of the National Youth Council (NYC