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Africa Liberation Day commemorated

May 27, 2011, 1:55 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Africa Liberation Day was Wednesday commemorated in The Gambia in grand style with strong calls for more economic and political liberation of the continent.

The commemoration was organized by a seasoned Pan Africanist and Jamaican-born Allili Cleminson Afi, currently residing in the country, along with others, and the day-long activity was characterized by free discussions, liberation music, poetry reading, and kora music, among others.

It brought together many Africans residing in The Gambia and those interested in the Pan Africanist ideology, most of whom expressed the view that the African continent is yet to be fully liberated considering the ongoing turmoil around the continent.

Founded in 1958 when Dr Kwame Nkrumah convened the First Conference of Independent States held in Accra, Ghana, and attended by eight independent African states, the day seeks to mark, each year, the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolize the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.

Marking the day also helps to raise political awareness in African communities across the world, and has also been a source of information about the struggles for liberation and development.

"Today is a day of remembrance and happiness; we are commemorating the sacrificies our great sons and daughters of Africa made to liberate the African continent from colonial rule and occupation," Dr. UK Emezi-Mbaise of the London Training Centre in The Gambia and the Guest Speaker at the event said.

Mbaise prayed for the departed souls of our brave African sons and daughters who fought for Africa's liberation, while noting that Africa Liberation Day is very significant as Africans reflect on the gaint roles played by their brothers and sister in liberating Africa.

Allili Cleminson Afi said she was motivated to honor Africa Liberation Day because she is an African, and has realized that Africans should unite for the betterment of our dear continent.

"We have to be united as a continent; united as a people because we Africans share many things in common. This day was set aside for us to reflect on what our ancestors and warriors did to liberate the African continent; what we have achieved and planned ahead for further progress," she added.

Ms Allili expressed the view that Africa’s great leaders struggled and died for Africa’s liberation; to see that Africans are free.

"Cognizant of this fact, Africans needs to take stock to celebrate those achievements that they were able to register in the course of their long time struggle," she stated, while paying tribute to Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Toure, Julius Nyerere, among other great African leaders who fought for Africa’s liberation.

Speaking in an interview with our reporter, Bro Brerenga alias Papa "B" gave a brief history of Africa Liberation Day, dating it back to decades ago when great African revolutionaries fought for the liberation of our African continent.

Papa "B" is of the conviction that Africa is not fully liberated given the current state of affairs in most of its countries.

"If Africa is liberated, we should be fully economically and politically emancipated, but this is not the case," he said, while challenging present African leaders to do more for their people if Africa is to attain full liberation.

"Governments anywhere represent the views and aspirations of the people. African problems require African solutions, and the African Union should be proactive in dealing with African issues," Papa "B" added.