It is celebrated by Africans worldwide and is a day for reflection and reaffirmation of our commitment to fight all forms of oppression and exploitation meted out on Africans. It is a day for reflecting on the meaning of true liberation and unity of Africa.
It was on April 15, 1958, when the First Congress of Independent African States (at that time only Ghana, Sudan, Morocco, Ethiopia, Liberia, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia were independent) was convened in Accra, Ghana by Kwame Nkrumah, first president of Ghana.
This gave birth to the Pan-African confab, which attracted thousands of representatives from revolutionary organisations throughout Africa.
On May 25, 1963, thirty African Heads of State met to form the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and at this summit African Freedom Day became African Liberation Day. Since then, ALD as widely referred to, has not only been celebrated in Africa, but also across the globe.
Celebrating the day symbolises the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.
It is a day that reminds us of that long, hard and heroic struggle black people waged to resist and radically reject the imposition of racial superiority in all its savage and subtle forms, and to secure freedom, justice, power, peace and sustained progress in our lives and the world.
After World War II, the process of decolonisation of the African continent gathered momentum as Africans increasingly agitated for more political rights and independence.
Also, the forming of then OAU now AU has played a lead role in uniting the continent. In fact, Africa Liberation Day has contributed to the struggle to raise the level of political awareness and organisation in African communities worldwide. It has further been used as a tool to provide a platform for many African and other oppressed peoples to inform the African masses about their respective struggles for true liberation and development.
This struggle was by no means confined to not only Africa, but other western countries with large African populations.
Though these struggles have created many heroic individuals and events, the day (ALD) itself still stands out.
“What a liberation to realize that the ‘voice in my head’ is not who I am. ‘Who am I, then?’ The one who sees that.”