The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has marked this year’s African Union (AU) Day, May 25, with a flagraising ceremony at the forecourt of the State House in Accra.

Africa Day, which is marked on May 25th is the anniversary of the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the precursor to the Africa Union, in 1963.

Mr Kwaku Ampratum-Sarpong, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Mrs Imane Ouaadil, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Ghana and the Dean of the African Group of Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Ghana, respectively hosted the flags of Ghana and the AU at the ceremony.

This year’s celebration, which is on the theme: “Educate an African Fit for the 21st Century: Building Resilient Education Systems for Increased Access to Inclusive, Lifelong, Quality, and Relevant Learning in Africa” is crucial for the development of the Continent.

It seeks to symbolise unity among AU Member States, promote solidarity and reflect on progress made by the Union while acknowledging challenges in the continent’s development and integration efforts.

The AU Day is celebrated to commemorate the efforts of its founding fathers such as Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia; President Gamage Abdul Nasser of Egypt and President Ben Bella of Algeria, who envisioned the attainment of a united Africa and fought tirelessly for the total liberation of all African Member States.

Mr Ampratum-Sarpong said it was imperative that as Africans celebrate the occasion annually, they imbibe the spirit of oneness and keep burning the flame of emancipation as posited by their forebearers to realise the vision of “An Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, Driven by its Own Citizens and Representing a Dynamic Force in the International arena”, as also enshrined in our collectively envisioned Agenda 2063.
He said the commemoration of the day had transcended the era where AU Member States had been preoccupied with the political liberation of the African Continent from the shackles of colonialism and imperialism to the current collective goal of the Union which lies within the remit of the socio-economic emancipation of the African continent.

The Deputy Minister said the AU recognises the cardinal importance of peace, security, stability and economic growth for the prosperity of its people.

He said it was for this reason, that African leaders remained committed to addressing issues of food security, energy crises, upholding democracy, climate change, health issues, internal conflicts, terrorism and violent extremism facing the continent in its march towards the attainment of the African Union Agenda 2063.

He said in this regard, Ghana was delighted to play host to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, a Flagship Project of the AU and a key milestone in the attainment of Africa’s transformational development Agenda.

He urged Member States to strengthen their commitment to the AfCFTA as it had the potential to shape the future of the continent, strengthen its position in the global market, uplift the lives of its peoples and accelerate the sustainable growth and development of the continent.
He said the AU recognises the significance of empowering the African Child through the provision of quality education, for a better tomorrow; adding that education remained critical to unlocking the potential of every individual in society.

“It is in this regard, that I am proud to note that under the transformative leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the introduction of the Free Senior High School (SHS) Policy has significantly improved education,” Mr Ampratum-Sarpong stated.
“As is evident there has been substantial increment in enrolments recorded under the policy and the programme has further enhanced gender parity.”

He said the Government of Ghana would continue to invest more in education to empower every Ghanaian to meet the human resource needs of the country.

He reiterated that the Government would also continue to play its leading role by providing access to quality education relevant to its people’s needs and was focused on creating education systems that were resilient, inclusive and tailored to unlocking the needs of the 21st century.
Mr Ampratum-Sarpong underscored that by so doing, Ghana would be on the way to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, which called for inclusive and equitable education, and the promotion of lifelong opportunities for all, as well as attaining the goal of well-educated citizens and a skill revolution underpinned by science, technology and innovation as encapsulated in Agenda 2063.

On her part, Mrs Imane Ouaadil, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Ghana and the Dean of the African Group of Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Ghana, said the AU Year of Education was a unique opportunity to recommit member states to achieving the Continental Strategy for Education in Africa, Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, as well as Agenda 2063.
In attendance at the event were Members of the diplomatic community in Ghana, students from Accra High School, Accra Girls Senior High School and St Thomas Aquinas Senior High School.