On Africa Day, Young People Urged to Arise, Join “decision-making table of human endeavor”

A poster for the African Liberation Day 2021/ Credit: Website of the Africa Faith and Justice Network

On the occasion of Africa Day 2021, young people in Africa have been urged to awaken and join the global conversation amid signs of “hope, liberation, and restoration” on the continent and beyond.

Celebrated May 25 annually, Africa Day, which has also been known as African Liberation Day (ALD) and African Freedom Day (AFD), marks the foundation of the Organization of African Unity (AOU), now African Union (AU) on 25 May 1963.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa ahead of the annual event, members of the Coalition for Africa’s Liberation and Restoration (CALAR), a collaborative initiative of various groups in Africa and the diaspora, call on young people on the continent to rise above challenges and “claim your rightful place in the decision-making table of human endeavor.”

“Arise, children of Africa! Stay awake; for a new day is dawning for you! Africa is experiencing great movements of hope, liberation, and restoration within her borders and among the diaspora communities,” CALAR members say in their message on the occasion that marks one year since the entity was established.


In their statement published May 25, CALAR members express the “firm belief that the youth of Africa, who are among the most vibrant and innovative in the world, have a unique and indispensable role to play in the liberation and restoration of Africa.”

The call to “wake up” is repeated in a video recording accompanying the statement in which CALAR members say they “lift our voices to renew a call to you, our brothers and sisters on the continent and in the diaspora. We lift up the cries of the many children of Mama Africa and we join them in saying, wake up.”

“Wake up so that together we can forge our own destiny. Wake up so that we can protect our land and people from greedy exploiters, those who are externally organized and also those who are internal collaborators,” CALAR members urge the youth in the world’s second-largest and second-most populous continent on Africa Day.

The annual celebration recognizes AU’s success stories since its creation in the struggle against colonialism and apartheid and the progress on the continent. The event is also used to reflect upon challenges that the people of God and institutions in Africa face as they interact with other citizens and entities of the world.

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This year’s Africa Day has been held under the theme, “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.”

In their May 25 collective statement published on Africa Faith and Justice Network’s website, CALAR members advocate for the preservation of Africa’s heritage and urge Africans, “Arise! Take up your lives and live! Lift up your continent and embrace it! Appropriate and celebrate the wealth in abundance that God has given to you for your total liberation and restoration.”

They highlight the potential of the youth in Africa across gender saying, “African youths are outperforming in global intellectual competitions and inventions. African professionals are coming up with ground-breaking discoveries in medicine, engineering, science, and technology; and the world is increasingly recognizing and utilizing the unique talents of African women and men in its diverse endeavors.”

The youth need to be empowered and their initiatives facilitated in view of “shaping a better future for themselves and generations to come,” CALAR members say in the May 25 message in which they further “urge the youths themselves to remain firm and focused in life, and refusing to be bought over, to always act with integrity.”


CALAR members recognize with appreciation Africans who settled in the diaspora and who are realizing the potential that is back at home, returned to set up businesses and to bolster the economic growth in their respective countries.

They also acknowledge leaders in Africa who “are realizing the need to look inwards and harness the abundant human and material resources with which God has generously endowed Mama Africa for the growth and development of their countries.”

Such leaders, CALAR members observe, “are realizing that corruption at any level is an inner worm that eats away, weakens, and destroys all efforts at development; and so, must be eradicated.”

They encourage the fostering of unity on the continent saying, “A divided and weakened Africa provides fertile ground and an open door for manipulators and exploiters to mine and cart away the wealth of the continent, including its unique human resources, to enrich their own countries.”

They call on all Africans to “lay down arms, largely imported, and team up together to defeat these blatant exploitations.”

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“Let us refuse to be used against our brothers and sisters; refuse to continue to be divided along political, linguistic, ethnic, regional, and religious lines; and return to our traditional African ways of settling disputes in the spirit of Ubuntu, where all are gainers and none are losers,” CALAR members say.

On the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent, CALAR members call on African leaders to “first look inwards for solutions, to fund research for this pandemic and other medical issues peculiar to the continent.”

In the May 25 video posted on YouTube, CALAR members describe the African superiority and the need to be proud of the fact that there is a lot to be discovered.

Representatives of Africa in its diversity who feature in the video underscore the value of the African identity captured in the most repeated expression “Africa, remember who you are.”

“Africa, remember who you are. Embrace the brilliance and genius of your people; Africa, remember who you are, strive for Africa’s liberation; Africa, remember who you are, embrace your diversity of cultures and ethnicity, assert your intellectual contributions to humanity,” a representative of Africans says in the video shared with ACI Africa.