President Cyril Ramaphosa lauds the continent’s resilience

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the keynote address at the National Africa Day celebrations themed “Our Africa our future” at the Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng on Thursday.

Thousands of people used this 60th anniversary of Africa Day celebrations to formally celebrate the rich history and cultural diversity of Africa.

In his opening address, Ramaphosa said: “There can be no better place to celebrate #AfricaDay2023 than here at the Cradle of Humankind, where some of our earliest human ancestors once walked.” 

Ramaphosa continued and waved a flag of the history of Africa, saying that Africans are proud of their history, and are optimistic about the future.
“Despite the plunder of Africa’s resources to make other countries rich, Africa rose in defence of her liberty and independence. Today we are the rulers of our own lands.”

He said Africans need to be reminded of the resilience that they possess that has carried the nation to where it finds itself.

“The celebration is to praise the unity that Africans have, and to alert Africans about the responsibilities that are shared to bring about an Africa that is peaceful, prosperous and united.”

He said as African countries, we have painful memories of a time when proxy wars were waged on the soils of Africa by foreign superpowers.

He furthermore reminded Africa that he has not forgotten the terrible, brutal legacy of first having our continent carved up and colonised by European countries, only to find ourselves once more being pawns on a chessboard during the Cold War.

Ramaphosa firmly stated that Africa will not go back to that period in history.

He said: “South Africa has not been, and will not be, drawn into a contest between global powers. We will maintain our position on the peaceful resolution of conflict wherever those conflicts occur.”

Ramaphosa zoomed into the challenges that Africa has, adding that in many parts of the continent, battles for control of Africa’s natural resources are fueling conflict, instability and terrorism and some multinational companies are engaged in unscrupulous conduct that is harming human health and polluting the natural environment.
“In some parts of Africa, instead of respect for diversity, divisions are being sown between communities. There are places where people are being persecuted on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, language, religion or sexual orientation.
“We are now also witnessing Africa being dragged into conflicts far beyond our own borders.
“Some countries, including our own, are being threatened with penalties for pursuing an independent foreign policy and for adopting a position of non-alignment.”
In the words of the African Union Anthem, the President made a passionate plea for Africans to unite. He said: “let us unite and celebrate together the victories won, let us defend our liberty and unity, and let us uphold the bonds that frame our destiny.”

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