By Samantha Nengomasha, R.O.O.M. Project Manager, Hivos Southern Africa
Africa Day is a day to celebrate the diversity and unity of the African continent. It is a day to reflect on the progress that has been made and to recommit ourselves to building a better future for all Africans.
This year, as we celebrate Africa Day, we must also acknowledge the challenges that still lie ahead. We must continue to fight for democracy, human rights, and social justice. We must also work to address the challenges of poverty, inequality, good governance and democracy.
But even in the face of these challenges, there is reason for hope. Africa is a continent with a rich history and culture. It is a continent with a young and dynamic population. And it is a continent with a bright future.
ROOM 2.0 is a project that is working to address geopolitical and socioeconomic challenges in Africa. The project supports audio-visual content creators who are working to give a voice to citizens, especially those marginalized and oppressed. We believe that by giving a voice to these alternative narratives we can help to create a more just and equitable Africa. We aim for informed and empowered citizen action, led by young critical perspectives.
This Africa Day, we celebrate the work of ROOM 2.0 and all the other organizations that are working to give a voice to the voiceless. We call on all Africans to join us in working towards a better future for our continent.
The power of expression
The power of expression is one of the most important tools that we have to create change. When people are able to speak freely and openly, they can challenge injustice and oppression. They can also build solidarity and create a better future for themselves and their communities.
This is why it is so important to support alternative youthful voices in Africa. These are often the voices of the people who are often marginalized and silenced. They are the voices of custodians of the future who are fighting for positive progressive social change.
Agenda 2063: What is the plan?
As we commemorate this big day, we revert to Agenda 2063 and engage in conversations about resonance. To what extent does this agenda incorporate “The voice of the people”? How effective has the African Union, among other intergovernmental organizations and government organizations, been in working towards the aims of this agenda? How can programs such as ours add to the work that serves the overall agenda of the African nation?
“On this Africa Day, let us recommit ourselves to building the Africa we want. Let us work together to create a continent that is free, prosperous, and just.”
How do we raise consciousness about the equitable fulfillment of these objectives? How do we enjoy the journey to times of harmony, integration, and prosperity? How do we adequately account for every step? How do we ensure that no one is left behind?
The Africa we want
The Africa we want is a continent where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. It is a continent with people-driven development, and where everyone is free to speak, think, and be. It is a continent where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
It is a continent where regional instruments reflect the voices of African people. Where there is self-determination and mobilization of continental ownership.
It is a self-reliant continent characterized by integration, solidarity, and regional economic growth and sustainability.
It is a continent with global influence and regional integration. Characterized by peace, good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and rule of law. A continent of diverse cultural identities, common heritage, values and ethics.
It is a continent where everyone has access to quality education, healthcare, and employment. It is a continent where everyone can live in peace and security.
It is a continent where everyone can enjoy the fruits of economic growth. It is a continent where everyone can contribute to the development of their country and their continent.
On this Africa Day, let us recommit ourselves to building the Africa we want. Let us work together to create a continent that is free, prosperous, and just.