Africa Day message by Vice-President Meriton
Today, on the 25th of May, Seychelles join the rest of the continent to proudly celebrate our beloved Africa.
As we commemorate Africa Day this year, we do so by contemplating on our African origins. This year, Seychelles is commemorating 250 years of the first settlement in 1770. In 1770, the first settlers were from Europe, Asia and Africa. In the 18th century, these first inhabitants came to our islands to build a country and by doing so built a nation.
As a nation born from so many ethnic origins, we are a celebration of the diversity that makes Africa so fascinating to the world. Africa is reflected in our dances, our songs, our language and it is very much part of what makes us ‘Kreol Seselwa’. Within this diversity, the spirit of Africa guides us towards a future full of promise and opportunity.
Africa Day is an occasion for us to celebrate our African identity and heritage and for us to take pride in who we are as a people.
The theme for this year’s Africa day is “Silencing the Guns: creating conducive conditions for Africa’s Development”. It is a well-chosen theme which signifies our hope for peace, prosperity and solidarity for the whole of Africa. I applaud the African Union for focusing on the African Agenda 2063 that has set our continent on the path to the future we all envisage.
2020 is a challenging year for Africa and for the rest of the world. As we celebrate Africa Day, let us take this opportunity to further advocate for unity of purpose in the middle of this unprecedented crisis. Our continent much like the rest of the world, faces a tsunami of medical emergencies and possible economic recessions as a consequence of social distancing measures and other restrictions. These are challenging times.
Today, people in Africa and Africans living in the diaspora are getting use to the ‘new normal’ or living under Covid-19 confinement.
Amidst the uncertainty and anxiety, there are signs of hope, a sense of desire for togetherness and shared efforts to emerge victorious from this crisis. We see this everywhere; when we cheer for healthcare and frontline workers and when we do simple things like washing our hands.
Let us celebrate Africa Day 2020.
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