The Magazine of Ethiopian Airlines
Feature

Vision Made Real

World leaders mark the AU’s 50th anniversary.

KENNETH KAUNDA

Former President of Zambia

“The quest for liberty, self-determination, freedom and independence is inherent in all human beings. During the colonial era in Africa, the people in different parts of the continent rose against colonialism and foreign domination.

“The independence of Ghana in 1957 served as an inspiration to many freedom fighters that victory was achievable no matter how long the struggle. I was privileged to attend the independence celebrations of Ghana with other freedom fighters from various parts of Africa. We were inspired by the founding president of Ghana, His Excellency Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, when he proclaimed that “the independence of Ghana was meaningless until the entire continent was liberated.

“As the freedom struggle intensified in different parts of Africa, we realized the need to coordinate our efforts. Thus, after intense consultations among the leaders of the then-independent African countries and various liberation movements, the Organisation of African Unity was established.

“Now, with political independence having been achieved, Africa needs to take deliberate efforts to achieve economic and social development. I sincerely believe that the continent has a chance to attain a higher standard of living in years ahead for the benefit of our succeeding generations.”


AMBASSADOR KONGIT SINEGIORGIS

Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union & U.N. Economic Commission for Africa

“I am indeed very happy to celebrate more than half a century of my own diplomatic service together with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the OAU. I was a young diplomat when the OAU was established. As such I had the privilege to witness the first Conference of Independent African Heads of State and Government, held in Addis Ababa in May 1963, and the signing of the OAU charter by the 32 founding fathers.

“I still have vivid memories of the euphoria and optimism about Africa’s rejuvenation through the unity and solidarity of its people. Our founding fathers have bequeathed to us a continent that is liberated from the shackles of colonialism and apartheid. Now that the decolonization process is long over, I believe that the task of the new generation of Africans is to work toward the realization of the founding fathers’ vision — that of creating a peaceful, prosperous and united Africa.”


DR. CARLOS LOPES

Executive Secretary, U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa

“At Ethiopia’s historic Africa Hall, the founders of the OAU envisioned a continent that would be better for their children and their children’s children. The AU must now accelerate the fulfillment of that vision by shaping the continent’s growth path for the betterment of its people. The world may have its own particular interest in a rising Africa, but the growth that must matter for Africans is one that is primarily anchored on their interests and concerns.

“At Ethiopia’s historic Africa Hall, the founders of the OAU envisioned a continent that would be better for their children and their children’s children. The AU must now accelerate the fulfillment of that vision by shaping the continent’s growth path for the betterment of its people. The world may have its own particular interest in a rising Africa, but the growth that must matter for Africans is one that is primarily anchored on their interests and concerns.

“Together, we are committed to turning that vision into reality. Happy 50th anniversary.”