The African Union celebrated its 50th Anniversary on 25th May 2013. Leaders from around the continent flew into Addis Ababa and were welcomed by Chairperson of the African Union and Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, praised the achievements of the AU:
“We pay tribute to the pioneers of Pan Africanism, on the continent and in the Diaspora, and to the Founders of the OAU for their wisdom and foresight to lay the foundations for the unity and solidarity of Africa.
“We are proud to be African. In this great task, let us think like men and women of action, and act like men and women of thought.… We pledge to take our destiny into our own hands, because power resides in hard work, scientific investigations, in intellectual curiosity, in creative greatness and freedom, in the fullest exploration of our human powers, and in the truest independence.”
Originally called the Organisation of African Unity, the institution marked its 50th year by holding a debate on “Pan Africanism and the African Renaissance”. On the panel were; the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Donald Kaberuka; Nigerian academic and gender activist, Dr Amina Mama; former Jamaican Prime Minister, Percival Noel James Patterson; and Zimbabwean youth activist, Tendal Wenyika.
Later in the day, former and current heads of state attended a cultural evening in the Ethiopian capital.