Africa Day is here!

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Angelique Walker-Smith is senior associate for Pan African and Orthodox Church Engagement at Bread for the World.

By Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith

May 25 is an annual holiday recognizing the leadership of African peoples wherever they may be live.

Led by the African Union (AU) which recognizes the diversity of Africans and African nation-states, Africans including Africans in diaspora who may be citizens or residents in countries outside the African continent, join in this celebration.

The following are some of the primary tenets of Africa Day:

  • Common African Unity and Identity
  • The Developments of the African Union and the Agenda 2063 (defined below)
  • Women’s Empowerment in the African Union
  • Continent-wide Disease Control and Prevention
  • Africa Day as a Public Holiday
  • Africa Day Celebration

This year the AU theme is “Healthy Lifestyle Prolongs Life.” The tenets of Africa Day and this theme complement the mission of Bread for the World to end hunger and address poverty. The AU Agenda 2063 is a strategic roadmap aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the legislative agenda of Bread for the World, especially on matters related to global nutrition and immigration. Bread for the World is committed to partnering with African peoples everywhere to create and execute equitable strategies for rooting out hunger and poverty, as well as the historic and present scourge of systems and attitudes that fail to advance progress for all to be fed and live lives of dignity.

The AU Agenda 2063, along with the following facts and advances on the African continent, are critical to ensuring the success of our equitable partnership:

  • The Christian Church has been continuously present on the African continent since the days of Christ and one out of four Christians in the world is an African. The Pew Research Center estimates this number will grow to 40 percent by 2030.
  • The Continental Free Trade Area Agreement is an agreement among 52 out of 55 states to promote free trade throughout the continent of Africa.  This trade agreement is the largest since the formation of the World Trade Organization in 1995.
  • Africa has six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies this year, according to the World Bank.
  • Africa’s 1.2 billion population is expected to double in 2050 and comprise 60-70 percent youth.
  • Africa has made great progress in the fight against malnutrition. Between 2000 and 2016 Senegal, Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Togo, Cameroon and Angola reduced malnutrition, child wasting, child stunting and child mortality by 42-56 percent.
  • 40 African countries are Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) members.
  • Country-led plans, strategies and policies in place – mostly multisectoral and led by Heads of State or Heads of Government.

Join us in celebrating the faith and resilience of African peoples wherever they are and our common vision of ending hunger for all.

Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith is senior associate for Pan African and Orthodox Church Engagement at Bread for the World.

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