By Maureen Okon
Abuja – Salaheddine Ibrahim, the Dean, African Ambassadors Group for the 55th Africa Day, said on Saturday that culture could be used as a tool to unite the people of African.
Ibrahim, who is also the Cameroonian Ambassador to Nigeria, made this known in a speech he delivered at the African Day celebration held in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) reports that the programme began with ambassadors from the five regions in Africa receiving guests with a display from a combination of African cultural troops dancing to welcome invited guests.
At the occasion dances from the five regions was also performed to commemorate the day and the unity of Africa.
Different cultural attires were on display as countries tried to showcase their rich culture at the event to mark the 55th Anniversary of Africa Day celebration.
The theme of this event was; “winning the fight against corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’’.
NAN also reports that the AU in May 25, 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the 32 African states that had achieved independence at that time agreed to establish.
The Organization of African Unity (OAU), to commemorate this historic event, the 25th of May is celebrated as Africa Day.
A further 21 members joined gradually, reaching a total of 53 by the time of the AU’s creation in 2002. On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became the 54th African Union (AU) member.
Ibrahim noted that, as the continent celebrates its 55th day which marks the historical mile stone in 1963 that has produce the African Union (AU).
“As we are celebrating a very special day very dear to us, which marks the historical miles stone in 1963, the founding fathers gave birth to our continental body.
“The organization of OAU, the predecessor of the Present day AU. As per tradition we celebrate this day under a particular theme, which is winning the fight against corruption.
“ As you all know, 2018 has been declared by the AU policy organs as the African anti-corruption year.
“At this juncture, as the ambassadors and high commissioners to Nigeria, we recognise the special contribution of Muhammadu Buhari, the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, to the fight against corruption not only in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Prof. Al-Hassan Conteh, the Ambassador of Liberia also the master of ceremonies said that the event was divided into four parts; the official Africa day speeches, presentation and toast, African dances and display of African cuisines.
He, however, said that the event was postponed due to many events lined up last May including, the observation of the holy month of Ramada to September 14, in Nigeria.
NAN also reports that 33 countries had their cuisines displayed at different stands in the course of the event.
The countries are Algeria, South Africa, Republic of Congo, Benin, Burundi.
The Democratic Republic of The Congo, Cameroon, Liberia, Mali, Namibia, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, Guinea Bissau, the Central African Republic, Libya, the Republic of South Sudan, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Egypt are among countries represented at the event.
Others are Zambia, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Botswana, Angola, Zambia, Mauritania, Vote D’Ivoire, Rwanda, Sao Home and Principe, Niger, Togo,Nigeria, Chad, Saharawi, Djibouti, Tunisia And Senegal.