The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed almost every facet of our lives including the manner in which we commemorate the various international days.
The Africa Day, which was observed yesterday, joined the list of celebrations which have passed quietly without the usual gathering of people.
The day, formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day, is the annual commemoration of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963.
It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world with flag hoisting ceremonies, lectures and other events.
The organisation was transformed into the African Union (AU) on July 9, 2002 in Durban, South Africa, but the day continues to be celebrated on May 29.
The birth of AU was to create a new continental organisation that aimed to realise Africa’s potential by refocusing attention from the fight for decolonization to increased cooperation and integration of African states to drive the continent’s growth and economic development.
It has been 57 years of the collective efforts by African countries to leverage development through unity.
Despite some setbacks that have impeded the achievement of the continental goal, Africans have not stopped working together on various projects.
The current efforts of setting up the African Continental Free trade Area gives hope that unity is still our best bet in developing the continent.
But it appears the unity has not come to play in the fight against COVID-19 despite the fact that the continent has recorded 111,812 cases; 3,354 deaths and 45,001 recoveries.
Almost every country seems to be fighting individual battles unlike the way the continent has over the years united to tackle diseases like Malaria.
The commemoration of AU’s formation should revive in us the need to unite and fight the pandemic head-on by assembling the best brains on the continent to work on vaccines and cure for the virus.
The geographical similarities between the African countries, presents an opportunity to combine our forces and root out the virus which has made humanity helpless.
It is the view of the Ghanaian Times that we coordinate our action plans and programmes and ensure that we hold each other’s hands out of the woods.
Concerted efforts are needed because no country has been spared the devastating effect of the pandemic and with the continent already struggling its way to economic greatness, it is in our best interest to work together.
The AU has maintained the theme, “Silencing the guns; creating conducive conditions for Africa’s Development” for the past three years.
If there is any gun to be silenced this year, it should be the pandemic, as this would surely create the conducive environment for the continent’s growth.