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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Africa Day 2024 Celebrated At The State House

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Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity, was marked by a reception held, Saturday evening at the State House in Réduit. The theme chosen by the African Union (AU) for this year’s celebrations is ‘Educate an African fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa’.

The President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun; the Vice-President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Marie Cyril Eddy Boissézon; the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth; the Attorney General, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Maneesh Gobin; the Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals of the AU, Mr Albert Muchanga; Ministers; Members of Parliament; and other dignitaries were present on this occasion.

President Roopun observed that Africa Day is an opportunity to reflect on the transformation of the Organisation of African Unity into the AU to further develop the African continent. He expressed the wish that Africa progresses steadily in accordance with Agenda 2063 which envisions a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, where education plays a pivotal role in achieving these goals. The President also reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to education for all, in line with this year’s chosen theme.

And the Prime Minister highlighted that Africa has shaped our past and will shape our future, and encouraged the youth of Africa to rise and take their destiny in hand. He underlined that our country is committed to the progress of the African continent and is subsequently encouraging a number of students and young professionals from mainland Africa to study in Mauritius.

Speaking about the African Continental Free Trade Area, the Prime Minister observed that it is a fundamental instrument to attain a prosperous future. This, he stated, is a crucial driver for inclusive economic growth, job creation and sustainable development in Africa. According to him, it provides excellent opportunities for small and medium enterprises, including women and youth-led enterprises, to participate in the development of the regional value chain.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Jugnauth stated that Mauritius was privileged to attend, as guest country, the New Delhi G20 Summit last year and to gather support for the entry of the African Union in the organisation as a permanent member. He further spoke about the incomplete decolonisation of Mauritius and the need to further enhance collaboration between the AU Member States.

For his part, Commissioner Muchanga underlined the need to upgrade Africa’s education system so as to provide an effective and productive workforce in the future. In addition, he commended Mauritius for being active in economic activities, especially since its independence in 1968.

The African Union is a continental body consisting of 55 Member States of the African continent. It was officially launched in July 2022 in Durban, South Africa, following a decision in September 1999 by its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (1963-1999) to create a new continental organisation to build on its work.

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