The vision of a united Africa, characterised by a common currency and a shared sense of identity, traces its roots back to the era of the slave trade.

As the continent commemorates Africa Day, we engage in conversations with several young individuals to discuss this vision and its significance in today's globalised world.

In 1999, African leaders issued the Sirte Declaration, which advocated for the creation of a new African Union. The primary objective of this initiative was to expedite the integration process and address the complex social, economic, and political challenges confronting the African continent.

Since then, what has happened, and what is the role of African youth in this?

Innocent Mathys, a youth activist, says more needs to be done to ensure that young people have a voice.

"The organs are there, but I don't really see the engagement that we need to realise this dream; however, the inclusion of young people is necessary because the young people are the leaders that will bring about the needed change, so the younger people we involve and the more exchange programmes there are in place, the more we will get closer to this dream."

In summary, figures like Kwame Nkrumah and Bob Marley have played influential roles in advocating for African unity.

While individuals like Valmary Jantje emphasise the importance of studying African history to embrace cultural diversity and promote unity in a world that is becoming more interconnected.

"For us as young people to get more involved, we should definitely get involved in the African Continental Free Trade, so that is now where young people can do business across the African borders, and I think this is so important for young people to familiarise themselves with the African Free Continental Area; it's so important for young people to get involved, and I think this is where we as young leaders should come and make young people aware of the importance of getting involved."

Asmara Kaffer, a Mandela Washington Fellow, believes that Africa Day should be celebrated as a poignant reminder of the past and a testament to how Africans have triumphed over challenges throughout the years.

"We look too much at what the outside world, the Western world, and the Eastern world can bring to us. How about we look at enabling our young people to come up with ideas to create and initiate, and we support our leaders, our country, and the African child with an African idea?"



Natangwe Jimmy