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People from all regions of Zimbabwe joined the rest of the continent in celebrating Africa Day yesterday, with most traveling with family or visiting friends and relatives.
Africa Day is observed annually to commemorate the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which was created on May 25, 1963, and is the forerunner of the African Union (AU).
Across the country, various activities were outlined across the country wherein citizens expressed their gratitude to the selfless revolutionaries who sacrificed their lives and personal comforts for the emancipation of the people of Africa.
others made their Lobola day a coincidence With Africa Day approaching and social media abuzz with pictures of Lobola celebrations, known as Maruro.
The rora/lobola setting, which appears to be a hybrid event combining traditional ceremony and modern festivities, is usually characterized by its distinctive traditional African prints.
Parents and their children crowd various African outfit shops in the Harare Central Business District ahead of Culture Day, which is usually celebrated by many schools the day after Africa Day.
Traders specializing in African wear said they recorded brisk business during the week as many people were buying material to make clothes especially for tomorrow’s wear while others were looking for good traditional clothes for their children.
“It’s been a busy week, I’ve even lost my voice Because I am talking too much. Customers are coming in numbers,” said Ms Priscilla Karuveruve, a shop attendant.
The vendors could also be seen displaying traditional dress on the boot of their car and judging by the number of people coming to them, it was clear they were making a killing.
“The students were asked to wear traditional dress yesterday (today) under Culture Day rules, so I am looking for something nice for my son,” said Ms Charity Mhaka.
On this day, students represent their cultural background by wearing their traditional attire while others Learn to cook traditional food.
In Africa, the dress code is more than just a fashion statement and designers don’t make these clothes just for show. Each colour, symbol and even shape of the clothing has a very specific meaning or purpose.
Lots of people were having a good time in places like Kwafato in Glen Nora, Kwamereki in Harare’s High Glen and Mashwede village. Fast food outlets also registered brisk business.
Mr Tafadzwa Karombe from Glen View 4 Said: “Today we are having a great time as a family, remembering the role that was played by our African liberation heroes.”
He also called for non-stop border check posts: “Why should we put all these restrictions. Let’s use this opportunity to correct some of the mistakes we made earlier. Africa must be a big country.
one more Mr. Godwin Chidwayenzi, a Harare resident of Budiriro 2, said Africa Day gave workers time to rest.
“Honestly, I don’t really understand the importance of Africa Day, but what I like is that we get some time to relax and have some quality time with the family,” he said. Mr Justice Mphiri, a pan-Africanist and student at the University of Zimbabwe, said it was important for everyone to celebrate Africa Day as it gave Africans time to reflect on the difficult journey across the continent.
“It is time for us to reflect on the progress we have made so far in giving Africa what we want and to be clear with ourselves in identifying the existing gaps that we need to address towards a united and empowered continent. Progress has to be made,” he said.
Elsewhere in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, the African Development Bank (AfDB) took advantage of its annual meetings to celebrate Africa Day in style.
This year’s continental theme for Africa Day is “Accelerating the Implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area”.
However, the AfDB had a sub-theme, “Youth of Africa: Africa’s Development Answer”.
The ceremony was punctuated by speeches, dance and song.
South African artist Master KG’s track Jerusalem, on which he featured Nomsebo Zicode, was one of them.
Speeches were delivered by distinguished speakers including His Excellency Albert Muchanga, who is the Commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of AFDB and Dr. Ashraf Sobhi, Minister of Sports and Youth of Egypt.
Kom Muchanga, who was born in Zambia, said the continent needed to do much more to support young people to become top businessmen, diplomats or politicians.
Adesina said for too long people have been saying that youth are the future, yet they are rarely trusted in top positions.
Similarly, financial institutions have been demanding title deeds or bank deposits from people under the age of 21 for the past 40 years, a development that has put many out of business, Dr Adesina said.
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He also said that it is important that the continent invests in health infrastructure so that when pandemics like COVID-19 strike, there can be a quick response.
“We should not sacrifice the good of our 1.4 billion people for the good of others. What if others are not altruistic?
“Therefore, we need health protection ourselves. That is why as AfDB, we will release US$3 billion for health infrastructure to make vaccines for Africa.
“Now we are ready for the next pandemic to hit Africa,” Adesina said.
The AfDB, which was formed on September 10, 1964, following an agreement signed by member countries in Khartoum, Sudan on August 14, 1963, has been spearheading the development of the continent.
To fight diseases on the continent, AfDB has authorized the establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, an independent entity that will enhance Africa’s access to technologies to manufacture drugs, vaccines and other pharmaceutical products.