Africa Day: “Africa has a voice to speak, it has things to offer”

Saturday May 25 is celebrated as Africa Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the OAU (Organization of African Unity) agreements in 1963, which became the African Union (AU) in 2002. On this occasion, The Association of Africans and Malagasy at the service of the Generalates in Rome is organizing a conference around the theme: “Africa together: pray, dialogue and celebrate”, a moment of reflection around the challenges to face for the development of the continent.

Jacques Ngol, SJ – Vatican City

The Association of Africans and Malagasy in the Services of the Generalates (AMSG-Rome) is organizing, Saturday May 25, a conference marking the celebration of World Africa Day celebrated every year since 1963. Father Alain Mayama, Superior General of the missionaries Spiritans, members of this association explain the issues of this celebration, in an interview given to Vatican News.

Mobilize awareness of African realities

The Spiritan from Congo Brazzaville specifies that the aim of the conference is to “raise awareness among Africans in the diaspora, particularly those in Rome and the African diplomatic corps, all those who are also linked to the service of the Holy See, the academic community, of everything that is happening at the level of Africa and share on subjects that concern Africa“. This is what justifies, according to him, the choice of the theme “Africa together: pray, dialogue and celebrate“.

Returning to the importance of Africa Day, Father Mayama recalls that this day was established to “commemorate the liberation of Africa“, adding that the goal is not only to “free ourselves from the West, but also to recognize that Africa now has the responsibility to take charge of its future“. In this perspective, World Africa Day is decided to mobilize Africans’ awareness of their responsibility in taking charge of their Continent, to “free from all nations that do not allow them to express themselves or take their place in the comity of nations“.

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Interview carried out on the occasion of World Africa Day.

Make AMSG-Rome and its mission for Africa known

The Association of Africans and Malagasy in the service of the Generalates which brings together the different religious Congregations has the role of “make people understand that Africa has a way forward, it has things to offer», continues the Congolese father, first African, Superior General of the Spiritans. Thus, this conference is one of the means according to him which makes it possible to have “a conversation with different sensitivities to talk about Africa, African issues“. In this sense, it must be recognized that “religious congregations have contributed a lot in terms of awareness“, he congratulates. Being widespread in several countries in Africa and around the world, “has through schools, the structures that we run, we can reach a larger number of audiences and raise awareness about the issues affecting Africa today“. Citing among other problems of Africa today, Father Mayama declares that, we have “not only the need for liberation from other nations, but above all there is the primary need for education, training» and faced with all these questions, Father Spiritan recalls that the role of religious is “to help people understand that there is hope“. “All is not lost in Africa, there is hope of getting out of this situation which is not always easy for African countries.» reassures the Congolese religious.

Call for broad collaboration between States and religious congregations

Africa must believe in itself, it must believe in its capabilities», urges Father Mayama, assuring that “we have the means to unite and move away from individualism, to consolidate ties and get all of Africa out of the situation such as the lack of infrastructure, the lack of connections between countries, for example the airways which are not always reliable, even road networks“. He calls for solidarity, that “the sons and daughters of Africa join hands“, it is only in this way that “we can achieve things together“.

Addressing the leaders of different African countries, the Congolese priest urges “governments to listen more to the people of Africa“. And “in relation to our vocation and our service to the different peoples where we serve, we want to tell governments to count on us. We are ready to collaborate, to work together so that together we reflect on the issues that undermine Africa and help Africa move towards development.», concludes Father Alain Mayama.

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