On this day 57 years ago, the Organisation of African Unity was born. From the beginning it
was dedicated to the idea that only through unity could Africa safeguard its independence
and unlock its potential.
Today we pay tribute to our forebears the founders of the OAU whose dream of greater
African integration and unity has endured.
We also honour the legions of revolutionary leaders of Africa who took up the mantle of panAfricanism and who fought for the economic and political integration of Africa.
They have left a formidable legacy for our continent and all its peoples. They continue to
inspire us and the generations that will come after us.
It was the mission of the founders of the OAU to liberate the continent from the clutches of
colonial oppression, to restore Africa’s fortunes and to restore the dignity of every African
man, woman and child.