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African Union Turns 50 – Calls on Nations to Celebrate

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Special to the NNPA from the New York Amsterdam News

Jan. 22 (GIN)- The African Union has called on its member countries, the economic community and Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the continental organization.

The AU Commission said that the actual date should be celebrated with cultural activities, debates, school contests and public enquiries.

As the Organization of African Unity, a regional group of 32 countries launched May 25,1963 in Addis Ababa, it aimed, among its many goals, to eradicate all forms of colonialism, especially in those states that had not yet won their independence or were minority-ruled. South Africa and Angola were two such countries.

But it drew criticism as an ineffective “talk, no walk” organization and called a “dictators’ club.”

It was reorganized on July 9, 2002 as the African Union with 54 countries.

Plans for the 50th anniversary celebrations will be submitted by AU Commission chairwoman Nkozasana Dlamini-Zuma, to the 20th summit of AU Heads of State and Government to be held on Jan 27 and 28 at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa under the theme “Pan-Africanism and Renaissance”.

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