Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

The declaration of 18 July by the United General Assembly as the Nelson Mandela International Day is a recognition of the singular role that Nelson Mandela had accomplished in bringing peace and unity in a nation otherwise poised to be plunged into a vicious circle of violence- South Africa. South Africa, a multi-racial country, was governed by a white minority for years under apartheid, a racist system. That system separated the citizens by race and where the black majority was considered as beast of burden.

As the first black president of South Africa, he brought peace and reconciliation among the people of that country and after one term in office he declined a 2nd term. Mandela’s life was dedicated to promote the welfare of people no matter their race, religion and culture.

Nelson Mandela declared: “We need to restore and reaffirm the dignity of the people of Africa and the developing world. We need to place the eradication of poverty at the top of world priorities. We need to know with a fresh conviction that we all share a common humanity and that our diversity in the world is the strength for our future together.”

This year’s commemoration is under the theme: “Action Against Poverty”. The Secretariat of the All Africa Students Union (AASU) believes that the example of Mandela is worthy of emulation by all peace loving and selfless people around the world particularly African leaders. Africa, a continent endowed with abundant natural and human resources, had suffered centuries of slavery and colonialism hence brutal exploitation of its wealth.

AASU calls on all, particularly African youth to be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s lifelong example and his call to relentlessly work to build a better world for all.

AASU urges all its member and friendly organizations to use this occasion to ponder on the life and work of Mandela who exemplified virtues and values required to move Africa from its current doldrums state to sustainable development pedestal.

AASU, equally, joins the Mandela Foundation in inviting people around the world, in particular African youth, to devote at least 67 minutes on 18 July to a community service activity.

Africans must stand on Mandela’s legacy for the successful implementation of the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063.

Let us commit ourselves to work determinedly for the interests of our people, abhor dishonesty for personal gain and wipe poverty off the continent!

Source: Peter Kwasi KODJIE