What is 25th May?

Africans Rising for justice, peace and dignity have geared-up to amplify the struggles, efforts and initiatives of African civil society organisations, local NGOs, International NGOs, trade unions, student unions, youth leaders, faith-based assemblages, feminist activists, intellectuals, historians, scientists, athletes, artists, cultural activists, environmentalist, entrepreneurs, LGBTQI communities, tech innovators, filmmakers and many others, across the continent and in the Diaspora.

As a catalyzing movement with a united civil society as the vanguard of such a movement for justice, Peace, and Dignity, Africans Rising supports and co-creates actions, and events throughout the year, with African Liberation Day (Africa Day) on the 25th of May being the annual apex organising moment.

The rationale Behind 25 May

Over the past few years’ various global institutions and media have repeatedly used the phenomenon of “Africa Rising” to describe the growth story of Africa. It is often reduced to increases in gross domestic product (GDP) of some countries. However, the celebration of this economic growth story takes place while the majority of Africans continue to suffer marginalisation, deep poverty and effects of the rise in inequality. This is not the story of inclusive development that respects the heritage and human rights of all African people.

Instead what we see is characterised by the devastation of our natural environment, the displacement of multiple communities, major land grabs and massive illicit financial flows that deprive the public purse of resources to ensure the delivery of services by governments. Indeed, the challenges Africans face are not that different from those of hundreds of millions of people all over the world. The current economic system is deepening inequality and the level of state capture by the 1% super wealthy in “developed” and “developing” countries is increasingly becoming worrisome. The current economic system is deepening inequality and the level of state capture by the 1% super wealthy in “developed” and “developing” countries.

Consequently, members of Africans Rising have decided to rise and ensure that they push for maximum, economic, social, environmental and cultural cohesion and integration. Africans are coming together to galvanise solidarity and support when activists face repression and sometimes extreme violence when campaigning for greater transparency, accountability and freedom of speech, assembly, and association. This was why the African Liberation Day was unanimously chosen at the Africans Rising Validation Conference at Arusha in 2016 as a day of commitment to mobilising our people in Africa to launch the movement and to call on all sectors of African society to mobilise and organise events in every African country that will build the momentum towards the genuine liberation of our beautiful continent.

African Liberation Day

By 1963, more than two-thirds of the continent had achieved independence. On 25 May of that year, leaders of thirty-two independent African states met to form the Organization of African Unity (OAU). It was during this meeting that Africa Freedom Day was declared African Liberation Day and the date of this Pan-African celebration was changed from 15 April to 25 May. Renaming this day was an insightful restoration of the African citizen’s right to behave according to their own will, a reminder of the peoples’ hard-fought achievement of freedom from European colonialism, and a hopeful push for post-colonial states to have complete agency and self-governance.

Since I963, 25 May has been celebrated as Africa Day, and on #25May2019, we will be celebrating the 56th anniversary of the African Liberation Day. Yet today, most African governments hardly observe this celebration since their promises of Pan-African dignity and freedom might ring hollow for many of our people across the continent.

At the Arusha Validation Conference, our members and supporters agreed that the vision of the pan-African Founding Fathers towards African unity and genuine liberation of our beautiful continent should be achieved. Consequently, the Africans Rising movement was launched in every African country on the 25th May, 2017, so as to deepen the meaning of African Liberation Day, reinstate the Africa Day pride, and to use this celebration as a platform to echo the voices of all people of African descent who are pushing for a multitude of struggles to bring about a real impact in Africa and across the globe.

Mobilisation Goals

Africans Rising is committed to mobilizing all the people in every African country to deepen and reclaim the true intended meaning of African Liberation Day. The core goal will be to have shared actions that take place in all African countries and adds up to an inspiring continental picture of millions taking the same actions together for the same big cause – Africa-wide solidarity and unity of purpose of the Peoples of Africa to build the Future we want – a right to peace, social inclusion and shared prosperity.

Mobilisation Outcomes

  • African Activists and advocates are strategically linked to decision making processes at continental, national and subnational levels.
  • Increased leadership and participation of all Africans to push for issues that will improve their well-being.
  • Activists and advocates have a conducive environment to organise local campaigns to push their agendas.

Theory of Change

IF Africans of diverse backgrounds, ethnic groups, age and geographic regions are mobilized and engaged as actors and stakeholders in governance, peacebuilding and decision making, THEN trust is built amongst the diverse population and government institutions thus sustaining peace and the enjoyment of dividends of good governance; BECAUSE Africans will become meaningful and empowered agents of transformative change, contributing towards a culture of peace, social inclusion and shared prosperity

Focus Area and Activities

The mobilization will concentrate on the key thematic areas of Africans Rising, Justice, Peace and Dignity. In conformity to Africans Rising starfish and spider web approach to organising and coordination, each country will mobilise according to their specific realities in terms of actions and thematic areas.

One of the key aims of the Africans Rising launch is to ensure that #AfricansRising inspires millions of African people to demand from the government good governance as they all work collectively towards common goals of peace, social inclusion and shared prosperity. We aim to let our leaders know that we have had enough of this unfair and unjust system and we want to make clear our intention to work together, to build a new Africa.


  • Gather in your group, club, movement, office
  • Wear red or have something red in the background
  • Read out the Kilimanjaro Declaration
  • Read out your list of demands

Kindly confirm your participation by filling the 25th may 2019 AFRICANS RISING ACTIONS AND EVENT registration form.