"Fed up with ineffective leaders who aren’t dealing with the crises on the continent, people are coming together to launch a pan-African solidarity movementAfricans are rising – we can hold our leaders to account and build a better kind of future." Kumi Naidoo
Africa is a rich continent. It has been impoverished by colonialism, slavery and now by new forms of economic injustice. We can’t undo history and the mess that we find ourselves in but we refuse to allow our political and business leaders to blame everything on colonialism. History is not to blame for the human rights violations happening right now, for the gender inequality, for using fossil fuels when we have some of the best conditions for renewable energy. These wrongs are current and Africans Rising is about calling out our leaders on these failures and building a better, more just, more peaceful and sustainable Africa.
On 25 May 2017 – commonly know as Africa Day and officially as African Liberation Day – there was a series of actions and events across the continent to mark the launch of the movement. We chose that day to remind ourselves, our leaders and the world that we were tired of waiting for that liberation to be delivered, and that we were prepared to take action and hold political and business leaders accountable.
We are one of the youngest continents in terms of our demographic profile but we have some of the oldest leaders. If political leaders were honest with themselves many would acknowledge that they’ve been in power for far too long. They’ve run out of fresh ideas. We need to make way for younger people who have new perspectives on the problems facing the world.
Africans Rising is about deepening solidarity across the continent. We must step up and be the first to speak out against human rights violations. The Kilimanjaro declaration explicitly commits us to non-violent means of resisting injustices. But we believe peaceful civil disobedience is the right of citizens when governments refuse to listen or to act in the interests of the people.
We are building a movement that aims to finish the journey of true African liberation, for which so many people laid down their lives in the struggle against colonialism and since. We refuse to accept that all that blood was spilt for the difficult lives people live every day on the continent. The struggle continues!
This introductory text was first published on The Guardian Read the full article