History of Africa Day

The history of African Day dates back to May 25th, 1963, when leaders from 30 independent African states signed a charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, establishing the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

About Africa Day

The OAU aimed to promote change, freedom, and independence across the continent. In 1991, it established the African Economic Community, and in 2002, it transformed into the African Union. Since its inception, the OAU and later the African Union saw the addition of more member states, with South Africa becoming the 53rd member in 1994.

Originally, African Liberation Day or African Freedom Day was celebrated in Ethiopia, South Africa, and Ghana after the first Conference of Independent African States in 1958. This holiday transitioned to African Unity Day in Ghana in 1963. Despite the change in name to the African Union, Africa Day, celebrated on May 25th, continues to honor the achievements of African peoples and governments.

Africa boasts significant linguistic diversity, with over 25% of the world's languages spoken exclusively on the continent. While each African country typically has English, Portuguese, French, or Arabic as an official language, Ethiopia stands out as an exception. Ethiopia, which was not colonized (excluding a brief period of Italian occupation), has Amharic as its official language. Liberia, founded by African-American settlers in 1847, had English as its official language from inception.