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Last month I was reading a special report in The Economist about business in Africa with the headline ‘1.2 billion opportunities’. As a South African that recently came back for business to my beloved Africa after living in Spain for the last 27 years, I cannot agree more. Young people are better educated than ever before, the middle class is rising, and new technologies, such as mobile phones, have transformed commerce across Africa.
Today is Africa Day , and millions of Africans – both inside and outside of the continent – feel proud of being African and we all celebrate the foundation of the African Union, 53 years ago, in very different ways.
Some African countries celebrate it more than others. In Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, it’s a designated as a national holiday.
Ghana, as the first African country south of the Sahara to gain independence in 1957, is one of the countries where they commemorate it the most. Mesape Sube, Amadeus Country Manager for Ghana, explained to me that in Ghana people used to come to work dressed in their traditional attire and schoolchildren put on cultural displays.
“This was the norm till the day it was declared a public holiday by former President Atta Mills. Now, people go on picnics with their families, go to the beach and others engage in health walks”
- Mesape said. For Mesape
“the future for Africa is bright and that transformation, growth, dynamism, progress and partnership are central to the African Union’s narrative”.
People across the continent celebrate it in different ways, and social media is a nice way of putting all our experiences together. At Amadeus, we will be sharing all of our activities with the hashtag #DoAfricaDay. We would love to see pictures of how you celebrate this special day and what makes you and your country uniquely African.