This Africa Day 2023 is a special milestone commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity, transformed into the African Union that we know today. Let us take a moment to reflect on the incredible progress and achievements that have been made across the continent over the past 60 years, as well as the challenges that still lie ahead.
Over the past years, we have seen continued efforts to address issues such as poverty, inequality, and conflict, as well as important strides in areas such as healthcare, education, economic development and climate change. We have also witnessed inspiring acts of resilience and innovation in the face of adversity.
As we move forward, let us remember that the power of Africa lies in its diversity, its people, and its rich cultural heritage. Let us continue to work together towards a brighter future for all Africans, one that is characterised by peace, prosperity, and social justice.
Under the theme "Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation," we affirm our unwavering dedication to economic growth and integration. Despite the challenges that beset us, we stand united in our resolve to seize the boundless opportunities that lie before us.
As we accelerate the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, we recognize the transformative power it holds. This monumental endeavour necessitates a steadfast commitment to transparency, fairness, and equitable participation. By harnessing the strength of our unity, we can create an enabling environment for trade, investment, and innovation, unleashing the full potential of our continent.
While we confront the pressing issues of climate change, food security, and the well-being of our people, we recognise the imperative of unity. Africa's strength lies in our collective action, our shared values of human dignity, democracy, and inclusive growth. Together, we can forge a future where every African can thrive.
Today, we pay tribute to the immense progress we have made on our African continent. Our commitment to the principles of the African Union, including good governance, transparency, and accountability, has paved the way for inclusive growth and sustainable development. We commend the remarkable contributions of businesses, social welfare leaders, and visionary entrepreneurs who have harnessed the opportunities provided by the African Union to propel Africa forward.
Seychelles, a proud African nation since our independence in 1976, stands as a beacon of progress and hope. As the foremost advocate of the Blue Economy, we remain steadfast in our commitment to sustainable development, maritime security, and regional cooperation. Together with all Africans, we forge ahead, unlocking the immense wealth of our oceans and nurturing a thriving Blue Economy.
On this Africa Day, let us remember our shared heritage, celebrate our accomplishments, and recommit ourselves to the noble cause of African progress. The march before us is long. But united in purpose, we shall overcome any obstacle that lies in our path. Together, we shall build a prosperous future, where every African can flourish, and our continent takes its rightful place on the global stage.
I extend my warmest wishes to each and every one of you on this momentous occasion. Happy Africa Day!