The Botswana Centre for Human Rights joined the rest of the world in celebrating Africa Day on 25 May 2013. Africa Day commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. The OAU is now known as the African Union (AU) and was established on 26 May 2001. Africa Day is a day which aims to celebrate African Unity and gives African governments, civil societies and individuals, a chance to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of the continent. According to the 24th May 2013 statement made by Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations Secretary-General, on the occasion of Africa Day, Africa is a dynamic continent undergoing undamental transformation. Even during the world economic crisis, Africa’s economies have continued to expand, and growth forecasts remain positive. However, the benefits are not reaching all Africans.
Poverty, hunger and disparities in health, education and participation in society, are preventing hundreds of millions of Africans from fully realising their potential. Mr Ki-moon further stated that greater effort is needed by all to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Although the continent has been faced by a series of problems stemming from the world economic crisis, there have been success stories in a number of African countries in terms of poverty eradiation, education, good governance, health issues and human rights. These countries include Botswana, Egypt and Tunisia. We, DITSHWANELO, believe that it is important to celebrate this day, because it unites the continent. The day reminds us, as Af-ricans, that although we all come from different countries, walks of life and even speak different languages,what unites us is the fact that we have a shared heritage. The value of botho is an essential part of our identity as Batswana. For us to successfully enable effective participation of Batswana, politically, socially and economically, we need to retain botho as the basis of our development paradigm.In working towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, we need to be committed to a people-centered approach to development focused on the respect of the dignity of all.