The 2012 Africa Day celebrations took place under the theme "Africa and the Diaspora," with many calling for Africans to come together to renew partnerships and take advantage of Rio+20 to set a development agenda that takes cognizance of the many unique problems and needs of Africa.
25 May 2012: Held under the theme “Africa and the Diaspora,” Africa Day 2012 heard messages on setting a development agenda to address the multiple needs of the African population. This year’s celebrations took place on the last day of the Second Global Diaspora Summit, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 23-25 May 2012.
The Summit stressed the importance of establishing networks to encourage the African Diaspora to work with the African Union (AU) to further development in the region. UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro urged using the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) to support African economic growth and stability. She stressed the need to: address inequality, food security and economic diversification; strengthen intra-African ties; and balance the interaction between traditional and new drivers of economic growth.
In his message to mark the Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the role of Africa and its people in driving growth and development, and noted that while development challenges exist, renewed partnership at Rio+20 will ensure equitable, sustainable growth for Africa.
Africa Day is celebrated annually to mark the occasion of the establishment of the Organization of African Unity, the current AU, in 1963. The AU is comprised of 53 States that are brought together to address, discuss and resolve challenges such as climate change, armed conflict and poverty. [Statement of UN Secretary-General] [Statement of UN Deputy Secretary-General] [Second Global Diaspora Summit Communiqué]