Did you know about Africa Day?
Today, May 25th, we celebrate Africa Day, the anniversary of the founding of the African Union. Several of our speakers discussed this large and diverse continent in their talks, and their messages are all about hope, development, and innovation.
The African Union was formed in 1963 to advocate for liberation, sustainable development, human rights, and other large-scale goals on the African continent. It supports a philosophy of Pan-Africanism. The AU is led by a Chairperson, who is elected each year from among leaders of African nations; the 2016 Chairperson is President Idriss Deby Itno of Chad.
Linda Sue Park and Salva Dut cooperated to tell the story of Salva, a Lost Boy from Sudan, and Nya, a fictional village girl. Linda Sue explains how the power of storytelling mobilized students to raise money for wells in South Sudan, where girls often have to walk miles to draw fresh water. Salva’s extraordinary story of survival and service inspired thousands of people, and continues to motivate his work creating access to water for thousands of people across South Sudan.
David Sengeh is an innovator from Sierra Leone who’s designed prosthetic limbs that are more comfortable for amputees, among many other things. He spoke with Kate Krontiris, a social scientist and strategist, about his drive and education.
Mark Kirby, a Botswana native, is now the Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Information Technology at Liberty Mutual Insurance Group. He spoke about how passion and creativity always lead to the best and most lasting products, because people put effort into things they love, and that is truly a marker of value.
All of these talks have in common a vision of a better world and the drive to create it, characteristics they share with the African Union. Each of these projects is a work of connection and collaboration, inspiring people to be agents of development. Today, we mark the 53rd anniversary of the AU’s commitment to these same ideals, and we’re proud to show that our community is a part of the effort to make a better Africa.