Africa: Statement By H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat Chairperson of the African Union Commission At the Unveiling Ceremony of the Statue of the Late Julius Nyerere

The statue of the former Tanzanian president,Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, a leading pan-Africanist and peace builder, was unveiled at the African Union Summit in front of the Julius Nyerere Political Affairs, Peace & Security Building at @_AfricanUnion headquarters in Addis Ababa. #AUSummit
press release

Excellency Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia and Chairperson of SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation,

Excellency, Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania,

Excellency, Elias Magosi, SADC Executive Secretary,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Habari ya asubuhi (good morning)

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this ceremony for one of Africa's most iconic figures, - Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere. The legacy of this remarkable leader encapsulates the essence of Pan Africanism, profound wisdom, and service to Africa.

Mwalimu played a key pioneering role in the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, a milestone event in our pursuit of African unity. The journey continues.

At the inaugural OAU summit in 1963, Mwalimu said, and I quote:

"Our continent is one, and we are all Africans. This organization symbolizes our determination to move forward together."

His commitment to African unity went beyond national boundaries and national interest, as reflected in his words to the Tanzanian Parliament in 1970:

"We must stand by our brothers fighting for freedom in Southern Africa. Their struggle is our struggle, and their victory is our victory."

Under his leadership, Tanzania became a sanctuary for liberation movements across the continent. The Organization of the African Unity Liberation Committee found its headquarters in Tanzania until the dismantling of the Apartheid system in South Africa in 1994.

Dar es Salaam was not only a safe haven for African liberation movements but also for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Latin American countries.

A teacher but also a peacemaker, Mwalimu played a key role as mediator in African conflicts, particularly the crisis in Burundi. He remained a wise statesman who gave his counsel and advice selflessly to our Union until the end of his life.

It is therefore befitting that we honour his memory today as we rename this building to the Mwalimu Nyerere Political Affairs Peace and Security building.

And we gather here to celebrate the legacy of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, I would like to recall that the proposal for the AU Peace and Security building to be named after this great leader was made by none other than the late President Hage Geingob of the Republic of Namibia, whose recent untimely passing has left the Continent and the globe in shock.

May the spirit of Mwalimu's wisdom and humility guide the work of this building that he now stands as its protector.

Asanteni Sana.

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