On 18 May 2022 the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Dr Vasu Gounden, was invited by DIRCO to be a resource person at the above seminar that was co-hosted by the University of the Western Cape (UWC). The seminar was held in commemoration of Africa Day, and was to serve as a build up to the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the AU on 09 July 2002. The Minister of DIRCO, Dr Naledi Pandor, delivered the keynote address, which was then followed by a panel presentation.
The overall purpose of the AU 20th Anniversary celebration was to acknowledge and appreciate the achievements and positive contributions made by African leaders since the inception of the AU in July 2002 and its predecessor, the OAU in May 1963. The objective was to look at the critical role played by the AU, while creating an awareness among people and the international community about the contribution of the AU to continental affairs.
The specific objectives of the celebration included: acknowledging and appreciating the role of the founding fathers of the OAU in the fight against colonialism and oppression; highlighting and celebrating the milestones achieved by the AU since its inception in July 2002; taking the celebration to the people in accordance with Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, and to demonstrate its value to the continent; to renew the resolve to ensure that African history is written and celebrated by Africans; and to collectively commit to ensuring that each milestone achieved provided the basis for sustained development and progress.
DIRCO planned to host three events to mark the 20th Anniversary of the AU. The first was a Public Lecture addressed by Dr Naledi Pandor on 17 May 2022 on the theme: “Africa in 2063: Removing obstacles to prosperity.” The second was the above seminar, and the third is a planned Commemorative Celebration to be held in Durban on 09 July 2022.
The guests who were invited to the seminar were drawn from Government Ministers, UWC academic officials, UWC Alumni, students, Think Tanks, members from the SA Parliament Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, and civil society.