The Secretary-General Message on the occasion of Africa Day 2024

By United Nations
Public Messages The Secretary-General Message on the occasion of Africa Day 2024

On Africa Day, we celebrate this dynamic and diverse continent and the contributions of Africans to our world. The continent’s young and growing population, its rich natural resources, its breathtaking beauty and cultural diversity give it outsize potential.

Initiatives like the African Continental Free Trade Area and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, along with Africa’s growing voice, including leadership in renewable energy, can help realize that potential.

But a bright future for Africa’s 1.2 billion people means addressing the challenges blocking Africa’s progress — from the effects of climate change, to deadly conflicts and unconstitutional changes of government, to hunger, poverty, inequality and crushing debt burdens.

We need to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals. This will require, among other actions, that we reform the international financial architecture so developing countries can access the resources they will need to invest in the future of their people — including strengthening education systems, this year’s African Union theme.

We must work side by side with Africa to build green economies anchored in renewable energy, and ensure that the continent’s critical mineral resources benefit Africans first and foremost.

We must strengthen our collaboration to safeguard human rights, counter terrorism and violent extremism, and — finally — silence the guns across Africa. The UN Security Council’s recent resolution to support African-led peace operations is an important step.

Throughout, Africa must have a seat at every multilateral forum — including the UN Security Council, the international financial system, and other global norm-setting structures. September’s Summit of the Future in New York will be a moment to create momentum and progress.

On Africa Day, let’s renew our pledge to stand with all Africans in their quest to lead their continent — and our world — into a peaceful and prosperous future for all.