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May 25 is World Day of Africa, in memory of the founding congress of the Organization of African Union (OAU), the forerunner of today’s African Union (AU). This day simply celebrates the creation of the OAU on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The purpose of May 25 is to symbolically underline the need to “strengthen the unity and solidarity of African States”, according to the OAU Charter.

On 26 May 1963, the OAU Charter was signed by all participants except Morocco. At this meeting, it was then decided to rename “African Freedom Day” as “African Liberation Day”, set for May 25. With the passage of time, this day has simply become “Africa Day”. While the OAU has since disappeared and was replaced by the AU in 2002, 25 May continues to be celebrated today.