Addis Ababa, 7 June 2021: The African Union and its Member States are celebrating the 11th edition of the African Border Day under the theme, “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”. This statutory commemoration is held in the context of the implementation of the African Union Border Programme (AUBP), which aims to sensitize stakeholders on the role of borders in promoting peace, security and stability, and to highlight the efforts of the AU Border Programme to promote and strengthen regional and continental integration.
Borders, in the spirit of AUBP, are understood as instruments to promote peace and security, and are zones to facilitate regional integration. In this regard, borders have a dual function: as points of contact, junctions and bridges and as points of separation, control and protection. Hence border areas are melting pots of shared cultures, traditions and arts that traverse boundaries.
On this occasion and in line with the AU theme of the year, the AUBP, championed by the Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department (PAPS) of the AU Commission, will showcase the culture, heritage and arts found in border areas across the continent and highlight socio-cultural cross border cooperation initiatives and their impact.
The celebrations will kick-off with a statement by H.E. Amb. Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, which will launch the virtual campaign on the AUBP throughout the month of June. This will feature the launch of a short series of animated videos showcasing cultural practices, arts and languages as well as natural heritages from the borderlands.
Besides popularizing the importance of the AUBP, the day will also be used to sensitize Member States, African border communities, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), civil society organizations and academics on border issues, especially as related to border governance and good neighborliness as underlined in the AU Convention on Cross Border Cooperation and the AU Strategy on Better Integrated Border Governance.
It must be recalled that, in decision of the 2nd Conference of African Ministers in Charge of Border Issues, held in March 2010, Ministers adopted 7 June as a day to showcase the importance of the AUBP and the role of borders in promoting peace and regional and continental integration in Africa.
Note to Editors
About the AUBP: The African Union Border Programme (AUBP), is an initiative taken by African Heads of State and Governments in January 2007 at the 8th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Government of the African Union. In June 2007, the African Ministers in charge of border issues adopted the Declaration on the African Union Border Programme (AUBP) and its Implementation Modalities.
The AUBP is one of the AU mechanisms for conflict prevention aims at prevention and resolution of border-related disputes and the promotion of regional and continental integration through cross border cooperation. Its vision is that of “a united and integrated Africa with peaceful, open and prosperous borders”.