In Celebration of African Independence Pt. 2
Through the month of July, a number of countries in Africa celebrate their own Independence Days alongside the U.S.A. Of the 54 countries in Africa, every single one has experienced the negative effects of European colonization at some point in history, whether it be centuries of oppression or just a minor invasion from the West. Consequently, Liberation Day celebrations are taken quite seriously in African countries, with citizens from each place coming together to commemorate the events in their own unique way.
Algeria, now known as the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, earned its freedom from French colonization on July 3rd, 1962, after eight years of battling their French invaders. In celebration of this hard-earned achievement, Algeria celebrates its Independence Day with great fervor,hosting a plethora of multi-cultural activities catering to its diverse population.
Three years ago, in commemoration of its 50th anniversary, the country put on an impressive show; the celebrations initiated by Algeria’s president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who addressed the nation from Sidi Fredj. Along with the speech, a troupe of almost 1,000 singers, actors, and dancers performed on live television, followed by a spectacular Chinese-themed show of fireworks.
This summer, the Republic of Cape Verde celebrates its emancipation from Portuguese colonialist rule on July 5th, 1975. This year, the country commemorates its 40th anniversary of freedom and will be celebrating with vibrant musical performances, street parties, craft markets, performances from Cape Verdean artists, and communal feasting and drinking.
Africa is not the only place that celebrates this day, however, as the state of Rhode Island has been famously hosting the Rhode Island Cape Verdean Independence Day Festival since 1976. This festival is the oldest celebration of the Cape Verdean diaspora population in the U.S. and seeks to preserve their African culture and heritage.
The Republic of Malawi, commonly known as Malawi, achieved its emancipation from the British Empire on July 6th, 1964, after a long and bitter struggle between the two countries. In celebration of this day, the national flag is hoisted in every city in the country, the city streets are decorated, and political rallies and marches take place alongside their leaders, who address the public with commemorative speeches. This year, for the 51st Independence celebration, the celebrations have been scheduled to take place in the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
To see the other countries profiled in this series, click here.