Celebrating Africa Day: Sudan’s Enduring Commitment to Education and Unity

Ambassador Dr. Muawia Elbukhari Highlights Sudan’s Role as a Beacon of Knowledge and Resilience in Africa.

Sudan saw the light as an independent sovereign state on the first of January, 1956. Seven years later it was one of the 32 founding member states of the Organisation of African Unity, the predecessor to the contemporary African Union. This emanated out of its strong sense of belonging to the continent, lying right at its heart. Strongly motivated by these sentiments, Sudan played a prominent role in supporting African Liberation Movements of several African sister countries to help them gain independence, and further moved by these pressing emotions that one of the most renowned Sudanese poets has famously cited “I am African, I am Sudanese.” His words kept resonating throughout Sudan, memorized and sung by one generation after another, till date.

This year’s Africa Day theme is Education, the significance of which cannot at any circumstance be trivialised, for education leads to either a virtuous or a vicious cycle, depending on its quality and the resources invested on it. Khartoum University, originally founded longer than one century and twenty years ago, has for long stood as a beacon of knowledge in Sudan and the region, even during the current very critical juncture that Sudan is facing, as the university has adapted to the present pressing challenges through modern innovative methods such as virtual learning. International University of Africa on the other hand, originally established in Khartoum nearly six decades ago, witnessed the graduation of hundreds, or perhaps thousands of students from all over the continent, some of them went on later to become leading public figures in their respective countries. As such, Sudan remained one of the beacons of knowledge in the continent, delivering scholars and intellectuals to the rest of it.

Moved by the conviction to pay respect for women and the distinguished place they have always held in the Sudanese society, ever since the era of the Nubian Queens (known as Kandakes) thousands of years ago, Ahfad University for Women was founded as the first girls’ school in the country in 1907 and was later upgraded to college in 1966 and then to a full university in 1995, gifting thousands of brilliant female alumni to the society who paid back generously through their tangible contribution to the country’s development.

Driven by its firm belief in the significance of education and its visible role in development, the successive Sudanese governments revolutionised higher education over time and proliferated its institutions to more than forty, scattered throughout Sudan, ensuring that higher education is not only confined to the metropole, as has been the case for a considerable period of time after independence as solely manifested by Khartoum University, but that it also reaches beyond the capital to help contribute to the advancement of the other geographical and administrative regions of the state, thus contributing to the balance of development.

Sadly, due to the ongoing treacherous rebellion waged against the whole state in Sudan by the Rapid Support militia and its swarms of hateful foreign mercenaries, it is estimated that around 20 million of school-age children are currently unable to attend the school in conflict-ridden areas in the country, besides more than 70% of educational infrastructure has heavily been adversely impacted by the rebellion. This clearly highlights the inextricably intertwined relationship between education, peace, and stability. It is further regrettable to see Sudan’s membership of the African Union still suspended, impeding its efforts to suppress the rebellion and restore peace and stability in the country. Sudan shall however overcome this militia and its foreign allies and sponsors, and the woes they have brought to the country, in the foreseeable future and rise like the mythical Phoenix out of its ashes, despite of the immense challenges posed by this flagrant aggression, fully restoring its educational institutions to even better than they were prior to the rebellion, by the hands of its own people, and by the hands of its fellow African brothers and sisters and those of its long-lasting old friends like Bharat!

Let Us All Unite and Celebrate Together

Tuungane na Tusherehekee

आइए हम सब एकजुट हों और एक साथ जश्न मनाएं !

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