A bronze statue of Ghanaian leader, Kwame Nkrumah, presides over the entrance of the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as a tribute to this pioneer of African independence. Photo: Reuters

The University of Havana marked Africa Day, celebrated each May 25, with a panel discussion entitled “Rethinking Africa, its history and contemporaneity”.

During the event, the strong bonds of brotherhood that unite both peoples, stemming from solidarity efforts, and the benefits of cooperation in sectors such as education, health and sports were highlighted.

Clara Pulido, coordinator for Africa and the Middle East of the International Relations Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, noted that consolidating peace, independence and regional integration for development, are common goals.

Referring to social programs and the training of human resources, she explained that more than 30,000 Africans have graduated from Cuban universities.

In the presence of African diplomats, academics and students, Pulido highlighted Cuban collaboration in countries of the African Union (AU), and especially the work of the medical brigade that fought the Ebola epidemic in Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

She also expressed thanks for the support provided by member states of the AU in the island’s fight to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States for over half a century.

Regarding pending issues for the African continent, Pulido pointed to the independence of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, whose territories are still occupied by Morocco.

She also stressed the strong African heritage in Cuba, referring to national heroes such as Antonio Maceo and Juan Almeida Bosque.

The event also provided an opportunity to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean nation.