Yesterday, July 30, was International Day of Friendship (IDF) – so-proclaimed by the United Nations in 2011 following a proposition by the Unesco which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1997. The Unesco proposition was based on the ‘Culture of Peace’ – defined as “a set of values, attitudes and behaviours that reject violence and endeavour to prevent conflicts by addressing their root causes with a view to solving problems.”
Therefore, the objective of IDF is to promote and cement the idea that “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts, and build bridges between communities.” The UN resolution specifically places emphasis on involving young people as future leaders in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.
To that very noble end, the UN encourages governments, international organizations and civil society groups “to hold events, activities and initiatives on the International Day of Friendship that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation.” The events, activities and initiatives that foster a culture of peace include – but are not limited to – promoting all-inclusive, sustainable socioeconomic development; ensuring gender equality; bolster democratic participation, and promote international peace and security.
We are more than happy to note that Tanzania has been doing what it takes to foster the culture of peace to the best of its ability.
This is basically why the country has known no internecine instability in the century it has been both as a British Trusteeship Territory and as a politically-independent nation-state within the comity of nations. This year’s International Friendship Day theme, ‘Sharing the human spirit through friendship,’ takes into consideration the fact that friendship is a basic tool to make the world prosperous and peaceful – and a key source to maintaining social harmony and mildness among societies.
Let us, therefore, join the rest of the world to foster the peace culture for a better world.
FOCUS ON YOUTH SPORTS
Tanzania is represented by only three athletes in the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympics: Marathoners Alphonce Simbu, Gabriel Geay, and a female athlete, Failuna Matanga.
Although the Marathon has been our main source of medals in major international competitions, Tanzanians’ performance in track and field events has never been particularly impressive.
Hence this call for the relevant authorities to cast the net wider for sportsmen and women in other disciplines if we are to turn around the country’s sports fortunes.
Tanzania has no field athletes of international repute and, as such, does not field competitors in sprints, field and track events at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
This is despite the country being endowed with budding sportsmen and women whose latent talent remains undeveloped beyond the Inter-Secondary School Games (Umisseta) level.
It is an open secret that the future belongs to the brave, the determined, the hard-working and those who never give up.
Today’s dreams are tomorrow’s realities – and we must continue believing that we will one day excel in international sports.
To GET IT DONE – as per the MCL motto – we must emphasise sports development in our youth for future success.
We should make Tanzania a place where every child who wants to kick a ball has ready access to a ball.