Africa Day: Quotes of prominent African leaders

Africa has been home to some of the most remarkable leaders in history, whose words have echoed through time, inspiring generations and shaping the continent's trajectory.

Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Haile Selassie

From liberation fighters to statesmen, their wisdom, courage, and vision continue to resonate, offering guidance and hope in the face of adversity. delves into the profound words of these prominent African leaders, whose quotes are beacons of inspiration for all.

  • Nelson Mandela (South Africa): "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

Mandela's words encapsulate the transformative power of education in breaking the chains of ignorance and injustice.


As South Africa's first black president, he dedicated his life to fighting apartheid and promoting reconciliation, emphasizing the importance of knowledge and enlightenment in building a better society.

  • Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana): "We face neither East nor West: we face forward."

Nkrumah, Ghana's first president and a leading figure in the Pan-African movement, advocated for unity and self-determination among African nations.

His quote reminds us to look beyond ideological divisions and focus on forging a path of progress and unity for the continent.

  • Wangari Maathai (Kenya): "In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground."

Maathai, the founder of the Green Belt Movement and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, spoke passionately about environmental conservation and social justice.

Her words urge us to embrace a deeper understanding of our interconnectedness with nature and each other, inspiring a collective awakening towards a more sustainable and compassionate world.

  • Patrice Lumumba (Democratic Republic of Congo): "The only thing which we wanted for our country is the right to a worthy life, to dignity without pretence, to independence without restrictions."

Lumumba, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Congo, was a staunch advocate for African independence and self-determination.

His words resonate with the aspirations of millions across the continent for freedom, dignity, and sovereignty.

  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia): "If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough."

Sirleaf, Liberia's first female president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is a trailblazer for gender equality and democratic governance.

Her quote serves as a reminder to dream boldly and pursue ambitious goals, even in the face of uncertainty and fear.

  • Haile Selassie I (Ethiopia): "Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph."

Selassie, Ethiopia's emperor and a symbol of African unity, spoke passionately about the importance of standing up against injustice and oppression.


His words serve as a call to action for all individuals to speak out against injustice and uphold the principles of justice and equality.


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