officers hold wreaths of flowers during a ceremony marking the Africa Day in Lusaka, capital of Zambia, May 25, 2017. Zambia held a grand ceremony on Thursday to mark Africa Day amid splendor and pomp. (Xinhua/Peng Lijun)
LUSAKA, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Zambia held a grand ceremony on Thursday to mark Africa Day amid splendor and pomp.
The ceremony started with President Edgar Lungu leading other government officials in laying wreaths at the Freedom Statue in Lusaka, the country's capital in rememberance of men and women who shed their blood in fighting for the liberation of the continent.
The wreath laying ceremony was characterized by a sombre atmosphere as the Zambia Army played solemn music.
The event later shifted to State House where dignitaries where treated to various forms of entertainment by local artistes.
Lungu, in remarks to commemorate the day urged Africans to reflect on the selfless determination of forefathers to liberate the continent from colonialism.
The theme for this year's commemoration is "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in the Youth".
The Zambian leader said there was a compelling need to ensure sufficient investment in uplifting the lives of young people.
The Zambian leader also marked the day by pardoning 428 prisoners and commuting sentences of 11 others, according to a statement released by the home affairs ministry.