Africa meets to strengthen cultural ties, peace and liberation

04 Oct, 2021 - 00:10 0 Views
Africa meets to strengthen cultural ties, peace and liberation

The Herald

Professor Mukaka wa Mutenge

The African Union (AU) and the United Nations, Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and Angola today host the continent’s progressive thinking four-day conference on how to advance cultural ties, free the continent from forced cultural and business practices while forging integration and anti-imperialism.

Building bridges between generations dedicated to a peaceful Africa has become the main issue in the continent as it continues to liberate itself from all cultural, political, social and economic ways otherwise imposed by Western Europe. 

From today to October 8, 2021, UNESCO, the AU and the Government of Angola have co-organised the second edition of the Biennale of Luanda. 

The Biennale of Luanda — “Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace” — is a joint initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the African Union (AU) and the Government of Angola that aims to promote the prevention of violence and the resolution of conflicts, by encouraging cultural exchanges in Africa and dialogue between generations, without the influence of the US and its Western allies. 

As a space for reflection and dissemination of artistic works, ideas and best practices related to the culture of peace, it brings together representatives of governments, civil society, the artistic and scientific community and international organisations. 

It participates in the implementation of the “Plan of Action for a Culture of Peace in Africa/Make Peace Happen” adopted in March 2013 in Luanda, Angola, during the Pan-African Forum “Sources and Resources for a Culture of Peace”.

The 2021 edition will be held in a hybrid format!

This new edition of the Biennale of Luanda will be celebrated under the African Union’s 2021 theme, “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want” in a hybrid format, mixing digital and presential events. 

This year’s edition comes as Africa is feeling the heat from Western Europe who have tried to tell leaders of the continent and their governments, how to behave, how to run their economies and which countries to befriend.

The United Sates has been singled out as trying to use its economic might to gag African countries through sanctions for refusing and rejecting issues like homosexuality which is viewed as an attack on African culture, punishing countries that institute land reform and countries that do business with alternative countries such as eastern Europe and China.

In Luanda, Africa is expected to map a way forward on how to defend itself against being treated like young brothers by having Western European values imposed on Africans.

It also comes when Africa wants its diverse cultural norms not to be looked down upon as inferior to westerners.

The afternoon of the first day shall host the Intergenerational Dialogue of Leaders and Young People, whose central theme to be discussed will be?“Cultural and Heritage Diversity of Africa and its Diasporas: Fires of Conflict or Ground of Peace?” 

Africa is experiencing higher economic growth levels and well-being over the years, but insecurity, growing inequalities in different aspects of life, natural and human-made disasters persist in many parts of the continent.

Africa wants to choose, who to do business with, without getting a backlash from US and its allies. 

As many countries on the continent take an active part in and benefit from the globalisation of the economies, the modernisation of the societies and norms as well as the development and dissemination of news, poverty and social injustice continue to affect societies. 

This in turn fuels discontent among the populations, especially the marginalised groups, distrust between the people and their governance systems and fuelled by former colonisers, thus causing significant obstacles for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. 

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the multifaceted impacts of climate change have also deepened the social divides. 

This theme is developed around the following sub-themes:

Contribution of African Women to Peace and Security.

Fight against social inequalities, xenophobia, stigmatisation and discrimination.

Science, technology and Innovation to fight against crises and pandemics.

African Descents, Diasporas and the future of peace in Africa.

Africa is the continent that has experienced the strongest demographic growth in recent decades, with a trend that should lead it to reach 2,5 billion people in 2050 and 4,3 billion in 2100. This strong demographic growth makes it the youngest continent.

Already, in 2020, out of a population of 1,3 billion, the proportion of young people on the continent was 60 percent. While the rest of the world will gradually age, Africa will continue to get younger.

This theme means to be embedded in the implementation of UNESCO’s Operational Strategy on Youth  as well as the African Youth Charter the AU Roadmap on Reaping the Full Benefit of the Demographic Dividend by Investing in Youth  and Agenda 2063, particularly Aspiration 4 of the said Agenda relating to “a peaceful and secure Africa.”

This theme is developed around the following sub-themes:

Promoting and encouraging youth civic engagement: education for peace, global citizenship and sustainable development.

Youth employability, entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, including cultural/creative industries and green/blue economies.

Introduction to youth foresight and social innovation for sustainable development and social cohesion.

Youth and the role of sport for social cohesion and peace.

 Professor Makaka wa Mutenge is a Pan Africanist who is part of the organising committee of the Angola Conference. Here he writes in his personal capacity

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