By: Oveshnie Pillay
Celebration is known to be an important part of our lifestyle and something that we are always proud of. Just like us celebrating birthday’s, wedding anniversaries, moments of success and so much more, we also need to celebrate Africa and YES, it’s here… It’s Africa Month 2016!
The theme for Africa Month 2016 is ‘Building a better Africa and a better world’.
South Africa recognises itself as an integral part of the African continent. Therefore the country understands its national interest to be intrinsically linked to continental stability, unity and prosperity. Our national interest is therefore defined by the development and upliftment of all African people.
Africa Month seeks to increase appreciation and demand for arts and culture goods and services to stimulate competitive markets for Intra-Africa trade.
The African month programme
While existing programmes of the Department of Arts and Culture seek to inculcate an African identity through the popularisation of the national flag and continental flag as well as the National Anthem and the African Union Anthem, it was important last year that we inaugurate an full Africa Month programme, a festival of ideas, a celebration of what it means to be African to deepen and expand our knowledge, engage in cultural exchange, sharpen our ideas but also together to face our continental destiny.
Africa Month Focal Areas:
1. Know your history: Telling the African story
This year’s Africa Month programme has activities that share knowledge on the role of Archives and their importance in preserving the history of the state and of the people. The Archives programme is further complemented by lectures and colloquia that focus on African history and the impact it has on our present and future. Specific activities are focused on youth engaging with our legacy and what they need to do to shape the future.
2. Build African unity and solving Africa’s problems
There are conferences focusing on African unity and renaissance, seminars on intra-African trade, a meeting of the Bureau of the 4th Pan African Cultural Congress, a focus on building communities of peace and diversity, examining water security and Africa, a gathering on the themes of Agenda 2063. Significantly, we shall also celebrate the centenary of Fort Hare University, an institution that has nurtured generations of African leaders, through lectures and engagement on the role of intellectuals in developing the continent.
Let us all unite to pray for freedom as well as justice for us all. Pray for peace, Pray for Africa!
Visit http://www.gov.za for more information.