Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa, has called on African Ministers of Culture to work together and support engagements geared towards the profiling, protection and promotion of the continent’s heritage properties.
Addressing the Inter-Ministerial meeting on Sites of Memory and World Heritage Convention in Africa on Friday, he encouraged Ministers to reflect on the operationalisation of the concept of science associated with memories of recent conflicts within the framework of the World Heritage Convention in Africa.
“For Africans, sites of memory are intended to celebrate, commemorate and acknowledge the successes of the leaders of our continent in our efforts to build nations, increase global awareness about African heritage and to mobilise cooperation for its recognition.
“They are also intended to highlight progress Africa has made, whilst reflecting upon the common challenges that arise from the implications of our history, our memory. Our memory sites associated to recent conflicts tell our recent stories on the routes of African independence and this is also the expression of African narrative and history in the world,” Mthethwa said in his virtual address.
He said the Ministers needed to rectify the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance.
Adopted by the African Union (AU) in 2012, the charter charts the way for Africa’s renewal and stimulates the creative and heritage economy of the continent.
“We are making a special plea to all the member states to facilitate the rectification of the charter. Our seriousness and commitment by Ministers of Culture will be judged by history,” he said.
The four-day virtual African Experts’ meeting on Sites of Memory and World Heritage Convention in Africa, was organised and hosted by the Government of South Africa in partnership with the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF). It encompasses African Ministers, government officials and experts involved in the management of cultural heritage in Africa.