The COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity for the continent to re-examine its socio-economic priorities, says Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa.
Addressing the launch of Africa Month on Wednesday, the Minister said the pandemic is imposing heavy human, financial and economic costs to Africa and across the globe.
“The crisis also provides an opportunity to re-examine the continent’s socio-economic priorities; including the role of cultural workers; contributing to building stronger and more resilient health and social sectors towards equality; inclusion; social cohesion and African Renaissance as inspired by the Ubuntu philosophy,” Mthethwa said.
The Africa Month programme will take place under the theme, Year for Arts, Culture and Heritage in the Year of Charlotte Maxeke.
“It is in this current climate in pursuit of commonalities that the current initiative on Africa Month is aimed at pursuing the agenda set out by our predecessors but sharpened by new generations.
“The story of a continent that is transforming itself is one that we need to embrace, project and work together to transmit,” the Minister said.
Africa Month is crafted in response to the African Union (AU) call for ratification of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance and implementation of the AU Agenda 2063.
“Africa Month promotes Pan Africanism and African Cultural Renaissance, of which both contributes to united efforts for decolonization and regeneration of the African continent. Amongst others,” the Minister said.
It is also aimed at achieving the following:
- To promote the African Agenda and strengthen the African Union institutions and policies.
- To implement and bring to life the AU Agenda 2063 and the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance.
- To promote regional integration by strengthening people to people contact harmonize policies and share skills and expertise;
- To promote Cultural Diplomacy for a Broader Socio-economic agenda
- To stimulate the implementation of existing Cultural Agreements and strengthen relations with identified countries in the continent for mutually beneficial and sustainable relationships.
The Minister said it is further regarded as a platform to promote the AU institution and its programs towards the attainment of its vision – ‘An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena’.