Thursday, November 1, 2012

“Culture, an undeniable growth pole”

Kinshasa, 31 October 2012 – The Experts’ Session of the fourth African Union Conference of Ministers of Culture (CMAC4) ended today 31 October 2012 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with concrete recommendations to promote culture in Africa for economic and social development. The status of ratification of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance featured prominently among the agenda of the Experts. To date only three of the 54 Member States of the AU have ratified this instrument, namely Congo, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. At the end of a lengthy discussion on the strategy for the promotion of, and advocacy for, the ratification of the Charter, the Experts agreed to maintain the original requirement, namely that to become effective the Charter must be ratified by two-thirds of the total membership of the African Union. Normally, fifteen ratifications are required for an AU legal instrument to be applicable to all Member States. As part of the campaign for the ratification and implementation of the Charter, participants proposed that this item should be included in the agenda of the 20th Assembly of the Union so as to secure a firm commitment from the Heads of State and Government for its effective implementation. The celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Organisation of the African Unity (OAU)/African Union (AU) in 2013 also featured prominently in the deliberations of the Experts’ Meeting. In his advocacy for the success of this jubilee, Dr Olawale Maiyegun, Director of AU Department of Social Affairs, recalled that this Anniversary is a unique opportunity to “take stock of our vision of Pan-africanism and the future of Culture in Africa”. He called on the Representatives of the AU Member States to enrich the program of the festivities throughout the year, adding “let’s ensure that the year 2013 is also the year of African Culture”. Concerned by the destruction of historical sites in Northern Mali, the Experts launched an appeal for the preservation of African Cultural Goods, especially during periods of crisis. In the Kinshasa Declaration prepared for the attention of the Ministers of Culture, the Experts expressed deep concern about “the serious violations of human rights and the senseless and unacceptable destruction of world heritage sites perpetrated in the northern part of Mali notably in Timbuktu by armed groups”. The Kinshasa Declaration and the Recommendations of the Experts will be tabled before the Ministers of CAMC4 for adoption. Cȏte d’Ivoire offered to host CAMC5 in 2014. The Ministerial Session of CAMC4 will be held from 1-2 November 2012. During these two days, Kinshasa will be the Capital of African Culture. Contact: