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Ministry and Department of Sport, Arts and Culture Celebrate Africa Month
This month of May 2020, and in particular the 25th of May, South Africa will be joining the rest of the Continent in celebrating Africa Month. During these celebrations, South Africa and the rest of the Continent will be promoting Pan-Africanism and African Cultural Renaissance, both of which contribute to united efforts for the decolonization and regeneration of the African Continent.
The celebrations of the Africa Month intend to have all African Union (AU) Member States acknowledging and observing the day the Organization for African Unity (OAU) was established on the 25th of May 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The OAU reorganized itself and was relaunched as the African Union on the 9th of July 2002 in Durban South Africa. The celebrations will also take of stock of progress made towards realizing the ideals of the AU Agenda 2063.
Since the formation of the AU, South Africa has continued to play an active role by remaining committed to the vision of championing an African continent which is prosperous, peaceful, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and united while aspiring to a just and equitable world.
To date, South Africa remains an integral part of the African Continent by understanding that its national interest remains intrinsically linked to Continental stability, unity and prosperity. Furthermore, the Africa Month is crafted to respond to AU’s call for ratification of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance and the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063.
This month of May, referred to as Africa Month, will ultimately be seen 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’.
South Africa has now assumed the AU Chairship with a slight shift on the AU priorities which are now inclusive of the theme “Silencing the Guns by 2020: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development. As the Continent celebrates Africa Month, it cannot be blind and silent to the devastating effects of COVID-19 pandemic, a silent enemy attacking the whole globe.
The celebration should also send a message of collaborative Continental efforts to flatten the curve of the virus. The message amid the celebrations should be to encourage all Africans on the Continent and the Diaspora, and indeed the whole world to keep social distancing, to wash their hands and to wear masks.
South Africa as the AU Chairship will enable the Continent to promote cultural, regional integration, the African Renaissance, cultural development, Creative and Cultural Industries.
Under the Africa Month theme of “Building A Better Africa and a better World”, several activities and programmes focusing on strengthening social, cultural, economic and political integration among African nations, have been lined up by the Department of Sport, Arts & Culture.
The Department will continue to promote increased economic opportunities for all artists; product development; audience development and social cohesion as well as cultural diplomacy throughout the Continent.
This month’s activities are lined up to create a demand for arts and culture goods and services while stimulating competitive markets for Intra-Africa trade. In response to curbing the spread of Covid-19 pandemic on the Continent and in the country, the 2020 Africa month cultural program activities will be pre-recorded and packaged ahead of the 25 May celebrations.
Since the all sectoral activities in relation to sport, arts and culture are currently placed on indefinite hold, social media platforms are the only option opened to celebrate the Month while also ensuring the safety of our artists, sportspeople and audiences are protected from the devastating virus.
The cultural Program for the Africa Day Main event will feature musicians from the 5 Regions of the Continent and the Diaspora. The main event program will also feature poetry, drumming for Peace, Fashion and Design, performances and a short video of key African World Heritage Sites like Timbuktu in Mali, Gore Island in Senegal and others.