The 2nd Virtual Forum of the African Union Ministers Responsible for Arts, Culture, and Heritage on the Launch of the AU Concept Note and Roadmap on the Theme of the Year for 2021

PUBLISHED: Fri, 26 Mar 2021 15:59:10 GMT

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The African Union Commission convened the 2nd Virtual Forum of Minsters responsible for Arts, Culture and Heritage to present, discuss and launch the Concept Note and Roadmap of the Theme of the Year for 2021.

On behalf of H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, the Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs & Social Development, H.E. Amira Elfadil Mohammed, welcomed all ministers present at the Virtual Forum, aimed at presenting, discussing and launching the AU Theme of the Year for 2021. ‘The Forum also presented an opportunity for Member States to reflect on their contributions on the implementation of the roadmap on the AU theme of the year for 2021.popularizing the AU theme of the year for 2021 and sensitizing them to engage and participate in the implementation of its matrix of activities and programmes.

“The AU theme of the year for 2021 was adopted by the AU Policy Organs as; ‘Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We want.’ This theme was proposed by the former President of Mali H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on the occasion of 33rd AU Assembly. The theme was launched during the 34th AU Assembly under the leadership of the current Chairperson of the African Union H. E. President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, the President of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)”, said Commissioner Amira.

The Commissioner further reflected back to the history of Africa in relation to arts, cultures and heritage. The Commissioner underlined the fact that “The three concepts have continuously been fundamental ingredients for our development. In many societies in Africa, if not all, creativity has been used to solve problems and put in place systems and structures which in most cases make those societies in Africa great. At this juncture we are availed with a whole year to reflect from our own Member States on how creativity and available creative industries can fast track our people's development as well as enhancing creative practitioners well-being and prosperity”.

The Commissioner expressed her confidence that the Forum would enable reflection and concrete actions for the ratification and implementation of various key arts, culture and heritage policy documents. These include the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance, the Statute of the African Audio Visual and Cinema Commission (AACC). She emphasized the importance for Member States to ratify the charter to enter into force.

Commissioner Amira Elfadil Mohammed concluded by briefing the Ministerial Forum about the status of the Great Museum of Africa (GMA), a flagship project of the African Union Agenda 2063. She informed ministers the temporary site of the GMA will be launched on 25th May 2021 ‘Africa Day’, in Algiers, Algeria.

The virtual Forum acknowledged the fact that the African Union has not only included culture in all major continental development blue prints, such as the Lagos Plan of Action 1980-2000 and the African Union Agenda 2063; but also the AU has  adopted various instruments pertaining to arts, culture and heritage sector including the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance (2006), the Revised African Union Plan of Action on Cultural and Creative Industries (2008); the Statute of the African Audio-Visual and Cinema Commission (2019), and the AU Model Law on the Protection of Cultural Property and Heritage (2018). The ministerial forum also congratulated the decision of the African Union Policy organs that declared 2021 the year of arts, culture and heritage under the specific theme: ‘Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.’ A decision which will without doubt galvanize further the sector and which draws inspiration in the African Union Agenda 2063, a shared strategic framework and blueprint for inclusive growth and sustainable development of the continent.

The forum further underlined the commitment of Member States to work closely with the African Union Commission (AUC) in the implementation of the roadmap of the Concept Note of the Theme of the Year for 2021 and disseminate scheduled national activities and programmes related to the theme of the year to ensure wider participation by AU Member States, Pan-African Cultural Institutions and partners and advocate for the implementation of the AU Summit decision which calls on Member States to allocate at least 1% of their national budget to the arts, culture and heritage sector by 2030.

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