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South Africa hosts 2nd meeting of the bureau of the 4th Pan African Cultural Congress (PACC4)

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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The 2nd Meeting of the Bureau of the 4th Pan-African Cultural Congress (PACC4) kicked off on May 10, 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa. The two (2) days meeting was jointly organized by the AU Department of Social Affairs and the Government of South Africa, through its Department of Arts and Culture.

The 2nd Bureau Meeting of the PACC4 was attended by the following Members of the Bureau: Sir. Ferdinand Anikwe, Chairperson of the Bureau; Ms. Jane Murago Munene, 2nd Vice Chairperson; Mr. Ruphus Matibe, Rapporteur, representatives from Pan-African Cultural Institutions, Civil Society Organizations in the arts and culture sector and staff of the African Union Commission (AUC).

On behalf of H.E. Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, Commissioner for Social Affairs, Ms. Angela Martins, Head of Culture Division at the Department of Social Affairs, AUC, welcomed Bureau Members and representatives of Pan-African Cultural Institutions working in the arts and cultural sector and expressed gratitude to the Government of the Republic South Africa for hosting the Bureau Meeting. She further extended the AUC's gratitude to the Government of the Republic of South Africa and to Hon. Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Arts and Culture, for always promoting African arts and culture and recognizing the potential of the arts and culture sector for the development of the African Continent.

The representative of the AU Commission reminded participants at the Meeting of the adoption by the African Union Assembly of the AU Agenda 2063, in January 2015, and of its first ten (10) Years Plan which have a strong component on the development of the arts, culture and heritage sectors on the continent as encapsulated in the AU Agenda 2063 Aspiration five (5) on culture and heritage.

The Opening Session was also addressed bySir. Ferdinand Anikwe, Chairperson of the Bureau of the 4th Pan-African Cultural Congress (PACC4). He mentioned that culture unites, promotes social cohesion and nation building, and it is also therapeutic. As a continent there is a need to promote peace, stability and prosperity through culture, thus culture should be used as a tool for developing Africa as a continent and connecting all the African counties through arts, culture and heritage.

The Chairperson of the Bureau of the PACC4 reminded participants at the Meeting that the Festival of Arts and Culture held in Lagos Nigeria in 1977 (FESTAC 77) will be celebrating forty (40) years in 2017 and invited the Bureau Members, Member States, Pan-African Cultural Institutions, the Diaspora and international arts and culture friends to take part in the celebration.

On behalf of Hon Nathi Mthethwa Minister of Arts and Culture of the Republic of South Africa, the Deputy Director General of Arts and Culture Ms. Kelebogile Sethibelo addressed the Bureau Members of the PACC4and the participants of the Meeting. She pointed out the importance of the meeting in strengtheningthe draft follow-up mechanism of the recommendations of the PACC4, held last year as part of inaugural Africa Month Programme in South Africa. She also noted that the meeting will providean important platform to deliberate on matters of arts and culture in the continent and the Diaspora.

In conclusion, the Deputy Director of Arts and Culture, indicated that Africa Month for the 2016 Edition was launched on the 3rd May 2016 at the Cradle of Humankind in Maropeng, South Africa by Hon. Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Arts and Culture of the Republic of South Africa during the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF). The theme of the Africa Month 2016 Edition is: “Unity in Cultural Diversity for Africa's Development”. She then invited all participants of the meeting and all Africans of all walks of life to join South Africa in commemorating Africa's rich culture and heritagethroughout the month of May 2016. She then declared the Meeting opened and wished the participants fruitful deliberations.