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Launch of the campaign for African Cultural Renaissance for the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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PRETORIA, South-Africa, December 1, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Department of Social Affairs (DSA) of the African Union Commission (AUC) has launched the African Cultural Renaissance Campaign for the SADC region and conducting a two-day workshop on the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance, in Pretoria South Africa.

The Campaign for African Cultural Renaissance is a two year programme of the African Union Commission aimed at promoting the Pan Africanism spirit, cultural renewal and identity as part of the African continent's shared values. The campaign is in line with the implementation of the African Union Commission's strategic plan for the period 2009-2012.

Components of the campaign include:

• Promotion of the African Union Symbols (the flag, the anthem and the logo) as they are important instruments for our cultural identity;

• Promotion of African cultural values including African languages;

• Promotion of the ratification of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance to ensure its entry into force;

• Popularization and promotion of the effective implementation of the Charter at all levels of society through various activities.

The primary aim of the launch is to popularize the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance in the fourteen countries of SADC to enable better understanding of this continental tool and promote its ratification.

The launch was attended by the Commissioner for Social Affairs, Advocate Bience Gawanas, H.E. Rosa Maria M. Da Cruz e Silva, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Angola, and Mr. Paul Mashatile, Minister of arts and Culture of the Republic of South Africa. A plate was unveiled for the launching of African Cultural Renaissance Campaign for the SADC region.

In her Statement, the Commissioner said that the process of ratification of legal instruments by the AU Member States is very lengthy because it involves various layers of the society including ministries and the Council of Ministers, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and national parliaments, “but we also believe that through joint efforts made by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Member States for the popularization of such instruments the process can take less time”.

The programme of the workshop focuses on the following thematic key areas:

• Cultural Dimensions of Shared Values;

• The Charter for African Cultural Renaissance;

• The Campaign for African Cultural Renaissance;

• Study on the procedures for ratification of treaties and harmonization of ratification procedures in the AU Member States and status of ratification of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance;

• Sharing of Best practices;

• Revival of the Colloquium of Ministers of Culture in the SADC region.

These thematic sessions were chosen to enable a better understanding of the Charter itself as well as the rationale behind its expeditious ratification and implementation by Member States.