Harare – Today marks the 58th anniversary of Africa Day.
The Day was formerly known as the Africa Freedom Day or the Africa Liberation Day to commemorate the founding of the then Organisation of African Unity in 1963.
The OAU was transformed into the African Union on July 9, 2002 in Durban, South Africa.
This year’s celebrations are being held under the theme “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”.
“Aspiration 5 of Agenda 2063 envisions ‘An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics’. This calls for an African cultural renaissance which is pre-eminent and that inculcates the spirit of Pan Africanism; tapping Africa’s rich heritage and culture to ensure that the creative arts are major contributors to Africa’s growth and transformation; and restoring and preserving Africa’s cultural heritage, including its languages,” reads a statement on this year’s theme from the AU.
The AU said culture said the theme was a declaration at a continental level for member states to invest more resources in promoting national and regional cohesion by investing in African culture and heritage as a vehicle for promoting and achieving the national economic and social development goals outlined in Africa’s Agenda 2063.
“The Year of Arts, Culture and Heritage is happening at a time when the continent is still grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which has imposed heavy human, financial and economic costs to Africa. However, during the pandemic the Creative and Cultural Industries in Africa have played a key role in contributing efforts towards prevention and combating the spread of Covid-19 and furthermore the increased use of technology has created new spaces for CCIs sector to thrive by using digital platforms to promote their goods and services,” further reads the statement.