AFRICA DAY CELEBRATION: YOUNG PEOPLE INVITED TO ACTIVELY BUILD THE FUTURE OF AFRICA

The Institute of African Studies at the University of Mohammed V in Rabat in partnership with UCLG Africa organized a seminar on Tuesday, May 25, 2021to celebrate Africa Day. Placed under the theme of ” Cultural and Creative Economy, lever of sustainable development”, the meeting, held in blended format, both in-person at the Institute of African Studies in Rabat (Morocco) and online via the Zoom platform, who was recorded the participation of a hundred people.

The official opening of the seminar was punctuated by speeches from: Mr. Mohammed Rhachi, President of the Mohammed V University of Rabat, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa, and H.E. Mr. Ambassador of Cameroon in Morocco, Mouhamadou Youssifou, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Morocco.

They underlined the importance for young Africans to take their place, in their home which is the African Union for the construction of the Africa of We Want. “Many of our young people have doubts about Africa. Young Africans must change the way they look at Africa. Young Africans must have a good esteem of themselves. We are here to invite the youth of Africa to inhabit this slogan “the Africa we want” said Mr. Mbassi. “This is the 58th edition of the celebration of Africa Day, for us, it is a duty of remembrance to African youth to remind them of all the struggle that the founding fathers of African states have had to lead to free the African continent from the yoke of colonization. It is also a moment of reflection to think about the future of the African continent. We are Africans, we must take root in our culture before opening up to the world. No development as sustainable and as comprehensive may be sustainable if it is not based on an endogenous cultural substrate,” explained H.E. Mr. Mouhamadou Youssifou. “This theme highlights a year full of promise for the creative economy. The Mohammed V University has a significant cultural asset with an enrollment of nearly 90,000 students including more than 2,000 students from African countries, neighbors and friends, “said Mr. Mohammed Rhachi.   

Students representing each region of the continent actively participated in the discussions and sent creative messages for “The Africa They Want”.

The meeting was punctuated by two discussion panels:

Panel 1: Cultural and creative activities and attractiveness of territories: what prospects for emergence?

Featuring as speakers:

Mr. Mohamed Mbarki, Director General of the Oriental Agency, Morocco.

Dr. Najib Kettani, Expert in Development, President of Organization Maroc Afrika, Cultures & Development, Morocco

Mr. Ibrahima Wane, Professor of African Civilizations at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Director of Doctoral Training in African Studies, Senegal

Mr. Saliou Ndour, Cultural industries specialist, Professor at Gaston Berger University in Saint Louis, Senegal.

Ms. Hanane Baali, Professor at the Institute of African Studies, Mohammed V University of Rabat, Morocco.

The second panel focused on: Development of cultural professions, creative arts and design in Africa: what strategies for what impacts in the digital age?

Featuring as speakers:

Mr. Raoul Rugamba, Founder of “Africa in Colors” and “Hobe Agency”, Rwanda.

Mr. Brahim El Mazned, Founding Director of Visa for Music, Artistic Director of the Timitar World Music Festival, Morocco.

Mr. Mehdi Alaoui, Vice-president of APEBI, Founder of the startup Factory, Morocco.

Mr. Mustapha Moufid, Director of the Culture, Migration, Peace and Security Task Force, UCLG Africa, Morocco.

Mr. Mohamed Dafir El Kettani, Vice-President of the Mohammed V University of Rabat in charge of Governance and Information System, and Acting Director of the Institute of African Studies, Morocco.

Moderation was provided by: Mr. Abdelkader Betari, Professor at the Institute of African Studies, Morocco and Mr. Gautier Brygo, Communications Director UCLG Africa and representative of the Belgian NGO Echos Communication in Morocco.

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa expressed the wish to institutionalize this celebration with the IEA every 25 May.

As a reminder, the day coincides this year with 3 major events:

– The African Union has adopted, for 2021, the theme of “Arts, culture and heritage: a lever to build the Africa We Want”,

– The UN has declared 2021 ”International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development “,

– United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) designated the city of Rabat as “African Capital of Culture”.

Watch the full webinar here

 The photo album of the event is available here