Kinshasa, December 1st, 2021 (CPA).– The Minister in charge of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Catherine Kathungu Furaha, proceeded, on Wednesday, to the solemn opening of the 2nd International Conference on Memorial Tourism in DRC, in the conference room of the Ministry in charge of Foreign Affairs, in Gombe municipality.
Organized by the Eric Impion Foundation under the high patronage of the President of the Republic Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, the 2nd International Conference will address, for three days, from December 1st to 3rd, 2021, under the theme of « The legacy of slave trade in Central Africa. What action plan for its promotion”.
In her speech, Ms. Kathungu Furaha praised the President of the Republic’s desire to promote Congolese culture by creating a house of African and Afro-descendant culture in Kinshasa, as announced in her speech, three days ago at the biennial of Luanda.
She also praised the efforts of Sama Lukonde Kyenge government which opened at the National Museum of Kinshasa a pavilion of memories on the slave trade in order to rethink and rewrite the cultural history of Congo.
Shortly before finishing her speech, she called on participants to evoke historical awareness, to listen to the testimonies of Afro descendants and to reflect on human trafficking today. It was also an opportunity for her to invite the organizers and participants to reflect on the link between slavery and Rumba, one of the means of rejoicing slaves which will very soon be inscribed on the list of universal intangible heritage of UNESCO.
For his part, the conference organizer, Eric Impion stressed that this second conference focuses on the establishment of a concrete and realistic project to promote the history of the country, to get under way and put back the debate facing other countries in Africa which seems to be ahead of DRC.
To this end, he appealed to all Congolese to appropriate this question by seeking to know the history of Africa, because according to him, it is important to begin to explain the concept of the slave trade to the great public hence this framework constitutes one of the means.
The autopsy of the slave trade on the menu for the first day of the conference
Prof. Kambay Bwatshia who spoke on “The historical conscience and freedom of peoples” indicated that knowledge of history is the beginning of the development of a country before asserting that that of DRC was stolen, d ‘where it is important to change the curriculum in Africa.
Regarding the theme of this conference, he suggested that we should not be talking about the legacy of the slave trade but rather about the effects of it because the continent was a victim.
For his part, Prof. Boukari Yabara, in his intervention focused on « The slave trade and its implications in the modern world », noted that the slave trade is not slavery but mechanisms of exploitation, before propose a new policy for the teaching of history.
He therefore invited the participants to immerse themselves in history because universal knowledge provides concrete solutions to rethink Africa’s heritage. « If Africa knows its history, it will allow it to strengthen its ambitions », he stressed.
This second conference also saw the participation of Afro descendants, university professors, tourism researchers and students. ACP /