Kinshasa, January 25th, 2022 (CPA).- The President of the Republic and current Chairman of the African Union (AU), Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, chaired, on Monday at the National Museum of the Democratic Republic of Congo (MNRDC), the ceremony marking the « World Day of African and Afro-descendant Culture » (JMCA), celebrated on January 24th each year.
It was in the presence of the presidents of the National Assembly and the Senate, the Prime Minister, general officers of FARDC and PNC, ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations.
President Tshisekedi, who is the very first incumbent president of AU to celebrate this day, on this occasion, welcomed the « brothers and sisters » from distant countries, who hold the merit of the diaspora, in the fields of culture, arts, letters and sciences.
“We celebrate this day with a special thought for those who have left their lives fighting for the dignity of our sisters and brothers. Africa must become aware of the immensity of its diaspora whose demographic weight is impressive”, he underlined.
In America alone, said the Head of State, citing the United Nations, 200 million people claim to be of African descent, without counting those who are scattered in the countries of Asia and Oceania. “It is therefore, rightly, that this impressive diaspora is constituted as constituting the 6th region of the continent, in addition to North, East, West, Central and South Africa” , he continued.
The celebration of this day is also and above all a moment to confirm the affirmation of the richness of our culture, the exhibition of its great diversity and the presentation of promising avenues for development, said the President of the African Union.
The President of the Republic welcomed the celebration of this memorable Day in the sense of the enhancement of African dignity, recalling the need for a return to the African palaver in the resolution of our problems.
The Togolese John Ayité Dossavi, initiator of the World Day of African Culture and Afro-descendants (JMCA), in his speech, wished « peace and health » to President Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi and to the Congolese people, before to affirm that Africa, which is the cradle of humanity, is in bad shape, deploring the fact that its daughters and sons do not consider at all what they are », in reality.
The day when Africa will be well, everything will be better on planet earth », he hammered. He also congratulated the Congo Kinshasa and Brazzaville for having placed the Rumba as intangible heritage of humanity.
The Minister in charge of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Catherine Kathungu Furaha, for her part, indicated that this day is a first, because « the history of humanity, which was scrambled and badly written, is in the process of being reconstituted”.
Previously, Professors Ndaywel and Tumba Lwaba, all members of the Panel which accompanies the Head of State to his mandate at the head of the African Union, congratulated and thanked the Head of State « for having placed, in good place, African culture and arts on the agenda of his tenure at the helm of AU ».
The ceremony ended with the visit by the Head of State of various works of art exhibited for the occasion.
On the occasion of its fortieth session of the General Conference in 2019, UNESCO proclaimed January 24th, World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture. This date is a tribute to the Charter of African Renaissance, adopted by the African Union in Khartoum on January 24th, 2006.
The World Day of African and Afro-descendant Culture aims to celebrate, annually, culture in its entirety, history, customs, values, African traditions. It pays homage to Africa, the cradle of humanity. In addition to promoting African culture, this day also aims to raise awareness among African youth, many of whom have abandoned their cultural values, turning their backs on their history and culture due to globalization, it is noted.