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Diplomatic conversation – year of the arts, culture and heritage

28 June 2021
10:00 - 12:00

You are cordially invited to an online Diplomatic Conversation on 28 June 2021, from 10h00 to 12h00 (SAST)

2021 – Year of the Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want

Inspiration or Aspiration?

Organised by the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) in the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), this Diplomatic Conversation will address the theme chosen by the African Union (AU) for 2021 – Year of the Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want. Launched during the 34th AU Assembly under the leadership of the current Chairperson of the African Union, H.E. President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the theme is a declaration at a continental level for Member States to invest more resources in African cultures and heritages as a vehicle for promoting and achieving the national economic and social development goals outlined in Africa’s Agenda 2063. The AU declaration of 2021 as the year of African cultures, heritages and arts may also be seen as an extension of sort of the 2020 focus on ending conflicts through ‘silencing the guns’, since culture plays a leading role in sustainable peace.

The speakers will look at the position of the arts, culture and heritage sector within the national agendas of African countries, and the efforts made towards building the Africa We Want through cultural and creative industries. What can Africa do to ensure that this AU theme does not fall on deaf ears and that there are decisive steps undertaken to respond to it? How can the AU Member States use the arts, culture and heritage as levers of sustainable development? The ultimate question is whether that ‘imagined’ Africa is just an aspiration or a possible projection for a near future.

The programme is available for download below: