Category Archives: Africa

Conakry: former deputies launch a new coalition for peace, rights and development, COFEPAD-Guinea

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

An article from Guinee Matin (translation by CPNN)

Former members of the National Assembly of Guinea have created a platform, called “Coalition of women parliamentarians and actors for peace, rights and development in Guinea” (COFEPAD-Guinea). This organization was announced by a public declaration issued this Friday, January 7, 2022 in Conakry.


video of the press conference

COFEPAD-Guinea is led by Dr. Zalikatou Diallo, former MP and former Minister of Citizenship and National Unity, and its vice-presidents are Dr. Hadja Aïssata Daffé and Ms. Nanfadima Magassouba. Its main objective is to contribute effectively to the preservation and consolidation of achievements in the defense of the rights of women, children and vulnerable people in the Republic of Guinea.

DECLARATION

We, the women who have participated in the various legislatures of the National Assembly of the Republic of Guinea, as well as we, actors working for peace, the defense of the rights of women, children and vulnerable people, have taken the initiative to the establishment of the COALITION OF WOMEN PARLIAMENTARIANS AND ACTRESSES FOR PEACE, RIGHTS AND DEVELOPMENT IN GUINEA (COFEPAD-GUINEA).

The launch of the activities of this Coalition, whose head office is located in Conakry, in the Commune of Ratoma, in the district of Lambanyi, has as its primary objective to contribute effectively to the preservation and consolidation of achievements in the defense of the rights of women, children and vulnerable people in the Republic of Guinea.

COFEPAD-GUINEA has the following essential mission:

– Allow its members to interact in order to pursue the noble and exalting struggle for gender equality and the consideration of the gender dimension at all levels of the Guinean Nation, while promoting lasting peace, a society of cohesion, a culture of good citizenship and the other values ​​necessary for the socio-economic development of Guinea.

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(Click here for the original French version)

Questions for this article

Can the women of Africa lead the continent to peace?

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– Contribute to the maintenance and consolidation of achievements in favor of Guinean women in legal texts, favorable to gender equality, in order to enable Guinea to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): Nations Nations No. 5 as well as the provisions of the Maputo Protocol of the African Union, adopted on July 11, 2003 in Maputo and entered into force since November 25, 2005.

– Carry out advocacy and lobbying actions at the level of the authorities and bodies of the Transition, with a view to amending all provisions that discriminate against women and vulnerable people. Promote ctions that contribute significantly to the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 and its related resolutions.

– Recommend the strict application of criminal sanctions against perpetrators of rape and conduct awareness campaigns to reverse this trend in Guinean society.

– Work to strengthen lasting peace and national unity in the Republic of Guinea by an extensive awareness campaigns at all levels, supported by a synergy of action between our Coalition and the administrative and local authorities, as well as other actors involved in the same dynamic. These actions should put Guinea on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030, as well as the African Union’s Agenda 2063. In particular with regard to Aspiration No. 6, namely: “An Africa whose development is people-driven, which relies on the potential of its people, especially women and young people, who care about the well-being of children.

In order to achieve the results produced, the members of COFEPAD-GUINEA propose a strategic plan accompanied by an action plan in accordance with the statutes of the Coalition.

Through multiple activities, COFEPAD-GUINEA proposes to :

– Contribute to strengthening a durable culture of peace, a sine qua non condition for the harmonious and balanced development of Guinea;

– Strengthen the partnership between men and women and the capacities of the members of the Coalition to better fulfill their missions of defending women’s rights while preserving what has already been achieved;

– Harmonize and strengthen partnership with other national and international institutions, organizations, and networks that promote gender equality;

To enable it to achieve this panoply of objectives, COFEPAD-GUINEA count son the support of administrative authorities, national and international institutions, as well as collaboration with NGOs defending the rights of women, children and vulnerable people in Guinean society.

Long live the women of Guinea

Long live gender equality

Long live peace, unity and the development of Guinea

May God bless Guinea and all Guineans

Amen!

Youth at the Luanda Biennale – Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace

. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

Excerpts from the Action Programme 2021-2023 : Young People Committed to the Pan-African Movement for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence

As described previously in CPNN, the 2021 Biennale of Luanda was organized in a new and unique format with an Intergenerational Dialogue by which youth from Africa and the Diaspora debate with Ministers of Youth and Culture on the importance of cultural and heritage diversity of Africa and its Diasporas to promote the culture of peace in the continent. 

We now have a more detailed description of how that was accomplished and its potential for the future of the culture of peace in Africa.

The preparations were initiated with the creation, on 7 June 2021, of an ad hoc Youth Committee.

The said committee had the mission to contribute, in general, to the preparations of the second edition of the Luanda Biennial, and in particular, by participating in the organisation of the Intergenerational Dialogue and precisely (i) by having organised and implemented the selection of the 118 young people and their online participation not only in the Dialogue, but also to the different thematic and good practice forums on the agenda of the Biennial, to the partnership sessions and (ii) by contributing, with the support of their respective organisations and networks in their countries, to the mobilisation and online participation of other young people as well.

The ad hoc youth committee was composed of 14 young people from 12 African countries and was supported by another 04 young people who, based on their proven experience and membership of well-established youth organisations and networks, have contributed and are contributing to the mobilisation and engagement of their peers before, during and after the second edition of the Biennale.

The 118 young people who were selected are nationals of 49 African countries and 14 countries of the Diaspora. Of these selected young people, 10 have been selected to participate in the Biennale’s activities in person and, as such, to be the spokespersons for all the others. . . .

The work of the young people, following the Intergenerational Dialogue, the Thematic Forums and the partnership sessions, led to the adoption of positioning statements that will provide the framework for designing, implementing and contributing to joint projects. . . .

1. We commit to support and encourage the promotion and preservation of African arts and cultural heritage in participating countries, through the use of social media and all other possible avenues.

2. Inspired by the legacy of Kofi Annan that “Without progress there is no peace and without peace there is no progress”, we commit to using education and youth empowerment as vehicles to promote a culture of peace and non-violence and to ensure the sustainable development of Africa in order to build a bridge in conflict prevention through transformative socio-economic practices.

3. We commit to advocate, in our countries, for the inclusion of vulnerable young people living with disabilities and marginalized, the harmonization of the lifestyle of new generations with the principles of endogenous values of living together, the promotion and vulgarization of all relevant international normative instruments relating to women’s rights.

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(Click here for a French version of this article)

Question related to this article:
 
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

The Luanda Biennale: What is its contribution to a culture of peace in Africa?

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4. We commit to contribute to the strengthening of governance, protection and sustainable management of the oceans in developing and underdeveloped countries, as well as in small islands, in order to ensure an equitable distribution and sharing of ocean resources, based on popular awareness and education programmes, state-of-the-art scientific research policies. . . .

. . . To contribute to the overall objective of the Luanda Biennale to strengthen the Pan-African Movement for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence . . .

I. (We) commit and call on youth-led and youth-focused organisations, networks and initiatives to work together to:

– Form youth-led, multi-level pan-African movements for a culture of peace, from the local to the international level, by encouraging networking, complementary and joint collaboration and knowledge sharing between organisations.

– Promote the creation and expansion of existing environments and spaces where Pan-African youth can live and embrace their diverse cultural heritages, thereby contributing to building and strengthening a transformative Pan-African outlook.

– Facilitate and enhance knowledge sharing, interaction and cooperation between institutions (especially universities/higher education institutions), governments and youth-led organisations based in Africa and elsewhere towards the realisation of regional and global agendas for peace, non-violence and sustainability in the 6 regions of Africa.

II. Engage potential partners and stakeholders to work together to

– Advocate for the accountability, continued commitment and involvement of civil society, governments and the private sector in maintaining and supporting good practice in the 5 main regions of the continent and its diaspora.

– Establish a permanent youth platform that strengthens intercultural and inter-religious dialogue between young people from the six African regions and contributes to the entrenchment of peaceful co-existence and common citizenship.

– Strengthen the capacity of Pan-African youth to promote the culture of peace, identify and support youth initiatives and best practices that work towards the sustainable implementation, individually and collectively, of the concepts of the culture of peace, raise awareness on the importance of promoting a culture of peace and mutual respect in the six African regions.

2) Continue to develop concrete projects and initiatives at local, national and international level to implement the 2021-2023 roadmap.

As part of their contribution to the Roadmap 2021-2023, young people also commit themselves to implementing, through concrete projects and activities, the “African Youth Pledge for the Culture of Peace”, adopted at the end of the Youth Forum, organised at the 1st edition of the Luanda Biennale (2019), under the general theme “Youth and Culture of Peace”.

This commitment, which lists twelve (12) commitments whose implementation (in the short, medium and long term) has been placed under the coordination of the Pan-African Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCOP), with the support of UNESCO and the AU.

In addition, the youth would like the following projects to be included in the Roadmap

1) The holding of an “International Conference on the role of youth in culture, as a lever for living together and a factor of economic empowerment of young people”;

2) the creation of a “Pan-African Platform for Intergenerational and Interfaith Cultural Dialogue for the Mutual Knowledge of Peoples and Cultures”.

Culture at the Luanda Biennale – Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace

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Excerpts from the Festival of Cultures on the website of UNESCO for the Luanda Biennale

The Biennale brought together a rich selection of films and shows. Here is a listing of those on the themes of the culture of peace in Africa and the diaspora where links are available to the full production.

FILMS

BRAZIL “The Slave Route – The Soul of Resistance” | UNESCO

In this film, the history of the trade in human beings is told through the voices of slaves, but also of slave masters and slave traders. Each one tells his or her experience: from the deportation of men and women to the plantations to the daily work and the abolition movements. Watch here

CAPE VERDE Documentary “The Tabanca” | Instituto Patrimonio Cultural

The tabanca is a sociocultural organisation, of a mutualistic nature and a ritualised, syncretic manifestation, subordinated to a patron saint, manifested essentially on the islands of Maio and Santiago in Cape Verde. Watch here

GERMANY Watch a series of videos made in the context of a partnership bewwen ethnological museums of Luanda and Berlin

Tampas Proverbiasis – Watch here; Kissanje – Watch here; Estela Funeraria – Watch here; Trono – Watch here.

GHANA Animated Series / Begho, a Market Town in 16the Century West Africa / France in Ghana

A discovery of the Begho market, in West Africa in the 16th centruy, through the eyes of a little girl named Kasi . . .Watch here

HAITI Discovering Haiti (Short Film) | The most beautiful places in Haiti

The perfect collaboration among some influential public figures to make a touristic video that showcases the most beautiful places in Haiti and to encourage tourists to visit and travel to Haiti. “This is Haiti”…They all have a common purpose which is to promote the hidden beauty of Haiti; the side that most medias don’t emphasize on. Watch here

NAMIBIA NBC Documentary | Namibian Heritage Week

The documentary was filmed by the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) for Namibian Heritage Week 2020 and discusses the importance of heritage and culture in relation to tourism, sustainability, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector. Watch here

PORTUGAL “Pele escura” / “Dark Skin” / Graça Castanheira

Six black friends from different places on the outskirts of Lisbon – Poreto Brandão and Cacém – decide to travel to Centro Cultural de Belém to watch a show. . . A reflection on the centre and the periphery, blacks and whites, racism and inclusion. Watch here

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Question related to this article:

The Luanda Biennale: What is its contribution to a culture of peace in Africa?

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SENEGAL 7 Senegalese World Heritage Sites seen by Layepro

The seven World Heritage sites in Senegal as seen through the eyes of talented Senegalese filmmaker, Layepro. Watch here

SWEDEN Martha & Niki | Street Dance

In 2010 Martha Nabwire and Niki Tsappos took part in the biggest international Street Dance Competition, Juste Debout in Paris. It was the first time ever two women became World Champions in Hip Hop. This film depicts their love of dance, each other and about friendship put to the test. About desires, yearning and finding the right path in life. Watch here

ZIMBABWE Documentary

Gender based violence experiences of women and girls with disabilities in Zimbabwe. Watch here

SHOWS

ARGENTINA Graciano 4 Quartet / Mandinga

“Tango has its ‘mother’ in the Milonga, music with African roots which arrived in Rio de La Platza along with slaves shipped to the port of Buenos Aires” (Julian Graciano). Watch here

“Sou Assim” / This is who I am – Afro Woman” / Kulily Afrofeminist Women’s Artistic Collective

To commemorate the International Day for Women of African Descent (25 July 2021), the Ministry of Culture of Argentina created Así soy, mujer afro: a video-dance to disseminate and recognize the struggles ofhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLdvSC5sFTI Afro women and reflect on the construction of a more inclusive society . . . Watch here

CONGO

Special Concert: Les Bantous de la Capitale given during International Jazz Day 2021. Watch part 1Watch part 2Watch part 3.

CUBA

Presentation”Dahomeño” of the Conjunto Folclórico Nacional. Choreography by Manolo Micler. Watch here

Yoruba Andabo – a remarkable Cuban musical group formed in 1961 that enjoys great prestige inside and outside Cuba. A true example of the authentiity and versatility needed to take on folk and popular traditions, always representing the great diversity of the Cuban essence. Watch here

MOROCCO

Fez Festival of Sufi Culture. Watch here

PORTUGAL Dissonância – Concert designed by JAS and Ango-Jazz

Show performed on October 5, 2021, as part of the launch of the Biennale of Luanda . . . a repertoire that combines Jazz with Portuguese intervention music and Angolan popular music. Watch here

RWANDA

Shared Stories deals with experiences on the topics of war, genocide, diaspora and home ij relation to the conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda in the 1990’s. Watch here

Speeches by the Sponsors of the Luanda Biennale : Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace

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Excerpts from speeches listed on the UNESCO website for th Biennale of Luanda 2021

The Biennale of Luanda 2021 was organized jointly by UNESCO, the African Union and the Government of Angola. At the meeting UNESCO was represented by its Director-General Audrey Azoulay. The African Union was represented by its President Félix Tshisekedi. And Angola was represented by its President João G. Lourenço. Here are excerpts from their speeches.

From the speech of the President of Angola João Lourenço, to open the Biennale (translated from the Portuguese by CPNN):

“It is with deep joy that I take the floor in the presence of distinguished Heads of State and High Representatives of the African Union and UNESCO, who grant us the honor of participating in the inauguration of the second edition of the Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace – Luanda Biennial 2021. Allow me to welcome you to Angola, in whose capital, Luanda, we will have in the coming days, the opportunity to reflect on topics that can help us to build the paths of Peace and Harmony between Peoples and Nations. . . .

“It is important to try to understand the real causes of the still prevailing climate of conflict in Africa, after a journey of just over six decades of construction of independence and sovereignty. Let us find formulas to will lead us out of the situation of uncertainty and instability that we face. We must recognize the immediate need for a general effort to stem the recurrent outbreak of conflicts of different nature, which contribute to instability and which impede our continent’s progress and development.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Republic of Angola is an example of a country plagued by an armed conflict that has lasted for decades. However, we have managed to find the paths to lasting peace and project, in conditions of stability and the construction of a democratic society with forgiveness, reconciliation, tolerance, and solidarity with the peoples of our continent, who still face armed conflicts and their consequences. We have defined an internal line of conduct for the culture of peace and tolerance at all levels of Angolan society, so that we can avoid the specter of war. It is in this spirit, resulting from political achievements in favor of national unity, that we want to continue to consolidate peace and national reconciliation and advance towards economic and social progress.

“African youth must be at the center of all strategies aimed at peace. It must be the starting and ending point of all the pedagogy that is carried out in order to calm those spirits most prone to conflict and violence.

“Let us promote initiatives that involve families, schools, political organizations, religious institutions and society in general, in the effort to raise awareness among young Africans for the culture of peace, respect for the Law and the Constitution and respect for democratically elected institutions.

“Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

“This second edition of the Luanda Biennial brings us closer to achieving the a reference platform that brings together governments, civil society, artistic and scientific community, the private sector and international organizations, in the attaining and maintenance of peace, and in the prevention of conflicts and violence.

“The Biennale of Luanda is an alliance of partners, that include governments, United Nations agencies, the African Union, the European Union, the members of the organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, universities and non-governmental organizations, associated in a common effort to promote peace. Culture is the main support for the achievement of the goals that we have outlined, as it is helps to build bridges between peoples and nations, as a universal language of understanding. . . .

“Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

“It is important to know how to objectively identify the real causes of our difficulties, the paths to follow and partners genuinely interested in supporting development of Africa.

“In all this effort, we must continue to work on the electrification and industrialization of the our continent, improve infrastructure in general, increase the supply of goods and services for our populations, increase the supply of jobs for young people, meet education and training needs, so that we can prosper sustainable as countries and as a continent.

“It is my conviction that, with perseverance, we can achieve this level of satisfaction of our needs and move to a stage where the Africa we want, without precariousness and with greater predictability, provides us with a life at peace that favors dialogue over conflict, so that each individual naturally becomes an agent of peace.

“Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

“Many of Africa’s children have been leaving the continent in inhumane conditions and at the risk of their own lives in fleeing conflict zones or looking for a job and better living conditions.

“Regardless of their age, academic or professional background, they are all important and needed for the development of our continent.

“We always have the expectation that one day they will voluntarily return with the desire to contribute towards leveraging progress and development in all sectors of African national life.

“This step would mark the re-encounter with their lands, their people, in a fraternal embrace to the homeland where they were born, so that they could become protagonists of progress and development of their respective countries.

“Between us and the diaspora there is an immense ocean that separates us, but which can also serve as a vector of economic progress and social transformation of coastal communities and the country in general. The ocean offers us the potential of highly valuable resources for African economies . . .

“Members of the diaspora who have expertise in this area could help their respective countries – and in this way the continent in general-, to define and implement strategies for the preservation and sustainable use of marine resources and protection of the coast, often affected by climate change. . . .

“Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

“Angola has been learning to deal better with differences, in the context of a democracy in constant evolution. It is in this atmosphere that I want to wish you a good and productive stay in Luanda, so that this Biennale may be a success worthy of record, with a beneficial and lasting impact on our continent and all humanity.

“Thus, I declare open the second edition of the Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace – Bienniale of Luanda 2021.”

Question related to this article:

The Luanda Biennale: What is its contribution to a culture of peace in Africa?

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From the speech at the opening ceremony by African Union President Félix Tshisekedi, also President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (translated from the French by CPNN):

” . . . The African Union, by my voice, salutes this great moment. Our continental organization has always placed culture and peace at the top of its priorities. Thus, the seven Fundamental Aspirations of its Agenda 2063, ‘The Africa that we want’, includes two that are largely devoted to this, in particular the promotion of ‘culture, arts and heritage as levers for the building of Africa that we want’ and ‘silencing the guns by 2020 extended ten years, until 2030.’

“The 24th Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government invinstituting this biennial in 2015, instructed the African Union Commission to work for the organization of this pan-African forum for the culture of peace, in consultation with Unesco and the Government of the Republic of Angola. Their visions and their aspirations intersected and complemented each other.

“This is an opportunity for me to thank not only our Commission for the African Union but above all to salute the determination of the Government of Our Sister Republic of Angola. It is their dynamism, despite the serious difficulties generated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which made this event possible . . .

“I also extend my congratulations to UNESCO. From its inception in 1946 until this year marking its 75th anniversary, this great organization has never ceased, through its activities in education, science and culture, to support the first steps of our young States on the paths of development and peace. Allow me, Madam Director General Audrey Azoulay, here represented, to take this opportunity to offer you my warm congratulations your re-election, during the work of the 41st of the recently concluded session of the UNESCO General Conference.

“The noble objective of strengthening the Pan-African movement for a culture of peace is both existential and a priority, as we witness the macabre spectacle of the deadly effects of terrorism, inter-community violence and latent wars that are part of the daily life of our states. The most effective way to deal with this in a sustainable way is without doubt the approach adopted by our forum.

“The long history of our organization, since the birth of Pan-Africanism, has shown us that cultural fraternity is the foundation of the solidarity that our continent aspires to achieve, particularly economically and politically. Culture is not only our common foundation but it also continues to offer us the “palaver tree” around which is tied and untied all forms of dialogue and reciprocal listening, including the voices of those who are the most disadvantaged.

“I wish to emphasize how highly I appreciate that our Biennale can host a multiplicity of forums, in particular on intergenerational dialogue, on the engagement of women and young people as actors in the prevention of conflicts, on taking into account the potential of the oceans and the effects of climate change. Fortunately, even the contribution of the diaspora in social transformations has not been overlooked.

“Indeed, the fight for the Renaissance and African dignity cannot stop at the borders of our countries or even our continent. We must also promote interchangeability and open cultural osmosis throughout the world, especially between Africans here and elsewhere. This is promoted by the opening in the near future in Kinshasa of the Maison de la Culture African and Afro-descendant, as well as the launch of the Pan-African Festival of Kinshasa (FESPAKIN), and the Pan-Qfrican Literature Grand Prix.

“Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, in the words of the illustrious Agostinho Neto Kilamba, President and Poet, champion of the liberation of man and human brotherhood, ‘poet of sacred hopes’, we should ‘look at Africa with the eyes of the future’,

“We are gathered here in Luanda, the land of Njinga, Ndongo and Matamba, the land of Kimpa Mvita, so that the light of the African Renaissance shines through in the values ​​of peace, fraternity and solidarity to nourish the Zone of African Continental Free Trade.

“The Democratic Republic of Congo and all of its people are at your side to continue this long fight for the future of our states, our continent and the entire world.

“It is with this determination that I wish every success to this second edition of the Luanda Biennale.”

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From the speech of UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay at the closing ceremony (translated from the French by CPNN):

“. . . The success of this second edition of the Luanda Biennale is due to the quality of the cooperation between UNESCO, the African Union and the Republic of Angola; which has grown steadily since the holding, in 2013, here in Luanda, the Pan-African Forum “Sources and Resources for a culture of peace.” I was then that the decision was taken to create a Biennial for the Culture of Peace.

“I would like, on this occasion, to reaffirm our commitment to continue this cooperation with the Commission of the African Union and to congratulate its President Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat for his personal support to our joint initiatives in Africa. . . .

“The 41st session of the General Conference of UNESCO which has just ended has again designated Africa as one of the global priorities of our Organization with the adoption of a new operational strategy for the programme Priority Africa for the period 2022-2029. The Conference also adopted a decision engating all Member States, UNESCO and its partners to support the organizations of the next editions of the Luanda Biennale.

“This commitment intends to make the concept of a culture of peace a real tool available to citizens and peoples. It echoes the preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO which states that “a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world.”

“UNESCO will continue to give its full support to this pan-African initiative, so that it is sustainable, in cooperation with the African Union and the Government of Angola.

“The culture of peace and non-violence is a long relay race ; it takes s a united team, generation after generation, to be victorious.”

Highlights of the Biennale of Luanda 2021 : Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace

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Excerpts from the UNESCO website for the Biennale of Luanda and the Biennale Final Communiqué

The 2nd edition of the Biennale of Luanda was held in an innovative hybrid format, combining face-to-face and virtual events. Over 4 days, the event gathered high-level participants from governments, international institutions, the private sector, the artistic and scientific communities, and many more.

The Presidents of Angola, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sao Tome and Principe and Portugal, the Vice-Presidents of Namibia and Costa Rica took part in the Opening Ceremony along with UNESCO DDG, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the African Union and AU Commissioner for Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment.

There were 180 participants in the opening ceremony acting as speakers, moderators, session chairs including senior officials from the African Union, UNESCO, ICESCO, the Regional Economic Commissions (RECs), technical and financial partners as well as representatives of the United Nations system from over 60 countries. 120 Young Leaders participated from all African countries and representatives of the Diaspora, of which 9 were present in Luanda and the others virtually.

Other participants included 65 partners from institutions, civil society, the private sector, academic institutions and international organisations in Africa and its Diaspora, and other regions of the world and 20 personalities and artists committed to the Culture of Peace, from different continents.

The Biennale featured a Festival of Cultures with 44 countries represented in Virtual Pavilions showcasing rich content on cultural diversity and examples of national initiatives, as well as partners and associated personalities.

The Biennale received exceptional media coverage worldwide, both in traditional media and social media.

As a result of the Biennale, some key texts were adopted by the participants, putting into concrete action some of the recommendations and conclusions from the discussions which took place.

These included four Flagship Initiatives :

1.The Contribution of Arts, Culture and Heritage to Peace

2. Youth Empowerment and Participation in Peace and Sustainable Development

3. Africa and its Diasporas in the Face of Conflicts, Crises and Inequality

4. Harnessing the Potential of the Oceans for Sustainable Development and Peace

Question related to this article:

The Luanda Biennale: What is its contribution to a culture of peace in Africa?

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Other texts included :

– The Final Communiqué of the Biennale of Luanda 2021

– The Declaration of Regional Economic Communities of Africa

– The MoU signed between CEEAC, Angola and UNESCO

– Programme : Youth committed to the Pan-African Movement for a Culture of Peace

In the Final Communiqué, Biennal participants :

1. Encourage the organisers, for the holding of future editions of the Biennale, to consider the benefits of this innovative hybrid format in terms of the opportunity for a more widescale participation and thus appropriation of this event, the objective of which is to strengthen the Pan-African Movement for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the peace and sustainable development of Africa;

2. Welcome the official launch, during this 2021 edition, of the Alliance of Partners for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence in Africa, as a necessary instrument for the strengthening of the Pan-African Movement for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence, as well as for ensuring the sustainability and transformative impact of the Biennale of Luanda Initiative;

3. Encourage academic institutions and professional associations, youth and women’s organisations and associations, international organisations, the private sector, civil society, philanthropists and influential personalities within the continent and the Diaspora to join the Alliance of Partners for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence in Africa;

4. Welcome the strengthening of cooperation between the Government of Angola, the African Union Commission and UNESCO and call upon them to take the necessary steps, including within the framework of the Steering Committee of the Biennale, for the establishment of a permanent Secretariat to ensure the follow-up of the implementation of the Roadmap of this second edition of the Biennale;

5. Welcome the full participation and involvement of the Regional Economic Communities throughout the four days of the conference, as reflected in the Joint Declaration of the High Representatives of the Regional Economic Communities on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence (Annex 1); declaration by which the RECs acknowledge their role, responsibility and commitment in the process of perpetuating the culture of peace and non-violence in Africa, which also includes the signing of the Agreement between the Government of Angola, ECCAS and UNESCO (Annex 2);

6. Request the support of the governments of African Member States and countries of the African Diaspora to contribute, from one edition to the next, to the sustainability of the Biennale of Luanda initiative, including by taking appropriate measures and implementing activities and projects for the culture of peace and non-violence at national and local levels to be progressively included in the roadmap;

7. Express their gratitude to their Excellencies, the Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Ministers who took part in the Opening Ceremony of the Biennale in Luanda;

8. Welcome the major role played by His Excellency, Mr. João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola, who once again hosted the event and mobilised the Heads of State and Government.

Biennale of Luanda 2021 : Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace

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Information from the programme published by UNESCO

The 2021 Biennale of Luanda is underway. Here is a brief resumé of the programme which can be found entirely at the preceding link.

Organized in partnership between UNESCO, the Government of Angola and the African Union, the Biennale of Luanda – “Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace” aims to promote the prevention of violence and the resolution of conflicts, by encouraging cultural exchanges in Africa, dialogue between generations and the promotion of gender equality. As a space for reflection and dissemination of artistic works, ideas and best practices related to the culture of peace, it brings together representatives of governments, civil society, the artistic and scientific community, and international organizations.

This 6-day hybrid programme combines in-person and on-line events.

• National Pavilions where countries offer cultural digital activities for
the promotion of the culture of peace, as part of the Festival of Cultures

• Partner Stands, where institutions and companies, foundations and NGOs will share best practices and future initiatives

Question related to this article:

The Luanda Biennale: What is its contribution to a culture of peace in Africa?

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On-line events – a live stream of the Biennale available in three languages (English, French, Portuguese). Register here for online or replay.

• November 27. The Official Opening organized in Luanda with high-level participants – Heads of State, Ministers, International organisations representatives and renowned personalities to support the Biennale.

• November 27. The Intergenerational Dialogue to enable young people to interact with Heads of State and Ministers and make their voices heard.

• November 27-30. The 4-day Festival of Cultures with virtual and live cultural events offering a unique space for exchange between the cultural identities of Africa and its Diasporas.

• Novemberr 29-30. The 4 virtual Thematic Forums to share best practices based on impactful initiatives already implemented for peace and sustainable development in Africa and elaborate flagship initiatives.

I. The contribution of arts, culture and heritage to sustainable peace

II. Engaging young people as actors of social transformations for conflict prevention and sustainable development

III. Africa and its diasporas in the face of conflicts, crises and inequality

IV. Harnessing the potential of the oceans for sustainable development and peace

• November 30. The Closing Ceremony to officially launch the Alliance of Partners for a Culture of Peace and adopt the Biennale Joint Communiqué and Roadmap.

• December 1-2. The 4 virtual Partnership Sessions to identify projects and initiatives, and mobilize resources to turn them into action within the Alliance of Partners for a Culture of Peace.

Mauritania: establishment of a new network of mayors to consolidate citizenship

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article from Sahara Medias (translation by CPNN)

The creation of a network of mayors to promote citizenship and the consecration of social cohesion and the culture of peace was announced on Monday in Nouakchott.

This new network includes all the mayors of Mauritania. According to the Minister of the Interior and Decentralization Mohamed Salem O. Merzoug, “It constitutes an important step in the framework of the preservation of the values ​​of the nation-state” .

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(Click here for the French version of this article)

Question related to this article:
 
How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

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The minister added that the new network promotes a culture of citizenship, the consolidation of social cohesion in the aftermath of the birth of the commemoration of a new independence.

The creation of this network, adds ould Merzoug, is the best indicator for a promising development of state building and the protection of the nation.

The minister again said that the new creation is the path leading to the birth of a Mauritanian citizen in a unified space, convinced of unity and participatory democracy that leaves no room for negative divisions.

The creation of this network, adds the minister, will strengthen the system of democratic practice in a new era that began more than two years ago with the election of Mohamed O. Cheikh Ghazouani as president of the republic.

Ould Merzoug reaffirmed the government’s readiness to support this new creation and its objectives, thus devoting the support of the President of the Republic to the decentralization process, the strengthening of the mechanisms of local democratic culture, as a fundamental basis for local and regional development.

Exchange between students in France and Mali : An interview

. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

An article from Sahel 2r3s

Emmanuelle Dufossez is a professor of Fine Arts at the Ferdinand Fabre College and High School in Bédarieux, in the Academy of Montpellier. In December 2018, in collaboration with Bakrene Ag Sidimohamed (who lives and works in Tessalit, in the Kidal region of northern Mali), she initiated an exchange between two groups of students from their respective municipalities. The objective of the project was to promote intercultural exchanges in a common spirit of citizenship, without neglecting the specific reality of each environment.


Video made by the students in Mali

First, can you explain to us the reasons why you started this project? What were the means used? How did you make the connection?

For personal reasons I joined a Facebook group linked to Tessalit and started chatting with Bakrene. In the third message, he asked me to help him contact children’s education NGOs. It was so direct, so unexpected … and it touched me. He didn’t know I was a teacher yet. As for me, I was far from imagining at the time the scale of the disaster in the region …

So I suggested to my principal, Mr. Pierre Fournier, that we set up an exchange between students and he immediately accepted (he was much more aware of the situation than I was), and put everything in place. to make this possible. With Françoise, the CPE, we organized a meeting of the students of the civic life council of the school, and they decided to take part. Two weeks later, I had a webcam and Skype in my room and we were waiting for Issouf, the principal and his students from Tessalit!

For his part Bakrene had succeeded in convincing the director of Minusma (the United Nations Peacekeeping Force) and he went to involve everyone in town. This is how the project began. It was very rock’n’roll, but we managed to talk to each other by videoconference, almost every week until the end of the year.

Sometimes the connection was not possible and we waited for nothing, but that was part of the game and everyone understood the difficulties. I give credit to Minusma which has played a good role in promoting a project clearly in favor of peace and sharing, and also the families in Tessalit who have agreed to take risks by allowing their children to participate in the exchange.

From this first year, we initiated a small educational project with a geography colleague who was to do a case study around the management of natural resources. The children sent the questions to the Tessalit group via Bakrene, and in return, they sent us short videos about the situation for water in Tessalit.

Our students in Bédarieux are very involved. They set up a book drive to rebuild the Tessalit library which was burnt down during the conflicts. We are now awaiting assistance to transport the books.

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(Click here for the original French version of this article)

Question related to this article:
 
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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What is the importance of your approach and that of the citizen competition project? What are your goals?

This year, we immediately wanted to start a long educational project with my history-geography colleague and a fourth grade class that we have in common, as well as our colleagues from Tessalit, Issouf Maïga, director and State teacher, Bakrene Ag Sidimohamed and Ahmed Ag Zouemar. It is about corresponding and getting to know each other through the simultaneous discovery of the text of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child signed by the members of the UN in 1989.

The exchange, the discovery of the other, their way of life, their habits, their tastes, everything that allows us to take into account otherness and differences is at the heart of our concerns.

It is time to reopen minds, in France as elsewhere, if we really want to live in a world at peace. This common reflection that we are carrying out with very young adolescents addresses the rights of children and at the same time reveals to them the disastrous situation in northern Mali; The program 2r3s contributes in its own way by involving young adults through the citizen competition.

For us in any case, this project is also a cry of alarm to the international community so that it can help us improve the education system in this conflict region.

How did the exchanges go between the students of Bédarieux and Tessalit?

The discussions turned out to be materially difficult given the dire situation of the school in Tessalit. Without the volunteer workers from the Tazunt association, Issouf, the teacher would not be able to carry out the work, since he is alone.

The language barrier was also a big difficulty. In addition, it is important to remember that schools closed in 2012 in the North and that they have struggled to reopen since 2018. The French language is being lost in the region, for lack of practice … but the amazing joy of living brings the children together.

On several occasions we even sent us short videos in which children, French and Malian alike, sang for their comrades! But the situation of the students of Tessalit is worrying for the future.

What are the differences that you have observed?

As I said above, the differences are glaring. It is even hard to believe that children live on the same planet in a world that has designed a common text for their equality. Nevertheless, they are children, who love to sing, laugh, and of course, play soccer!

Did you encounter any difficulties during this project? If so, what were they?

Given the security context in Mali, we had to face many difficulties. The differences in living conditions do not always make it possible to approach things in the same way, since it depends on whether one is positioned in Bédarieux or Tessalit. Material difficulties also have a strong impact.

Have you observed in the pupils a real awareness of the rights and duties which they have? Has their relationship to education changed?

Yes. For example, here in France, we have succeeded in recovering some students who were dropping out of school. As for the issue of awareness, it is real, in France as in Tessalit where part of the population is trying to find solutions, without much help for the moment. But my colleagues at Tessalit would be better able to answer this question.

Lawan, Forum Task Nigerians On Religious Tolerance

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

An article from Leadership Nigeria

Senate president Ahmed Lawan and Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace have said religious tolerance is a veritable tool for peaceful co-existence in a plural religious society like Nigeria.

They made the assertion yesterday in Abuja at the Interfaith Roundtable with the theme: “Building a culture of peace and unity in our country,” which was organised by the Methodist Church of Nigeria.

Senator Lawan who was represented by the Senate minority whip, Senator Philip Aduda, said the quest for peace and unity should be the responsibility of all citizens of the country because peace is a process that requires patience, understanding and tolerance to achieve.

He said, “By achieving this, it needs people of different faiths and it is also possible because we have come a long way and the efforts of our founding fathers have been rewarding enough for us to build upon as leaders.

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Question related to this article:
 
How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

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“We have again been instinctively in emphasising the importance of peace and the benefits of unity was great.”

Similarly, the president, Vision Africa and co-chair Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, said that there is a lack of tolerance among different religions.

He said this is the reason for the violent outbursts and hostility towards other beliefs and the manner they choose to practice or express their religious cravings.

According to him, intolerance towards people of different beliefs, because of blind and fixed psychological delusion that one is pure and the other is an error has resulted to various intra religious  disturbances.

Bishop Onuoha said another problem bedevilling the country was the ‘state of origin’ which he said if abolished would stop hatred, disunity, and agitations among people of different geopolitical zones.

He added that, “If we want to build one country, the state of origin should be removed from the bio-data.”

In his welcome address, the Bishop of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr Samuel Chukwuemeka said the essence of organising the event is for the Muslims and Christians to be able to express their feelings.

Chukwuemeka said what is happening today is as a result of ignorance because people interpret religion differently.

The emir of Bichi, Alhaji Nasir Ado Bayaro, said social interaction would help “our people to build trust, harmony and embrace tolerance across all the religions.”

CEPEJ Takes Peace, Environmental Advocacy To Schools Across Nigeria

EDUCATION FOR PEACE .

An article from Tribune Online

Niger Delta-based Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) has inaugurated Peace and Environment Clubs (PECs) in over 15 secondary schools across the country with a mandate to promote peace and environmental best practices among young ones for a better society.

The most recent PECs were established at the Federal Capital Territory to serve as “safe spaces” with the idea of catching them young and bringing the next generation together from different social and cultural backgrounds to discuss critical issues relating to peace, conflict prevention/management and environmental sustainability, as well as share values of tolerance and civic responsibility.

The National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Comrade Sheriff Mulade appreciated the FCT board for the partnership to enable the NGO to establish the Peace and Environment Clubs and to inaugurate PEC coordinators for Government Senior Secondary School, Bwari, and Mabushi Secondary School, both in Abuja.

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(Click here for the original version of this article in French)

Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

Can a culture of peace be achieved in Africa through local indigenous training and participation?

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FCT Secondary School Board Chairman, Hon. Yahaya Musa Muhammed, who was represented by Assistant Directors, Mr Itam Nneoyi and Mrs Mary Ajibola, appreciated CEPEJ for the laudable initiative.

They pledged to work with the CSO to educate and guide the youths in the ways of life.

Speaking in the same vein, the Principals of Government Secondary School, Bwari, Dr Mrs Nse Martina Ikwo, and Government Secondary School, Mabushi, Mr Muhammed Shaba thanked CEPEJ for establishing the peace clubs to educate pupils on the need to imbibe the culture of peace and environmental protection, highly needed in Nigeria today.

They promised to ensure the sustainability of the clubs.

The Programme Director of CEPEJ, Mrs Nafisat Amadu Abdulmalik, however, listed improved life skills (leadership, negotiation, decision making, values, self-esteem, conflict management etc.), enhanced advocacy skills-speaking up for self and for others, among others.

She said CEPEJ would facilitate training the trainers’ workshops in the coming weeks before the activities would kick off fully.

Others in attendance included Vice Principals, administrative staff, as well as senior teachers and students.

These advocacies are expected to help the young lads to imbibe values of mutual respect, fairness, teamwork, discipline and tolerance, in order to birth a society with a mindset that values peace and environmental best practices.