Minister Nathi Mthethwa commences a roadshow to Ethiopia, Algeria and Western Sahara to strengthen intra-African cultural relations

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10 Nov 2015

ADDIS: Today Minister Nathi Mthethwa paid an official visit to the Alle School of Fine Arts and Design at Addis Ababa University and he also visited the National Library and National Archives in Addis with a view to initating exchange and residency programmes with South African institutions.

As part of intensifying intra-African cultural co-operation and building support for the Africa month programmes of the Department of Arts and Culture, Minister Mthethwa also met with officials of the African Union Commission for Social Affairs, and paid a courtesy call to the African Union Chairperson,Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

Tomorrow Minister Mthethwa visits the National Museum in Addis before departing for Algiers where he will meet the Minister of Culture, Mr Azzedine Mihoudi. The discussion will serve to strengthen bilateral cultural relations in general and look at the draft co-production treaty and co-operation on film between the two countries in particular.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Archives will be signed by the National Archivists of Algeria and South Africa respectively. This MOU outlines possible areas of co-operation, including the training of archivists on oral history methodology, the exchange of information on oral history and addressing inconsistencies in archival records. Minister Mthethwa will then proceed to the Film Insititute to discuss co-operation in film and meet representatives of the creative industries to discuss areas of co-operation.

Minister Mthethwa and his delegation will depart for the SAHRAWI Arab Democratic Republic on the 14 November where on Sunday 15 November he will meet with his counterpart, Ms Khadija Hamdi, the Minister of Culture, and a cultural agreement will be signed between the two countries in the fields of Arts and Culture. Minister Mthethwa will also pay a courtesy call to the Prime Minister of the SAHRAWI Arab Democratic Republic, Mr Abdelkader Taleb Omar.

“The year 2015 saw the inauguration of South Africa’s Africa Month programme, a month long festival, to think, feel and celebrate Africa,” said Minister Mthethwa.

“These visits are part of our broad strategy to promote cultural understanding, encourage a pan-African identity, forge African unity and create spaces for dialogue and understanding. We would like our brothers and sisters to join us in 2016 at our next African festival of ideas in South Africa.”

“Through this initiative we are a reaffirming our commitment to the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 ‘The Africa We Want’ that provides a roadmap for Africa’s sustainable economic, political, social and cultural development.”

“Together let us build a richer cultural life and encourage contact between our people. Let us work together to build African networks, encourage African content and expand the spaces for telling our stories to the world,” concluded Minister Mthethwa.

Minister Mthethwa leads a delegation that includes the CEO of the National Film and Video Foundation, Ms Zama Nkosi, the Acting National Archivist, Ms Mandy Gilder, and senior heritage officials.

For more information, contact Lisa Combrinck at 082 821 4886 /Lisac@dac.gov.za

Issued by the Department of Arts and Culture