Speech by Acting Dean, H.E. Mrs. Lois Brutus, Ambassador of the Republic of Liberia
Mr. Programme Director
Honorable Minister of the Department of Arts and Culture
Officials of the other Departments of Government
Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners
Distinguished Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen
All Protocol Observed
I stand here this evening representing the Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Ambassador Ben Mpoko, of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and do seize this space to firstly extend sincere thanks and appreciation for the kind invitation extended to the African Diplomatic Corps to participate in this briefing session for the celebration of the Africa month in South Africa in May of this year.
Having been briefed on the origin and orientation for the proposed launching of this laudable initiative for the celebration of the African month in South Africa under the theme “We are AFRICA”, opening the doors of learning and culture from Cape to Cairo; let me comment by stating that the key feature for the preservation and development of policy in this Continent as they relate to each type of initiative are to be based on the general culture for all. Giving the diversity of the type of culture there appear to be a prima facie case for exploring what latent potential there may be for culture in the collectives of the African Continent.
Recalling the Cultural Charter for Africa adopted in 1976 by the Heads of States and Governments of the Organization for African Unity (OAU) which is replaced by this present Charter known and style as “the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance”; we must continue to look back and pay homage to those far sighted and dedicated Presidents in the personalities of the late President Kwamie Nkrumah of Ghana, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, President Sekou Toure of Guinea and President William V.S. Tubman of Liberia those gentlemen amongst others actually initiated and drove this sterling concept for the Unification, Independence and Integration of the African Continent which culminated in the founding of the OAU on May 25, 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia now referred to as the AU.
I also wish to recall that the last among the many of these initial meetings was convened in 1958 by the Monrovia Group in Sanniquelle, a County situated in the Republic of Liberia. And Liberia, I must quickly mention, is indeed the first Independent Country in the African Continent having declared her independence on July 26, 1847, 168 years ago.
As we continue to celebrate our various cultural heritage, let us bear in mind that culture is indeed the sine qua non of our total existence. It steers us into action and sustains our interactions. Our culture and our history are inseparable. It is what defines us as nationals of a specific country. Our history and our culture indeed transcend all spheres of our lives, be it economic, political, social etc.
Consequently, for us to be in the position to appreciate and respect each other, we must firstly be educated in understanding the history and the culture of each other in order to facilitate and make progress in this grand concept of “Cultural Renaissance”. We must educate and be educated in our diverse cultural heritage specifically in the spheres of history, tradition, arts and handicrafts to be in the collective movement for the rebirth of our cultural heritage which is the only sincere vehicle designated to reinforce our African solidarity and integration within our shared vision for greater unity transcending ethnic, national and regional divergences.
It is without a doubt that this initiative for the celebration in the Republic of South Africa in May will be received with the unflinching and total support of the entire African Diplomatic Corps.
I thank you!!