Celebrate 2024 Africa Month this May
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Wozani maÁfrica Amahle. Sons and Daughters of the Soil. We are calling you to join us in celebrating Africa Month from 1 – 31 May.

The 10th edition of Africa month is celebrated under the theme: “Celebrating 30 Years of Freedom: Building a Better Africa and a Better World’’.

The Africa Month programme is a programme mandated by the South African Cabinet to acknowledge the work done by the African Union, celebrate pan-Africanism and, at the same time, unlock economic opportunities in line with the African Continental Free Trade Area, Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) and other instruments.

The Africa Month programme for 2024 is conceptualized within the context of continental frameworks and policies such as the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance and the AU Agenda 2063. The African Union acknowledges that sport, arts, culture and heritage provide an opportunity to amplify, streamline, enhance and contribute to Africa’s socio-economic development and integration. The programme is also anchored on the country's foreign policy as it relates to the African continental Agenda. The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has a critical and central role to play in shaping societies and building a desirable nation and the "Continent We Want" – a continent free from GBV, racism, crime, conflicts and poverty, just to mention but few.

In South Africa, the month of May is annually recognized as Africa Month and is linked directly to supporting and strengthening Africa Day. This year, the AU launched and dedicated Africa Day towards accelerating the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Areas. It also promotes programmes supporting the International Decade of Indigenous Languages as declared by UNESCO to highlight the significance of promoting the use of indigenous African languages.

The 38th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Windhoek, Republic of Namibia, in August 2018, endorsed 23 March as the day for commemorating the liberation of Southern Africa. The celebration of this day pays tribute to the men and women who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of our region as well as the spirit of togetherness that existed among Member States.

When the Frontline States came together in 1974, their aim was to achieve political liberation in the Southern African region, and their efforts resulted in the attainment of majority-rule and independence in Angola and Mozambique (in 1975), Zimbabwe (1980), Namibia (1990) and South Africa (1994).

It is important to note that without the commitment and selflessness of the men and women who sacrificed their lives, the Region would never have achieved the political liberation we enjoy today. SADC Member States owe a great deal to the founding fathers and mothers of our liberation; we might have lost most of them, unfortunately, but their legacy lives on – may their souls rest in eternal peace.

No doubt, the freedom we enjoy today is one of the many achievements we can all be proud of as a region. We must endeavour to ensure that our unique liberation history is not forgotten. To achieve this, it is important that Member States, among other things, come up with deliberate cultural programmes and activities so that the youth and the future generations appreciate the sacrifices of that generation of young men and women who liberated us.

The colloquia for this year’s Africa Month programme recognize the political cultural environment as one in which calls for decolonization is taking precedence. The decolonization agenda cannot be separated from the radical economic transformation agenda as amplified by the Africa Continental Free Trade Areas. It is meant to give a dialogic platform to leading thinkers, researchers, linguists and writers with an interest in the continent as part of giving conceptual and theoretical clarity to the Africa Agenda 2063, taking into consideration the celebration of African founding leaders such as Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Nelson Mandela, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Kwame Nkrumah and OR Tambo.

The colloquia will be rolled out mainly through a series of panel discussions where position papers will be presented about specific focus areas. The liberation of Africa and its peoples from centuries of racially discriminatory colonial rule and domination have far-reaching implications for educational thought and practice. The transformation of educational discourse in Africa requires a philosophical framework that respects diversity, acknowledges lived experience and challenges the hegemony of Western forms of universal knowledge.

The Africa Month colloquia are aimed at reflecting critically on whether the African philosophy as a system of African knowledge(s) can provide a useful philosophical framework for the construction of empowering knowledge that will enable communities in Africa to participate in their own educational development.

South Africa Celebrating 30 Years of Democracy

The 2024 edition is the 10th edition of the Africa Month Celebration programme and it is implemented as South Africa celebrates 30 years of democracy. The celebration of 30 years of democracy in South Africa is a year-long programme to celebrate and reflect on the progress government has made in improving the lives of the South African population since 1994. Comprehensive concepts notes on the celebration of 30 years of democracy are available.

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