ABDOULAYE WADE CHALLENGES AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY
"Prof. Atukwei Okai, Secretary-General of the Pan African Writers' Association (PAWA) has praised the campaign by President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, for the recognition and integration of the African Diaspora as the sixth region of the African continent....
"The Third World Festival of Black Arts, which takes place in Dakar, Senegal, in June 2007, has the theme, 'African Renaissance', and will feature, as its country of focus, Brazil, which has the second largest black population in the world, after Nigeria.
"President Wade in his response said, among other things, that now, at the level of the Heads of State of the African Union, the mission and movement towards the creation of a United of Africa was no longer a matter of debate or doubt, and that the African people were expecting the African Civil Society to partake fully in the struggle for the realization of Africa's destiny in a positive sense.
"Present were the Minister of Culture of Mali, Mr. Cheikh Omar Cissokho, a distinguished filmmaker, the Minister of Culture of Brazil, Mr. Gilberto Gil, a renowned musician, and the Minister of Culture of Angola, Mr. Boaventura Cardoso and the Minister of Culture of Senegal, Mr. Mame Birame Diouf.
"Others included Mr. Tidjiani Serpos, the Deputy Director General of UNESCO in charge of Africa, the celebrated fashion designer from Niger, Seindali Ahmed Alphandi and Dr. Ola Blogun, the Nigerian filmmaker.
"The membership of the International Orientation committee includes personalities such as Maryse Conde, the writer from Guadeloupe, Shirley Franklin, the Mayor of Atlanta, Prof. Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Spike Lee, Theophile Obenga, the Egyptologist and Justin Mintsa, the writer and President of the Gabon Writers' Association.
"Others include Ekwui Enwenzor, the Museum Curator from Nigeria, Djibri Tamsir Niane, the historian from Guinea, Eduard Maunick, the Mauritian poet and critic, Harry Belafonte, as well as Henry Louis Gates, Jnr, the head of the African Studies Department at Harvard University, U.S.A.
"The Third World Festival of Black Arts, which President Wade is certain to 'help us to get away from soulless materialism, through a dialogue between the various cultures,' will feature activities in the areas of architecture (exhibitions and models), handicrafts, visual arts (painting, sculpture, style, design, photography), dance and cinema and video. Other areas are a colloquium, symposium, fashion design, literature (poetry, novels, criticism, essays), music (modern and traditional) as well as theatre."
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