Dar-es-Salam régional conference Declaration

We, the participants in the East Africa Regional Conference, held on July 6, 2024, by videoconference, under the chairmanship of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Togo, as a prelude to the 9th Pan-African Congress, scheduled to take place from 29th October to 2nd November, 2024 in Lomé under the general theme: « Renewal of Pan-Africanism and Africa’s role in the reform of multilateral institutions: mobilizing resources and reinventing itself to act »;

Representing our national governments, regional and continental bodies and the African Union Commission;

Bearing in mind the various texts adopted by African States relating to the promotion of African cultures and languages, notably the Pan-African Cultural Manifesto of Algiers (1969), the Cultural Charter for Africa (1976), the Declaration on the Cultural Aspects in the Lagos Plan of Action (1985), the draft Charter for the Promotion of African Languages ​​in Education developed in Accra (1996), the Harare Declaration (1997), the Nairobi Plan of Action for Cultural Industries in Africa (2005), the Language Plan of Action for Africa (2006) and the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance (2006);

Bearing also in mind the Agenda of the « 2021-2031 Decade of African Roots and the African Diaspora » of the African Union (AU) and its Plan of Action supported by the High Committee in charge of the Decade;

Considering the need to promote African cultural heritage and the importance of culture and education in the development of human person and sustainable development;

Recalling the fundamental value of culture and education in the expression and affirmation of African and Pan-African identity;

Underlining the need to decolonize minds and imaginations on the continent through the training of elites and executives whose profiles and skills are in line with the current and future needs of Africa;

Reaffirming that the people of Africa are essentially Africanophone due to the preponderance of African languages ​​in their daily interactions;

Considering that it is imperative to promote African languages ​​which constitute real vectors for strengthening links between the peoples of Africa and African integration;

Aware that the African cultural heritage extends beyond the geographical limits of the continent, particularly towards Latin America and the Caribbean, and that the 9th Pan-African Congress in Lomé will strengthen cultural ties between Africa, the African diasporas and Afro-descendants;

Bearing in mind the Decision CM/Dec.613 (LXXIV) of July 2001 of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on the creation of the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN) and the importance of its mission as a specialized institution responsible for the valorization and promotion of African languages ​​for the benefit of integration and African renaissance;

Recalling the Resolution No. 16 of the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the OAU, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1986, on the adoption of Kiswahili as one of the working languages of the continental institution;

Welcoming the creation of regional centres for the promotion of African cultures and languages ​​such as the Centre for Linguistic and Historical Studies by Oral Tradition (CELHTO), the African Cultural Institute (ICA), the International Centre of Bantu Civilizations (CICIBA), the East African Centre for Research on Oral Traditions and African National Languages ​​(EACROTANAL) and the International Centre for Research and Documentation on African Traditions and African Languages ​​(CERDOTOLA);

Recalling the celebration on January 24 of each year, at the initiative of Togo, of the World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture (JMCA), adopted in 2019 by the 40th session of the General Conference of UNESCO which aims to highlights the cultural richness of the African continent and communities of African descent around the world;

Reaffirming firmly the commitment of our governments for the promotion of African languages;

Calling on African governments and Pan-African institutions to take concerted and concrete measures to strengthen African integration and cultural cooperation between countries and regions of the continent;

Stressing the need to support the role of the AU as a continental institution unifying initiatives for the valorization, promotion and preservation of African cultural identity;

Highlighting the relevance of the theme of the Dar-es-Salam Regional Conference on « Africanophony, Cultures, Education and Pan-African identity » and the ideal conditions in which the work took place;

The East Africa Regional Preparatory Conference recommends:

  1. The valorization of African cultural heritage both in its richness and in its diversity;
  2. The valorization of the integrative potential of cross-border African languages ​​which are real vectors of integration and reinforcement of the harmony between the peoples of the continent in the current context of the revival of Pan-Africanism;
  3. The promotion of cultural and educational initiatives strengthening African identity and intercultural dialogue;
  4. The protection and valorization of African languages ​​and cultural traditions through their integration into national education systems;
  5. The valorization of African rationalities, epistemologies and creativity to break with the logic of denial and marginalization of African knowledge systems and forms of social practices that have prevailed since colonization to date;
  6. The strengthening of the use of Kiswahili in the African Union and in all its institutions;
  7. The introduction of the most representative cross-border African languages ​​as working languages ​​within Regional Economic Communities (RECs);
  8. The reappropriation at the AU level of the question of the representativeness and use of African languages ​​within international organizations;
  9. The allocation of sufficient resources to ensure the financing of the implementation of projects to promote African languages ​​and cultures, including in the crucial sector of non-formal education;
  10. The use of information and communication technologies in the promotion of African languages, including the creation of African computer software and digital platforms to facilitate the use of African languages ​​in cyberspace; 
  11. Youth scientific and technological socialization to sharpen the desire in Africans to transform the world, while being careful not to cross the limits of cultural and identity self-destruction;
  12. The strengthening of the affirmation of African identity, values ​​and cultures in cyberspace, which has become a new space of cultural domination and geopolitical rivalries;
  13. The promotion of partnerships and networking between professionals from different cultural and educational sectors on the continent;
  14. To support for scientific meetings, research and publications relating to African cultures and languages ​​and the challenges relating to their preservation and valorization;
  15. The promotion of unifying cultural projects on the continent and in relation to diasporas and people of African descent throughout the world;
  16. The promotion in African audiovisual media of endogenous epistemologies, African history and cultures;
  17. To support the strengthening and/or creation of Pan-African television and radio channels with a large audience highlighting African values ​​and cultures with a view to ensuring that narratives specific to Africa triumph over Africa to the detriment of demeaning images of the continent that certain foreign media deliberately convey;
  18. The promotion of African, Afro-descendant literature and other artistic and intellectual productions of the continent;
  19. To invite African and Afro-descendant artists and musicians to produce more in African and Afro-descendant languages;
  20. To Popularize the use of the Pan-African passport, a wonderful tool for promoting Pan-African identity;
  21. The reinforcement and implemention of the ACALAN Plan of Action through the financing of its projects;
  22. The attendance of East African Member States at the highest level in the 9th Pan-African Congress, scheduled in Lomé, from October 29th to November 02nd, 2024;
  23. The endorsement of the conclusions of the 9th Pan-African Congress by the African Union.

Dar-es-Salam, 06 July 2024.

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