Pan African Parliament Members Urged To Lobby Their National Parliaments To Ratify The AU Charter For African Cultural Renaissance - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Pan African Parliament Members Urged To Lobby Their National Parliaments To Ratify The AU Charter For African Cultural Renaissance

H. E. Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang, PAP President

The Head of Culture Division at African Union Commission (AUC) Department of Social Affairs, Mrs. Angela Martins has called on the members of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) to lobby their respective National Parliaments to fast track the ratification of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance.

Mrs. Martins made the call while presenting a report on the status of ratification of the Charter to the Pan African Parliament at the ongoing Second Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Pan African Parliament. Although the Charter was adopted by the 6th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU in 2006, it is yet to come to force after ten years.

She stated that the main aim of this continental instrument “is to promote the arts, culture and heritage sector on the continent and ensure that it plays a full part in the political, economic and social development of the continent and in the rehabilitation and unification efforts of the African people”

“So far, the Charter has been ratified by thirteen (13) AU member states namely Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa. Thirty-two (32) member states have signed with Gambia as the latest member state. Two more ratifications are required for it to come into force.”

She noted that the AU Campaign for African Cultural Renaissance “was aimed at sensitizing member states to ratify and implement the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance”. Regional campaigns have also been carried out in the five regions of the continent.

The AUC has participated in the sessions of the PAP Permanent Committee on Education, Culture, Tourism and Human Resources from 2013 to 2019 to advocate for the ratification of this continental cultural policy instrument, she said.

“The Charter for African Cultural Renaissance is a unique continental instrument that encapsulates all aspects of the arts, culture and heritage sector. Its implementation will foster cultural understanding among African people and the preservation and conservation of Africa’s World Heritage sites. It will also help to enhance creativity in the arts and culture economic sector and sustain the livelihood of its participants”, she concluded.

Contributing to debate on the report, Hon. Djibril War (Senegal) described culture as one of the most important human resource in Africa and called on all hands to be on deck to ensure that the Charter comes to force as soon as possible.

Hon. Dr. (Mrs.) Zalikatou Dialo (Guinea) observed that given the role of culture in Africa, the Charter needs to be ratified urgently. She recognized the role of artists in the promotion of African culture and then called for the return of African arts that were taken away from Africa during the colonial period.

Hon. Elhdj Dialo Kante (Guinea) regretted that there are many AU legal instruments waiting for ratification and called for the involvement of the regional parliaments in the ratification of these important documents. He suggested that PAP should put in place, a system that would enable parliamentarians to be updated periodically on the status of the ratification of various AU legal instruments.

In his contribution, Hon. Joseph Yieleh Chireh (Ghana) regretted that Ghana has not ratified the Charter and promised to take up the issue when he gets back to Ghana. He noted that culture has the capacity to provide jobs to millions of African youth and called for uniformity in the establishment of ministries that deal with culture in member states. A situation where some member states domicile culture in the ministry of education, some place it in the ministry of youth while others put it in the ministry of Arts is bound to  create problems when trying to ratify.

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