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African Writers Commemorate African Union Day

African Writers commemorate AU day (News Central TV)

Distinguished writers from the African Continent have been hosted by the Library of Africa and the African Diaspora, LOATAD, to discuss their projects and work on issues that emphasised the future of the African Continent.

The writers came together as part of the LOATAD-organised AU20 Writers Residency program to read from diverse publications with the theme “Our Africa, Our Future” in mind as part of the African Union’s 20th anniversary commemoration. Five applicants out of the almost 400 that applied were African writers from 35 different countries.

They include Sukoluhle Nyathi, a Zimbabwean creative writer, editor, and data analyst; Nour Kamel, an Egyptian poet and editor; Tony Mochama, a Kenyan fiction writer and journalist; TJ Benson, a Nigerian novelist who has won awards; and Musih Tedji Xaviere, a Cameroonian author.

The African Union Commission and UNDP collaborated to launch a series of activities under the AU 20th initiative in January 2021, according to Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov, the organisation’s deputy resident representative, with the goal of educating, informing, and engaging African citizens about the mandates and policies of the African Union since its founding in 2002.

By celebrating Africa’s culture, creativity, art, and innovation, the program would serve as a historical marker for the AU’s leadership of the continent’s development, unification, and peace.

He added that it would also display and exhibit the writers’ finished works to important members of the public, media, literary, and artistic communities, as well as the government, diplomatic, and international groups.

The African Union was founded in 2002 during the Durban Summit, according to Khoshmukhamedov, to lead Africa’s development and integration in close cooperation with African Union Member States, Regional Economic Communities, and African citizens.

He continued by saying that the creative economy was a significant source of economic and cultural value, a facilitator of trade and sustainable development, and a contributor of about $1.5 million to the global creative economy. It also provided a platform for the creative industries to address problems and spur entrepreneurship.

LOATAD’s founder, Ms. Sylvia Arthur, addressed attendees at the Dubois Centre and said it was an honor to host so many accomplished African writers.

Sylvia Arthur

She claimed that their work played a crucial role in igniting the public’s imagination and upending the status quo.

Citing the words of the Kenyan writer, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o: “…A writer has no choice. Whether or not he is aware of it,” said this work reflected “the intense economic, political, cultural and ideological struggles in a society.”

The African Union and the UNDP were thanked by the founder of LOATAD for their proactive support of African writers and for their foresight in recognising the value of writers to Africa’s cultural, social, and economic success.

She prayed that the continent’s writers would be encouraged and helped to realize their full potential.

The Director of the Dubois Center, the Reverend Reuben Kwesi Kwadzofio, requested the consolidation of accomplishments in economic, social, growth, peace, security, and governance as a commitment to increase the well-being of its citizens.

In recognition of the creative industries’ critical importance for achieving the 2030 agenda, as well as their significant contributions to international trade, creative goods and services, and the global economy, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 2021 as the “International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development” in 2019.

Due to the fact that everyone has something significant to say about Africa’s past, present, and future, the AU20 Residency Programme was created to promote the importance of the cultural and creative industries to Africa’s development and to forge connections between professionals in these fields, those working in development, policymakers, and members of civil society.

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