Triennale Consultation for Southern African Region highlights African cultural renaissance and ideals in Luanda

The fourth regional consultative meeting for Southern Africa on the “Implementation of Education for African Cultural Renaissance and the Ideals of Pan-Africanism for the Promotion of Continental Integration and the Birth of the United States of Africa” – the third sub-theme of the ADEA 2017 Triennale – took place in Luanda, Angola on 27 - 28 July 2016. The Angolan Minister of Higher Education, H.E. Adão do Nascimento who closed the consultation thanked the ADEA Executive Secretary, Ms. Oley Dibba-Wadda for choosing Angola for this strategic regional meeting. He expressed satisfaction on the deliberations of the consultation which he described as highly successful and an excellent basis to prepare countries in the region for the ADEA Triennale, scheduled to take place in Marrakech, Morocco from 15 – 17 March 2017. Also present at the closing ceremony was the Angolan Minister of Education, H.E. Dr. Pinda Simão. 

Key recommendations emanating from the respective group sessions include, among others, (a) the need for African countries to self-finance their education programmes rather than depending on external assistance, (b) promoting inter-cultural education based on the principles of sustainability and endogeneity, (c) guiding African Union member states to assume commitment of universal primary education in the child’s mother tongue by 2030, (d) updating works on adult education in Africa and encouraging universal education for all Africans to be consistent with African perspectives, and (e) encouraging African integration through facilitation of contacts among the youth, and (f) the recognition of African languages and cultures in education for Pan-Africanism.
The Angolan Minister of Science and Technology, H.E Dr. Maria Candida Teixeira opened the ADEA consultative meeting on Wednesday 27 July 2016. In her opening remarks, the Minister paid tribute to ADEA and its general coordinator for the Triennale, Mr. Mamadou Ndoye, a former Minister of Education in Senegal and a former Executive Secretary of ADEA. H.E. Teixeira highlighted that the Government of Angola would work side by side with ADEA to ensure the success of the 2017 Triennale.  She recounted how Angola has been an active member of ADEA since 1995, and how it is now playing its rightful role in the Association as a permanent member of the ADEA Executive Committee. Underscoring the importance of this consultation for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, Minister Teixeira spelt out the significance of having such a theme. She elaborated on the sub-theme and emphasized the importance of having the African continent build on its multicultural ethics, social cohesion, and mutual understanding. While noting that this is the first time that an ADEA programme is pointing towards the realities of having an African cultural identity, the Minister highlighted the need to develop an education system in Africa that will focus on the idea of a cultural renaissance for the continent. 

She also told the gathering that ADEA’s partners must demonstrate their willingness to support and apply the ingredients of this programme if African cultural renaissance is to be fully integrated into its education systems. 

Ms. Raky Gassama Coly, ADEA Knowledge Management officer, speaking on behalf of her Executive Secretary, Ms. Oley Dibba-Wadda, expressed ADEA’s sincere gratitude to the Government of Angola, through its Minister of Education, for hosting this regional consultation for the countries of Southern Africa. She noted that ADEA’s gratitude to Angola is particularly significant not only because this country is a permanent member of the Association, it is also one of five “Champion Countries” that is supporting the Association. Ms. Gassama Coly also praised the contribution that the Honorable Secretary of State for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Mr. Narciso Damásio dos Santos Benedicto, has been making to support ADEA over the years and his commitment to ensuring the success of this consultation. The representative from the ADEA Secretariat underscored the importance of the sub-theme, noting that it is central for ADEA as a Pan-African organization that is working to support African nations to ensure positive attitudes and values, as well as supportive behaviors through education and training. It is also important to ensure that African Renaissance and the ideals of Pan-Africanism are integrated into curricula. She recalled that Africa’s Agenda 2063 is calling for the need for a strong African cultural identity, as well as ethics and values. Ms. Gassama Coly told the audience that the conclusions and recommendations of this consultation would be discussed in the Triennale in March 2017, as this will permit the establishment of a roadmap for the implementation of transformative education policies for the continent. She also expressed ADEA’s wish to invite the President of Angola, His Excellency Jose Eduardo Dos Santos to participate in the Heads of State Roundtable discussion at the 2017 Triennale. 

Other speakers at the opening ceremony were the Vice-Governor of the Province of Luanda, Ms. Juvelina Imperial who represented the Governor of the Province, General Higino Carneiro. The Vice-Governor told the audience that topic for the consultation was a privileged one as it was a mean for Africa to identify itself in the global arena so as to advance its development. 

The General Coordinator of the Triennale, Mr. Mamadou Ndoye presented an overview of the theme and emphasized the need to have Ministers of Culture and Ministers of Science and Technology participate in the Triennale. Mr. Ndoye underscored the importance of quality in education and noted the close links with the theme of African cultural renaissance and pan-Africanism. He urged young Africans to appreciate Africa’s identity and not to look for solutions outside of the continent. Mr. Ndoye emphasized that African history, African languages and African culture must become part and parcel of the education systems on the continent.  

He also saw the need to follow the path of peace education in Africa. “We can never develop if we continue with conflicts and wars. We must, therefore, respect human dignity and fundamental human rights”, he affirmed. 

The Thematic Coordinator of the sub-theme, Mr. Ibrahima Bah-Lalya presented the methodological guidelines for the consultation. Four groups worked in parallel sessions through the two days of the meeting on the topics of finance and resource mobilization, language and quality education, culture and history of Africa, and Pan-Africanism and Continental Integration. The results of the work of the four working groups have formed the basis for the recommendations that emerged from this consultation.

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Media contacts: 

  • Lawalley Cole, Coordinator, ADEA Working Group on Communication for education and Development, [email protected]
  • Stefano De Cupis, Senior Communication Officer, ADEA, [email protected]