Malawi has signed the charter for the Africa Cultural Renaissance to become the 32nd nation to commit itself to this continental blueprint towards the promotion of Africa’s rich cultural heritage, history and cultural products.
The Malawi’s Ambassador to the African Union (AU), Chimango Edward Chirwa, signed the charter on behalf of President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika on Friday at AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Chirwa said the charter is very important because it brings African countries together in rewriting its history and rebranding its identity that has been distorted in the lens of the world.
“African culture has suffered many historical wrongs including suppression of indigenous values, falsification of history, destruction of artefacts, and the systematic attempts at erasing cultural identities throughout the dark eras of slave trade and imperialism,” Chrwa said.
He added that this charter is a significant legal instrument for the continent in its quest to restore and preserve its cultural universality, diversity and unity in line with the respect for human rights and observance of the rule of law.
Chirwa further said Malawi eagerly waits for the next stage of approving and assenting to the charter.
“As a nation, we are committed to ratifying the charter as soon as possible so that it contributes to the socio-economic development of our people through tourism and other avenues,” he said.
The charter seeks to improve and expand already existing cultural links between African countries. It calls for member states to promote cultural renewal, identity and the strengthening of national policies and other cultural instruments.
African leaders called for the rebirth of African cultures when they adopted the Charter at the 6th Ordinary Session in January 2016 in Khartoum, replacing the 1976 OAU Cultural Charter for Africa.