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SA Celebrates Africa Day
Source: Bua News and Joburg.org
Source Date: Friday, May 28, 2010
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government
Country: South Africa
Created: May 28, 2010

Africa Day is held on 25 May each year, a public holiday in many African countries, and is used to pay tribute to continent's rich heritage, diverse languages, ethnicity and cultural backgrounds that make up its residents.

Celebrations for Africa Day in Gauteng will include literature, music and art, with a variety of activities at a host of venues across Johannesburg.

Hosted by the Department of Arts and Culture in partnership with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Gauteng government and the City of Ekurhuleni, the celebrations will be a demonstration of cooperation in action.

The main event will take place at Ekurhuleni's Dries Niemandt Park on 29 May, where President Jacob Zuma will address the nation.

This will be followed by cultural activities and a music concert featuring artists from the African nations that qualified for the FIFA World Cup.

A development soccer match between a South African under-18 team and their counterparts from the continent will round off the activities in Germiston.

As part of the celebrations marking the 47th Africa Day, the City of Johannesburg has arranged a special programme as well as planned events throughout the month. These range from a book fair to school festivities.

In celebration of Africa Week, on 25 May, a book fair has been arranged by Joburg's library and information services unit that will highlight the importance of indigenous literature, languages and writers. On 26 May, there will be Africa Day Celebrations at four high schools in Soweto.

These schools will each represent an African country, exhibiting its art and culture. The Bassline in Newtown will host musical greats from across the continent on Reggae Night. Pops Mohammed and Zimbabwe's Oliver Mtukudzi will also perform.

Africa Day will also be celebrated through four major exhibitions at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. The main event will be an Afro-Cuban display entitled Without Masks, says Antoinette Murdoch, the chief curator at the gallery.

Opening on 25 May, the exhibition will feature work from 25 contemporary Cuban artists, curated by Orlando Hernandes. It will comprise 80 pieces, covering work from 1980 to 2009.

"We have chosen this brief period of Cuban art because in many ways it is in this interval when the treatment of Afro-Cuban themes acquires new characteristics that remarkably contrast with relatively stereotyped, idealised or picturesque nature predominant in former periods, particularly during the entire 19th century and a good part of the 20th century," Hernandes said.

Africa Day commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia. On that day, 30 leaders from African countries signed a founding charter with the hope that all African states should unite so that the welfare and wellbeing of their peoples could be assured.

The OAU is the predecessor of the African Union (AU), which aims to secure democracy and human rights on the continent, and sustain Africa's economies by ending intra-African conflict and creating a common market.

The AU's membership is made up of 53 African nations and is designed along the lines of the European Union, an economic and political confederation of European nations. At present, it has the power to promote African economic, social and political integration.

The AU was formed in 2002 with the objective to protect Africa's security. 

BuaNews and Joburg.org


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