Ministers of Culture and Heads of Delegations of African countries have applauded the selection of the Kingdom of Morocco’s capital, Rabat, to be the Capital of African Culture 2022-2023.
They in particular singled out the relentless efforts made by His Majesty King Mohammed VI in enhancing South-South cooperation and supporting inclusive development in Africa, and the leading role played by the Kingdom of Morocco in countering violence, extremism, and separatism, as well as ensuring peace and security prevails in Africa.
“We thank the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco for inviting us to hold this high-level meeting at the continental level, for its dedication and generous hospitality, and for the results achieved in this meeting. We commit to adopt the present meeting’s resolutions in our African countries,” remarked the high-ranking officials who attended the African Ministerial Meeting on Culture held in Rabat Monday.
The meeting not only sought to establish the fundamental frameworks for enhancing cultural cooperation among African countries but also ponder on the requisite mechanisms needed for the development of common cultural efforts that are bound to be beneficial to the present and future African citizens.
Consequently, at the end of the meeting, the Ministers of Culture and Heads of Delegations of African countries present signed what was dubbed the “Rabat Declaration” whose central aim is to foster cultural cooperation among African countries.
The declaration read by Morocco’s Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication, Mohammed Mehdi, at the same time underpinned the strategic importance of culture in building inclusive knowledge societies, fostering understanding and convergence, and contributing to inclusive and sustainable growth efforts in Africa besides its capital role in combating poverty and reinforcing social cohesion among the citizens within the African continent.
Equally, it underscored the importance of extending and promoting initiatives aimed at enhancing cultural cooperation among our African countries, in order to establish a participatory approach for the inclusive development basically relying on culture as a lever for building societies and innovative solutions.
Participants agreed to support the strengthening and enhancing of cultural cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally, among African countries, to achieve sustainable development goals and thus through emphasizing the importance of investing in the rich and diverse cultural, civilizational, and heritage assets via structural projects aimed at protecting and promoting tangible and intangible cultural heritage, develop cultural tourism, fight illicit trafficking of cultural properties and goods, develop cultural and creative industries, exchange best practices and experiences in cultural professions, arts, and heritage, and create opportunities for youth to enhance their creative and artistic skills.
The delegates emphasized the importance of preserving the intangible cultural heritage of all African countries and expressed their strongest support for the implementation of the African Observatory for Intangible Cultural Heritage in Morocco.
“Convinced that cultural diplomacy is crucial for serving the issues of continental integration in various fields, we encourage the reinforcement of mechanisms of cultural diplomacy to ensure the inclusive growth and prosperity of our citizens within a unified continent on the inside of a peaceful, stable and developed context,” the declaration read in part.
The event was characterized by animated cultural events that featured fields such as music, theatre, cinema, photography, digital arts and fashion shows, among others.
On the other hand, historical sites and public squares located in the city of Rabat played host to various cultural events in which a number of institutions related to the cultural field participated.
Kenya’s delegation to the meeting was led by Tourism Principal Secretary, John Ololtuaa who was accompanied by the Director of Culture, Dr. Lagat Kiprop.