Symposium “Being Pan-African” – Press Release
About thirty leading intellectuals and a wide public including Rastafari people, from Africa and the African Diaspora, gathered in the Old Plenary Hall of the African Union on May 17 & 18, 2013 on the occasion of the symposium “Being Pan-African,” an official side event to the Special Summit meeting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the OAU-AU. Four round tables were held on the following themes : 1. Responsibility 2. Knowledge3. Challenges 4. Future(s). This symposium was followed on May 19 by a workshop to formulate a research agenda on Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance. Such a debate on the roots, achievements and challenges of Pan-Africanism is a fundamental step towards achieving the African Renaissance. A number of important issues were raised in the conclusions of this symposium:
1. We need to bridge what is perceived as a growing gap between the Pan-African political elite and the grass-roots experience of Pan-Africanism.
2. We must include women and the youth in the knowledge production and transmission process.
3. We must encourage a fruitful dialogue on the relationship of Africa with its diverse diasporas. This is a key measure for integrating states and peoples, as well as a necessary step towards collective security and solidarity.
4. We are responsible for integrating knowledge on Pan-Africanism into mainstream curricula at all levels in the education system, thus creating propitious conditions for the Renaissance of Africa and Africans at home and abroad.
5. We make a commitment to share the fruits of our debates on the audio-visual and printed media in order to promote the general awareness, which is so critically important for meeting the global challenges we face at the threshold of the 21st century.
This symposium was coordinated by the Commission of the African Union, with the support of the European Union, CODESRIA, the Pan-African University, and the Institute of Research for Development. Other partners in this historic event were the Open Society Foundation, the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies, the Institut Français, the Research Unit Migration and Society, UNESCO, OIF and BGI Ethiopia.