Regional Perspectives | Africa

On 25 May, celebrations around the world commemorated Africa Day, which marks the founding of the Organisation of African Unity, later known as the African Union (AU), on 25 May 1963. The historic event aimed to build greater unity and solidarity between African countries and its people. Throughout the month of May, recognized as Africa month, several activities took place to commemorate this occasion. The 2021 edition of the Africa Dialogue Series (ADS), the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA)’s flagship event, took place throughout the month. The theme of this year’s ADS “Cultural identity and ownership: reshaping mindsets”celebrated Africa’s identity, culture, history and achievements, and brought together key stakeholders to discuss challenges and opportunities for Africa.
In keeping with its 2021 theme "Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want", the AU joined Germany’s Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to launch the "Agenda 2063 Africa Photojournalism Project for African Female Journalists.” The project aims to leverage photojournalism as a storytelling tool that highlights Africa’s rich heritage and cultural diversity, as well as an African-led development narrative. Kicking off the project, the Agenda 2063 Women’s Photojournalism Award opened applications to female photojournalists from across Africa.
A UNESCO conference held online on 30 April 2021 presented the results of a pilot project carried out within the framework of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the UNESCO Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) programme on biodiversity conservation, climate change and disaster risk reduction. The project comprised case studies in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Seychelles and South Sudan, the results of which will guide national inventories and safeguarding strategies.