Building peace in the minds of men and women

World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture

24 January

Held every year on 24 January, World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture celebrates the many vibrant cultures of the African continent and African Diasporas around the world, and promotes them as an effective lever for sustainable development, dialogue and peace. As a rich source of the world’s shared heritage, promoting African and Afrodescendant culture is  crucial for the development of the continent, and for humanity as a whole.

UNESCO adopted 24 January as the World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture at the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference in 2019.  This date coincides with the adoption of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance in 2006 by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union. Celebration of this day also aims to promote the widest possible ratification and implementation of this Charter by African States, thereby strengthening the role of culture in promoting peace on the continent.

There is much to learn, share and celebrate on World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture, and UNESCO encourages everyone to join in through various activities such as debates, conferences, workshops, cultural events and presentations or exhibitions.

Message from the Director-General

"As we begin 2021, which African Heads of State have declared the Year of the Arts, Culture and Heritage, this World Day is therefore an opportunity to promote these African and Afro-descendant cultures in order to enable them to play their full part in development and peace. "

— Message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture

Download the complete message :

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Past Commemorations