Paris, 18 December—Carolina Cerqueira, Minister of Culture of Angola, and Firmin Edouard Matoko, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Priority Africa and External Relation, today signed an agreement for the creation of the Biennale of Luanda – Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace, whose first edition will take place in September 2019.
The Luanda Biennale, organized through a partnership between the Government of Angola, UNESCO and the African Union, is designed to promote the prevention of violence and the resolution of conflicts by facilitating cultural exchanges in Africa, inter-generational dialogue and gender equality. The Forum is to nurture reflection and facilitate the dissemination of artistic works, ideas and knowledge pertaining to the culture of peace. It will bring together representatives of governments, civil society, the arts, sciences and international organizations.
“It is very gratifying for Angola to host the Biennale because my country knows the value of peace. With the help of the African Union and of civil society organizations, we will be in a position to establish strong links of solidarity and brotherhood between the old and the young so that they may dream of a prosperous and peaceful Africa, which will only come to be if we work together,” the Minister declared at the signing ceremony. On that occasion, he also thanked all who made this agreement possible, notably UNESCO.
“The agreement is very important for UNESCO as it will allow us to carry out a project we initiated a few years ago to organize a culture of peace festival, notably with the support of the African Union,” declared UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Priority Africa and External Relation. “We believe in the future of this project and its ability to contribute to the transformation of the African continent,” he added.
The Biennale is part of UNESCO’s operational strategy for Priority Africa (2014-2021) which aims to provide “explicitly African responses to the changes at work in African economies and societies.”
The first Biennale of Luanda, in 2019, will be four-pronged: It will serve as a space for reflexion, or intellectual forum, on the future of Africa, as a Festival of Cultures to showcase the cultural diversity of African countries and the African diaspora enabling them to demonstrate their resilience in the face of conflict and violence. It will also feature international cultural and sport events; and encourage the mobilization of partners to support projects throughout the continent.