4th Annual African Unity for Renaissance Conference and Africa Day Expo, 2014
2014 marks the fourth year in which African Liberation Day will be celebrated in South Africa through the organisation of this conference. The first conference in this series, held in 2011, focused on 125 years of the ‘Scramble for Africa.’ This was followed in 2012 with the second annual conference, focusing on ‘The Africa Union Ten Years After’. The theme for the third conference was ‘OAU/AU@50’, something that the current, 4th Conference picks up and expands upon through a focus on ‘OAU/AU@50 and Beyond,’ with special attention being paid to finding ‘African solutions to African problems’ (ASAP).
Africa is, in many ways, the source of life and knowledge, but it has also suffered from forms of oppression that have denied not only the civilisation, philosophies and knowledge that originated from her, but also, has seen African humanity commodified and simplified through the onslaughts of slavery, colonialism, apartheid, and imperialism.
Africa has now formally come out of slavery, colonialism and apartheid, but we cannot fully say that Africa has extricated herself from imperialism, neo-colonialism and the domination of coloniality of the mind. The deep philosophies of Ubuntu, Maat, Ethiopianism, Afrikology, Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance founded on associational and communal foundations of being human provide liberation power not only for Africans but for all human beings. The freedom of Africa is thus the freedom of humanity as a whole.
South Africa plays a special role in this journey. It has gone through very protracted conflict and managed to avoid the paradigm of war and guns by choosing the paradigm of peace and reconciliation. It has inherited the values of Ubuntu, Maat, Ethiopianism, and its leaders have been principal advocates for the African Renaissance. South Africa is truly an exemplary African country and can be a leading Pan-African inspiration.
The 4th Annual African Unity for Renaissance Conference is thus a very special event for all who are invited to join and interrogate where Africa has been in the past, where it is at the present, and where it is going, interconnecting them all in order to advance a new trajectory for African pride, dignified development and wellbeing.
In this context, over 100 scholars, social activists, government and business leaders from around the world will converge in Tshwane to hold a debate on the search for ASAP in a fast-changing global environment.
The 4th Annual African Unity for Renaissance Conference will be held from 22 – 24 May, 2014 at St George Hotel in Tshwane, culminating in the launch of an African Unity and Renaissance Manifesto, in the form of the 4th Tshwane Declaration.
The Africa Day Expo will be held at the Kara Heritage Institute on 25 May 2014.
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