WAI Director General participates in the Conference of African Humanities (CAH), Bamako, Mali, 28 June - 1 July 2017

IMG 3162At the invitation of the General Coordinator of the Conference of African Humanities (CAH), WAI Director General, Prof. Djénéba Traoré, took part in the regional meeting which took place from 28 June to 1 July 2017 at the Salam Hotel in Bamako on the theme: «Languages, Cultures, History and Territories».

The Amilcar Cabral Foundation, also invited to the Conference, was represented by Dr. André Corsino Tolentino, former Minister of Education of the Republic of Cabo Verde.

Co-organized by the Government of the Republic of Mali and UNESCO, the event gathered eminent specialists in Letters, Arts and Humanities from 27 African States, 38 resource persons and several representatives of the African diaspora, as well as Malian social and political stakeholders. The participants examined the specific contribution of the African continent to the reconstruction of the Humanities in a world characterizedby an increasing globalization of exchanges and major cultural transformations.

It should be noted that the holding of the Conference was also part of the preparation of the World Humanities Conference (WHC), to be held in Liege (Belgium) from 6 to 12 August 2017.

The sub-themes addressed during the CAH were as follows:

- Languages, cultures and education: cultural heritage, colonial school and language barriers, endogenous and local knowledge, education and the need for universal knowledge.

- History, territories, migrations and conflicts: ancient traditions of displacement, intra- and inter-state migration, conflicts and identity shocks, exploitation of resources and international migrations.

- Democracy, institutional crises and religious radicalism.

- Presentation of the Foundations Amilcar Cabral, Cheickh Anta Diop and Joseph Ki-Zerbo and the Cultural Movement Nko.

During the opening ceremony, the Prime Minister of Mali Abdoulaye Idrissa Maiga, on behalf of the President of the Republic, expressed the satisfaction of the highest national authorities, to see Bamako hosting an event of such importance. The Head of the Malian Government also stressed the need to include the African humanities in a global project of refoundation based on the internal and external potentialities of the African continent.

The Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Mali, Professor Assétou Samaké Mignan, expressed in turn her satisfaction further to the holding in Mali of this outstanding Conference and assured the participants of the support of her Department in Implementation and monitoring of this hopeful initiative for a better world.

The General Coordonator of the CAH, Mr. Adama Samassékou, former Minister of Education of Mali, Honorary President of the International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies (CIPSH) and founder of the concept of the CAH and the World Conference of Humanities, explained the purpose of his approach and emphasized the current priorities, importance, scope and stakes of this unprecedented conference on the role of the Humanities in resolving current crises.

The opening ceremony also recorded the speeches of the Co-Chair of the International Scientific Committee of the WHC, Prof. Jean Winaud and Dr. John Crowley, representing UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for HS.

One of the key events of the Conference’s agenda was the meeting on 30 June between HE Mr. Ibrahim Boubacar Kéïta, Head of State of Mali and all the participants who came to acknowledge him for his leadership and his actions in favor of the protection of Malian and African culture.

CAH Panel Fondations

WAI Director General intervened in the panel entitled «National languages ​​in the digital age». In her presentation, she addressed some aspects of her personal experience in the field of scientific research on information and communication technologies (ICTs) and stressed that African languages ​​had to fill more space on the web through innovative contents.

In agreement with Dr. Tolentino, Prof. Djénéba Traoré also presented the objectives of the Amilcar Cabral Foundation and gave an insight into the life, work and heritage of the national hero of the Independence of the Republics of Cabo Verde and Guinea-Bissau whose political class and youth and people from Africa and worldwide have been inspired by the carismatic Leader. 

WAI Director General finally produced a written paper on the theme «Languages, Cultures and Education», focusing on the state of arts and the perspectives for these three major elements for the socio-economic development in Africa based on the case study of Mali. Paying tribute to UNESCO for the publication of a series of volumes on the General History of Africa, she highlighted the knowledge of the history of the African continent written by renowned historians such as:

  1. Cheikh Anta Diop (historian, Senegal). The African Renaissance. La civilisation africaine et l’Égypte antique
  1. Ahmadou Hampaté Bá (historian and writer, Mali)
  2. Théophile Obenga (historian, Republic of Congo): Afrocentricity
  3. Joseph Ki-Zerbo (historian, Burkina Faso)
  4. Elikia M’Bokolo (historian, Democratic Republic of Congo)
  5. Boubou Hama (historian, Niger)
  6. Hichem Djaït (historian, Tunisia)
  7. Pathé Diagne (political scientist and linguist, Senegal)
  8. Christophe Wondji (historian, Ivory Coast)
  9. Djibril Tamsir Niane (Historian, Guinea-Conakry)
  10. Bethwell Allan Ogot (historian, Kenya)
  11. J. F. Ade Ajayi (historian, Nigeria)
  12. Akin Mabogunje (historian and geograph, Nigeria)
  13. Albert Adu Boahen Kwadwo (historian, Ghana)
  14. Ali Al’amin Mazrui (historian, Kenya)

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At the end of the Conference, which was marked by quality contributions and constructive exchanges, the participants made recommendations to the key actors in the process of valorisation and promotion of African humanities, in particular the African Union, African States, African universities and UNESCO.

Liege is scheduled for the World Conference of Humanities, from 6 to 12 August 2017.

For more information on the Humanities, see the following links:

- The Conference of African Humanities (CAH): http://www.humanites2017.ml/

- The World Humanities Conference (WHC): http://www.humanities2017.org/


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