22.05.2013 - Africa Department

Meeting of experts on the development of IX. volume of the General History of Africa (GHA)

Around 60 participants (experts and scholars of history, representatives of Embassies and UN agencies, media and other stakeholders) were present at the opening session of the Meeting of experts which is currently taking place in Addis Ababa from May 20-22.

The opening speeches were delivered by Prof. Elikia M’Bokolo, Chair of the Scientific Committee for the Pedagogical use of the GHA Project; H.E. Mulugeta Said, State Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopia; Mr. Getachew Engida, Deputy Director General of UNESCO and H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson AUC. All key note speakers expressed their appreciation and gratefulness to all who participated on the General History of Africa project in the past decades and welcomed the launch of the IX. volume which is going to be the key topic of the discussion of experts in the next two days in Addis Ababa.

“Today, we are on the eve of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Organization of African Union. It is a very good opportunity to discuss the General History of Africa as an important issue, the time Africa has engaged in regional integration and sustainable development based on African people’s culture, common heritage and shared values. Hence, the renovation of history education is given a new sense of urgency,” said H.E. Mulugeta Said, State Minister of Culture and Tourism who also welcomed all the participants in Ethiopia and Addis Ababa, the capital city of Africa.

Deputy Director General of UNESCO, Mr. Getachew Engida, said that: “the General History of Africa is a UNESCO flagship and that it is one of the projects that make him personally most proud of the Organization.” He also stressed that UNESCO is grateful to the Government of Brazil for generously providing the financial support required for drafting and publishing the new volume and for serving on the International Scientific Committee. Ambassador of Brazil, Mrs. Isabel Cristina de Azevedo Heyvaert, was present at the speaker’s table during the opening session of the Meeting of experts.                

Final opening speech was given by H.E. Erastus Mwencha who said that “It is history that Africa wants to look at and take lessons from. And that all the historians from all over the world who gathered here in Addis Ababa for the three days are crucial for us because we need to learn from the past and not to repeat the mistakes.”                

The Meeting of experts held from May 20-22 in Addis Ababa will outline not only the format and the orientation of the IX. volume, but also its methodology, main themes and landmarks and challenges in recent African History.      

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