08.12.2016 - Social and Human Sciences Sector

Malian artists mobilize to promote the General History of Africa

Cheikh Tidiane Seck © UNESCO / C. Alix

A Delegation of more than fifty Malian artists signed the Declaration of commitment of the Coalition of Artists for the promotion of the General History of Africa on 7 December 2016 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

The ceremony took place in the presence of the Minister of Culture of Mali, N'Diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, Nada Al-Nashif, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for the Africa Department, Firmin Edouard Matoko, and the representatives of the Malian Artists Delegation Cheick Tidiane Seck (musician and composer) and Badiri Diakité, known as Dawala (producer).

The Director-General took this opportunity to recall UNESCO's long-standing commitment to Mali, especially since the crisis in the country, and warmly thanked the important delegation of Malian artists for supporting UNESCO in its efforts to promote the true history of Africa, so well exemplified by Mali.

The Minister of Culture of Mali was pleased that UNESCO and Mali, after the success of the preservation of Malian cultural heritage, are writing a new page of collaboration on the General History of Africa. She recalled her Government's support for this initiative, promoting UNESCO's work to rewrite a history of Africa free from prejudice.

The attending artists marked their commitment to contribute to the promotion of this monumental work that reflects the perspective of Africans themselves.

The Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences recalled that the primary objective of the Coalition of Artists is to enable the Diaspora and youth of the continent to reclaim this history in order to strengthen their confidence and transform the distorted image of Africa and Africans throughout the world.

The ceremony was followed by an official presentation of the Declarations of Commitment signed by more than 50 artists to the Director-General of UNESCO, and ended with an exchange with the press and the public.

Launched in 1964, the elaboration of the eight volumes of the General History of Africa has mobilized more than 230 historians and specialists for more than 35 years. Completed in 1999, this work is considered a major contribution to the knowledge of African history and historiography.

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