Egypt participated in the first Biennale of Luanda: Pan African Forum for the Culture of Peace (18-22 September) in Luanda, Angola, which brought together representatives of governments, civil society, the arts, sciences and international organisations, providing a platform for reflection and dissemination of artistic works, ideas and knowledge pertaining to the promotion of the culture of peace in the continent.
This initiative is intended to serve as a global platform for the promotion of cultural diversity and African unity, a venue of international and intra-African cultural exchanges, a special biannual meeting that brings together actors and partners of a Pan-African movement for the prevention of violence and conflict, and the consolidation of peace, and an opportunity to build sustainable partnerships parties.
The Egyptian delegation headed by Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem – who has hailed the forum as a valuable opportunity to provide more support and cultural communication between the peoples of the continent – also included Ambassador Hamdi Sanad, Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs, Khaled Hassan, Egyptian Ambassador to Angola, and Rasha Ragheb, Director of the National Academy of Training. Present at the opening were the heads of state representing the four African regions and a number of international figures including among others Joao Gonçalves Lorenao, President of the Republic of Angola, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of the Republic of Mali and the Head of the African Union for Culture, Hag Gutfried Djingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and representatives of Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Tanzania, in addition to Audrey Azoli, UNESCO Director-General, Sergio Luther Rescova, Governor of Luanda Province, Maria Piedad de Jesus, Minister of Culture of Angola, Denis Mukweig, Nobel Prize for Peace winner 2018, together with Musa Faki Mohamed, Chairman of the Commission of the African Union.
Abdel-Dayem’s counterpart Maria Pedad de Jesus expressed her appreciation for Egypt’s participation in launching the first edition of the Biennale, stressing the importance of supporting and enhancing cultural and artistic cooperation between the two countries by intensifying creative and intellectual mutual activities. Together with many others, she enjoyed the performance of Egypt’s Toshka Troupe for Folk Music and Dance, affiliated with the General Organisation of Culture Palaces.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 3 October, 2019 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.