African intellectuals to converge in Senegal

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- At the initiative of Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, the African Union Commission will organise the first conference of African intellectuals, including those in the Diaspora from 7-9 October in Dakar, Senegal.
According to details released here, the AU Commission, said this will be the first major conference of intellectuals to discuss Pan-Africanism in the 21st Century within a multicultural framework.
After Wade suggested the idea of such a gathering, it was supported by African leaders at their summits of Lome in 2000, Maputo in 2003 and lately in Addis Ababa in July 2004.
The principal objective of convening the conference is to mobilise and sensitise the intellectuals from Africa and the Diaspora about the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
Bringing together 700 participants from Africa and the Diaspora, the conference will go down in history as one of the landmarks on the road of pan-Africanism since the First Pan-African Conference, held in 1900 in London.
Also, some heads of state, eminent personalities and Nobel Prize laureates are expected to take part in the meeting.
At the centre of their discussions will be Africa's integration and renaissance in the new century.
The intellectuals will attempt to reach a consensus on how they would contribute to the strengthening of African integration.
Papers on intellectual contribution will be presented from the Association of African Universities, CODESRIA, OSSREA, Association of Historians, anthropologists, and editors, among others.
at their recent summits, African leaders have underlined the urgency of accelerating the continent's integration in view of the increasing challenges of regionalism and globalisation.
At the global level, Africa is still grossly marginalised.
On the continent itself, efforts towards regional integration have produced few concrete results.
It requires the combined efforts and action, not rhetoric, of intellectuals and political leaders to claim the place of Africa in the world today.
Building on the relations between Africa and its Diaspora is of crucial importance to achieve this goal.
AU Commission Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare told the last Assembly of African leaders in Addis Ababa that Africa should have an influence in global issues such as trade and governance.
To achieve this, Konare said, "the best men and women of Africa and the best of the African Diaspora should place themselves in the service of the motherland.
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28 august 2004 18:43:00




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