Kerekou wants Africans, Diaspora bury historical hatchet

Cotonou- Benin (PANA) -- Beninese President Mathieu Kerekou has urged Africans on the continent and those of the Diaspora to "transcend the wrongs of history and rethink" the development of the continent.
He was speaking Monday at the launch of the third edition of the Gospel and Roots Festival in the Beninese capital Cotonou, which brought together about 1,500 participants from 17 countries across Africa and the Diaspora.
"This festival is the rallying cry of the Black people who are henceforth resolved to take their destiny into their own hands," Kerekou said as he declared the event officially opened.
Patronised by Hope Sullivan, president of the Leon Sullivan Foundation, and former US Ambassador to the UN, Andrew Young, the event's Gospel component registered 15 groups, while 25 groups will feature in the Roots aspect.
The festival, which ends 8 August, will be held in the localities of Abomey and Allada (tourism), Cotonou, Porto-Novo and Ouidah (concerts).
An innovation in the third edition is the introduction of the "Creole Attitude" component, which, the organisers say, will provide an opportunity to discover the West Indies through music, literature, plastic arts and gastronomy.
Originally set out to foster mutual understanding between Africans on the continent and those of the Diaspora, the event also serves to promote gospel music in Africa through training of artists, promoters and technicians, as well as exchanges among artists and groups from the two sides.
The economic aspect of the festival promotes tourism, handicrafts, publishing, audio-visual production and the new information and communication technologies.

03 august 2004 13:51:00

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