Intellectuals can uplift Africa, says AU

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Africa needs its intellectuals both on the continent and in the Diaspora to gain respect within the international community, the African Union (AU) Commission said in a report to the conference of intellectuals, that opened in the Senegalese capital Thursday.
"There is no possible salvation without a contract between the continent and its intelligentsia at home and in the Diaspora," the report said, adding that the aim of the Dakar forum is to "turn ideas into knowledge and knowledge into power.
" According to the AU, such a contract should create a better structured participation of intellectuals in continental affairs and in relations with the rest of the world.
It would also arouse a fresh interest of the intellectuals in political matters and lay solid foundation for a new partnership.
The report said the AU Commission chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare was anxious to see the involvement of intellectuals in issues concerning continental development.
"Africa must think and (see) development through its own spectacles and models by calling on its brains here and abroad and prioritising the interests of its indigenous populations and those in the Diaspora," it added.
The report said it was crucial for intellectuals from Africa and the Diaspora "to think, speak and make themselves heard.
" It said the African Renaissance "is aimed at giving African Intellectuals the opportunity to act and participate in the development/conceptualisation of a project that should be as exciting as de-colonisation.
" The report explained that the African rebirth should not only be cultural but political, economic and social.
It called for a globalised African intellectual elite that should bring greater contributions to the African project within a changing world.

07 october 2004 17:33:00

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