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On Africa Day, OACPS commends the people of the African continent and the African Diaspora on their rich cultural heritage and commits to helping them build back better after COVID-19

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STATEMENT BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE ORGANISATION OF AFRICAN, CARIBBEAN AND PACIFIC STATES, H.E. GEORGES REBELO PINTO CHIKOTI, ON THE CELEBRATION OF AFRICA DAY 2021

Brussels, 25 May 2021/OACPS: Today, in celebration of the 58th anniversary of Africa Day, the Secretary-General of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), H.E. Mr. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, underlines on behalf of this Organisation, which is proud to include 48 countries from sub-Saharan Africa among its membership, the importance of this historic day that recognises the creation of the African Union Organisation in 1963.

Taking note of this year’s theme of, "The AU Year of Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers to Build the Africa We Want", the Secretary-General acknowledges Africa’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, which has served as the base for the socio-economic growth and social progress made in key areas such as improved access to education, job creation, entrepreneurship development, and more stable and peaceful societies. This dynamism translates into comparatively higher economic growth than in other regions of the world, and bodes well for a better future for the continent.

Secretary-General Chikoti notes that an important step has been taken in the process of economic integration through the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which provides a platform to accelerate productive transformation and the creation of regional value chains.

While taking into account the difficult context marked by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular on the creative and culture sector, thus jeopardizing the socio-economic progress made in Africa, the Secretary-General calls on development and international partners to support post-COVID strategies that aim to strengthen the capacity of the countries of the South to produce vaccines, and to reduce their dependence on external markets -  important steps necessary to propel the development of dynamic formal economic sectors, and the creation of quality jobs.

Today, the Secretary General commends the people of the African continent and the African diaspora as a whole, and reaffirms the OACPS’ commitment to helping its Members to recover and build back better after the pandemic. Furthermore, he reiterates the OACPS’ commitment to realising the potential of the cultural and creative sector and its contribution to their social and economic development, and urges Member States to invest resources in the promotion of African culture, creativity and heritage.

 


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