Cape Town - As SA gears up for Heritage Day, important agreements have been made between SA and Tanzania to build up and protect Africa's struggle history.
On Tuesday Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa met his Tanzanian counterpart Harrison Wakyembe to discuss their cooperation on the UNESCO programme "Roads to Independence in Africa: The African Liberation Heritage".
Tanzania was appointed to spearhead the project, and South Africa committed to help the implementation of the project in all southern African countries.
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This will involve the construction of a museum, library, archives, research centre and cinema hall and theatre, as well as building up heritage routes in the various countries that aim to preserve the continent's liberation history. Tanzania has been marked as the centre due to various liberation movements that were based there including South Africa's ANC, Angola's MPLA, Namibia, Mozambique's FRELIMO, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Mthethwa told SAnews that it is important that we don't lose this road to independence, and that they are looking at different national chapters to incorporate into the programme.
"The route that we took to liberate the people of South Africa and Africa, it’s important that it is written by ourselves for the world to know the real story of our liberation," said Mthethwa.
The two countries agreed to exchange information and collaborate in areas of arts, film industry, museums, libraries and research, cooperate when it comes to the preservation of relics and properties, facilitate capacity building and research collaboration between heritage specialists, and help each other increase the number of world heritage sites related to the struggle for freedom.
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“We are convinced that we have set ourselves to follow up and implement this and we are on course to make this continent proud of who they are. We have to do it now. We would like to thank Tanzania for being the convenors of this important work and we will do everything we can to support them,” said Mthethwa.
The South African part of the programme, called the 'Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route', is a national memory project aimed at commemorating and celebrating South Africa’s road to freedom. Currently a inter-ministerial committee is overseeing the implementation of the project, and a Resistance & Liberation Heritage National Summit was held in July this year that invited liberation activists, movements and civil society to share their insights on how best to implement the Africa Liberation Heritage project.
The list of sites to be included has not been finalised, but currently there are 13 sites identified so far, with more to be included. These sites are linked together by their shared historical narrative of the struggle for freedom and liberation, and consists of universities, sites important to Nelson Mandela and other struggle leaders, and memorials of key events in history.
Check the proposed sites below:
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