Posted by: africanpressorganization | 27 October 2010

Joint Press Statement Issued by the AU Commission and UNESCO




Joint Press Statement Issued by the AU Commission and UNESCO



ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 27, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On the 25th October 2010, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Jean PING, met with the members of the Science Committee of UNESCO Project on the Pedagogical Use of the General History of Africa (GHA) at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.


The 10-member Committee representing the 5 African sub-regions was established in 2009 by UNESCO in order to ensure the scientific and intellectual responsibility of the Project.


This initiative, which launched the second phase of the GHA Project, aims at renovating history teaching in African schools and African higher education institutions. Its main objective is to elaborate the common content and teaching materials to be integrated in the curricula of all the AU member states. This objective responds to the aspirations of building a common African identity and citizenship, based on a deep knowledge of a shared heritage and shared values, with a view to strengthening the African regional integration process.


The first phase of the GHA was launched in 1964 in response to the aspirations of the newly independent African states to decolonise their history, and re-appropriate the discourses on their past. This monumental work culminated in 8 volumes that were produced over a period of 35 years, in the process of which more around 350 scholars were mobilised, with 80% of whom came from the African continent.


During the discussion, Chairperson Jean PING expressed his strong support for the realization of this Project, and committed the full involvement of the AU Commission in its implementation. He also thanked UNESCO for coordinating this Project, and the Libyan Government for its generous financial contribution. The Chairperson stressed the importance of this Project for the work of the AU Commission, as it will lay the intellectual foundation for the achievement of African unity. Recalling the need to “move from rhetoric to action,” he appealed to the Scientific Committee members to expedite carrying out their part of the responsibility, while committing the AU Commission to do its part, and take up the matter with the African Heads of State.


The Scientific Committee is meeting in Addis Ababa from 25th to 28th October 2010, to select the three drafting teams that will be in charge of elaborating the content, the teachers’ guides and accompanying materials, for the various levels of basic education. The Committee will also discuss the preparation for the forthcoming regional conference on the use of the GHA for history teaching in higher education.



African Union Commission (AUC)


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