Bongani Ndlovu Chronicle Correspondent
CO-OPERATION in the area of culture between China and Africa is beneficial to African countries in terms of technical expertise, research capacities and the adoption of more scientific methodologies in preservation of culture, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Andrew Langa said yesterday. Officially opening the China –Africa Cultural Heritage Preservation Forum in Beijing, Cde Langa said Africa had a lot to learn from China and the forum would provide that opportunity and set the ground for broader mutually beneficial co-operation.
The forum, focusing on African culture, brought together 19 African countries.
Cde Langa was welcomed by Chinese deputy Minister of Culture Ding Wei.
“As the officials from Africa interact with your knowledgeable and practical officials, Comrade Minister, it is my hope and trust that their learning caps will be on. They will take up the best practice that has enabled China to pass a pivotal cultural legislation in record time as well as list 38 elements on the UNESCO lists in the shortest possible time since 2003,” he said.
Cde Langa urged his African colleagues to take advantage of the opportunity and build on their cultural preservation knowledge base.
“We as leaders of Ministries of Culture in your countries depend on you for expert guidance so we can enact progressive and sustainable policies on culture and heritage for the continent at large and the diverse countries in particular,” he said.
Cde Langa commended his counterpart deputy Minister Ding for organising the forum and seminars saying they would equip African cultural ministries to make an impact on the preservation of their tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
Minister Ding said China was proud to have 30 items listed on the UNESCO intangible list acknowledging that China and Africa are the largest civilisations in the world.
Cde Langa is accompanied by the deputy director of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Nicholas Moyo.