South African Cultural Observatory

Better Africa Better World

BY 01.07.24

May marked Africa month - a moment for the continent to pause, reflect, and celebrate the unique African identity and cultural expression. Africa Day is celebrated annually to commemorate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), founded on 25 May 1963. The National Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) through the Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) initiative celebrated Africa month under the “Celebrating 30 Years of Freedom: Building a Better Africa and a Better World’.  As part of the celebrations, an inter-cultural round table discussion workshop was organised which aimed at educating the targeted audience in the sector about the role the Cultural and Creative Industries in the SA economy.

South Africa was also celebrating 30 years of freedom and as part of these celebrations, people were invited to show their unity and the diversity of African cultures. One of the topics in the round table discussion was about the 2063 agenda. DSAC together with the MGE expressed that this agenda needs support from all those involved in the sector. The department stated that “Agenda 2063 reflects the aspirations of Africa as a continent with strong cultural identity, values, and ethics. In support of Agenda 2063 we can foster unity amongst all Africans across the continent. Future growth will be spurred by the continent’s commitment to Agenda 2063 to drive the social, economic and political rejuvenation of Africa.”

In conclusion, and as part of the Africa month celebration at  Vilakazi street, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola gave a keynote speech and a summary of the African continent' countries and their strife, emphasising how SA is lucky to be at peace. The event was graced by the Legendary, Sipho "Hotsticks" Mabuse and Abigail Kubheka as they reflected on the event and how, as a nation, we have come so far after 30 years of Freedom.

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The SACO 2022 mapping study showed that the total contribution of the cultural and creative industries to South Africa’s GDP was R161 billion in 2020. This represents just under 3% of South Africa’s total economic production in 2020 and makes the sector approximately the same size as agriculture.

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On the 27th of May 2024, the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) took part in the 9th edition of the Umtiza Arts Festival in East London.

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2024 is a monumental year for the National Arts Festival as it celebrates 50 years of existence and 40 years of Standard Bank Young Artists Awards. These celebrations coincide with celebrating 30 years of Democracy in South Africa.

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