Africa Day 2017: promoting unity and regional integration
The Department of Arts and Culture has declared the month of May as Africa Month in an effort to promote African unity, deeper regional integration and to recommit Africa to a common destiny. The North-West University’s (NWU) campus in Vanderbijlpark will – in support of the initiative – host an Africa Day Celebration on 26 May 2017.
The celebration will represent a collaboration between the Office of the Vice-Rector and the Department of Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL).
According to Mbali Blaai from the vice-rector’s office, planned activities for the day include:
• A Walk of Unity,
• Several keynote speakers,
• General knowledge competition
• Music and,
• Stalls from various entrepreneurs.
Walk of Unity
Staff and students are invited to take part in the Walk of Unity to symbolise not only a shared African identity, but also the campus’s continued commitment towards solidarity. The starting point will be Building 13 (Learning and Research Commons) and participants will follow a route to the Student Centre.
At the starting point (at 10:30) during registration, staff and students will have the opportunity to share their suggestions and inputs – as it pertains to social cohesion and integration – by means of written notes placed in a suggestion box. All suggestions will be considered and discussed by means of workshops and focus groups.
Four speakers will take to the stage during the gathering at the Student Centre: Prof Susan Coetzee-Van Rooy (Dean: Faculty of Humanities), Prof Wynand Grobler (School Director: Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology), Lesego More (Chairperson: Student Representative Council) and a representative of the campus’s international student populace.
Themes that will be covered include the decolonising of the curriculum, peace and unity, the African economy and experiences of foreign nationals in South Africa and Africa.
Participants in the Walk of Unity will be welcomed at the Student Centre by the campus choir, the Voices of the River, after which the keynote addresses will be delivered. During the presentations students and staff will have the opportunity to take part in various quizzes and games – all relating to Africa Month. The organisers are encouraging participants to wear traditional attire to further enhance the atmosphere. Participants are also invited to share the event on social media by making use of the hashtags: #MyNWU and #AfricaDay