Historians Urged to Contribute to Africa's Development





"African historians have major obligations to contribute towards the development of greater clarity on the issues - society, state and identity-in African history so that the project of the African Union could be successful," Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin said.

Opening the 4th Congress of the Association of African Historians yesterday, Seyoum indicated that the whole project associated with the Pan-African ideal has been based on a sense of common identity molded by a common historical experience of slavery and colonialism.

"However, each African society had also its own regional and local experience," he told congress participants held at the AU Conference Centre.

Seyoum also noted that Africa at present is grappling with the highest level of leadership.

Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union Prof. Alpha Oumar Konare said on his part that "African historians are expected to examine the issue of identity from the historical perspective.

He also urged all Africans including the Diaspora to carry out their responsibility for the development of the continent.

Addis Ababa University President Prof. Andreas Eshete also said: "Since the idea of the west or modernity had liberated, diminished and disfigured us, we have to be able to sort out the good and ill influences of these powerful ideas on Africa's historical self-image."

Prof. Andreas also said that African historians should exert utmost effort to enable the continent be in a favourable position to chart a clear, commanding vision of Africa's future.

Ministers, African Union Commissioners, diplomats, and distinguished guests are in attendance at the three-day congress.
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