Monday, January 24, 2011

African Writers Support Thebes International Cultural Festival In Luxor

James Achanyi-Fontem, President of Cameroon Writers Association, addressed over 150 writers at the inaugural ceremony of The Thebes International Cultural Festival in Luxor, Egypt on the 16th January 2011.Read the full content of the address below.

The Honourable Governor of Luxor, Dr. Samir Farag,
The President of the Writers Union of Egypt, Mohamed Salmawy,
Special Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity to talk on behalf of Africa on the occasion of the inaugural of the Great Annual Event of The International Cultural Festival in Luxor, Egypt on the theme “The Nile in African Culture”.
Let me start by expressing the special thanks and gratitude of all of us invited to be here for this great historic event sponsored by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture.
Special congratulations to the President of the Writers Union of Egypt, Dr. Mohamed Salmawy and his team for the dexterity in preparing the Thebes International Cultural Festival with the involvement of writers from around the world.
This occasion creates room for the reinforcement of cooperation ties and the beginning of joint partnerships and ventures between countries and groups of interest.
The Nile is history and everything that surrounds it is history. The Nile River Valley has played a unique role in Human history because of its special ecology, featuring the annual overflow of rich soil from the Great Lakes regions of Central Africa.
The banks of the Nile has been able to support intensive agricultural development for Food surpluses and the concentration of populations migrating from parts of Africa and Asia that laid the foundation of Nile Valley Civilization.
The special combination of African peoples, the Sun, the fertile land and the Nile River are blended together to produce the greatest civilization of the Ancient World of the Nile we admire today. The enormous impact of the High Culture of the Nile Valley on Africa, Asia, and Europe has not been fully appreciated and that is why we have all come to Luxor on the occasion of the Thebes International Cultural Festival to support our brothers and sisters of Egypt to valorize the successes achieved so far. The latest scientific discoveries have helped to reveal the significance of the value systems, the traditions and institutions that were produced in the Nile Valley and spread to various parts of Africa and the world.
Recent discoveries have established Africa as the site of the earliest domestication of grains and cattle, several thousand years before similar domestication took place in Western Asia around Mesopotamia
The new evidence along with older findings and the existing monuments, temples, tombs and pyramids have firmly established Egypt-Nubia-Ethiopia in the Nile Valley as the Cradle of Civilization.
These developments of African peoples of the Nile Valley became the foundation for the cultural progress of various groups in Africa and provide the basis for the culture unity of Africa through its traditions and institutions. These developments can be seen through the existence of a Communal, Cooperative and Collective value system throughout the continent.
African social structure has functioned through the extended family system with a unique preservation of the spirit of the ancestors. It is this African value system that became the basis of Nile Valley Civilization and explains the monumental building of temples, tombs, and pyramids and the need to produce sacred writing and literature, medicine, and mathematics, art and architecture.
All of these developments have left a Golden Legacy for the Ancient World which not only nurtured Africa, but inspired the early Hebrews and Greeks who sojourned in the Nile Valley.
The Niger River system flows more than two thousand miles through West Africa from the highlands of the Republic of Guinea to Mali, Niger, Benin and finally empties into the Atlantic Ocean along the Nigerian Coast.
The river actually splits the Republic of Nigeria, one of Africa's most important nations, into two halves and is the source of its name. During the Medieval Period from 1,000 A.D. to 1,600 A.D., the Niger River Valley was the center of African Islamic Civilization that produced the great Empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhay which were famous for their gold trade across the Sahara with the Mediterranean world.
This Sudanic Civilization with its mixture of traditional African cultural systems and Islam was based on agricultural development combined with extensive commercial activity in several city-states, such as Kumbi-Kumbi, Gao, Mopti, and others.
Several Arab scholars visited these empires and wrote about their prosperity, the peace and safety throughout the land and the fairness of their systems of justice and administration. The Congo River system is one of the World's greatest watersheds and rivals the Amazon River Valley. It is the center of the great rain forest or so-called jungle that is located in Central Africa region.
The Zambezi River Valley is located in Southern Africa and has played a crucial role in colonial and contemporary developments. The Zambezi River Valley and the Southern Africa region are so rich in vital mineral deposits that are absolutely necessary for the continued development of high technology in the Western World and Japan.
This presents in brief the Nile River Valley and other African River Systems we valorize during the Thebes International Cultural Festival in Luxor,Egypt. Lets open our minds, eyes and ears to learn more from this year’s festival, so that other festivals would be greater because of the inspirations of today.
Let us all join in celebrating the Nile Valley and its 4,100 miles of civilization.

James Achanyi-Fontem
President, Cameroon Writers Association,
P.O. Box 1460 Douala,
Littoral region,
Tel: (00237)77758840
Web site:

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