The Cultural Charter of Africa – 1976


that any human society is necessarily governed by rules and principles based on traditions, languages, ways of life and thought in other words on a set of cultural values
which reflect its distinctive character and personality;

that all cultures emanate from the people, and that any African cultural policy should of necessity enable the people to expand for increased responsibility in the development of its cultural heritage;

that any people has the inalienable right to organize its cultural life in full harmony with its political, economic, social, philosophical and spiritual ideas;

that all the cultures of the world are equally entitled to respect just as all individuals are equal as regards free access to culture;

that, under colonial domination, the African countries found themselves in the same political, economic, social and cultural situation; that cultural domination led to the depersonalization of part of the African peoples,
falsified their history, systematically disparaged and combated African values, and tried to replace progressively and officially, their languages by that of the colonizer,
that colonization has encouraged the formation of an elite which is too often alienated from its culture and susceptible to assimilation and that a serious gap has been opened
between the said elite and the African popular masses;

that the unity of Africa is founded first and foremost on its History, that the affirmation of cultural identity denotes a concern common to all peoples of Africa, that African cultural diversity, the expression of a single identity, is a factor making for equilibrium and development in the service of national integration; that it is imperative to edify educational systems which embody the African values of
civilization, so as to ensure the rooting of youth in African culture and mobilize the social forces in the context of permanent education; that it is imperative to resolutely ensure the promotion of African languages, mainstay,
and media of cultural heritage in its most authentic and essentially popular form, that it is imperative to carry out a systematic inventory of the cultural heritage, in
particular in the spheres of Traditions, History and Arts;

by a common determination to strengthen understanding among our peoples and cooperation among our States in order to meet the aspirations of our peoples to see brotherhood and solidarity reinforced and integrated within a greater cultural unity which transcends ethnic and national divergencies;

that culture constitutes for our peoples the surest means of overcoming our technological backwardness and the most efficient force of our victorious resistance to imperialist

that African culture is meaningless unless it plays a full part in the political and social liberation struggle, and in the rehabilitation and unification efforts and that there is no
limit to the cultural development of a people;


PREAMBLE We, Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity meeting in its Thirteenth Ordinary Session, in Port Louis, Mauritius, from 2nd to 5th July, 1976, GUIDED by the Organization of African Unity Charter, by Resolution CM/Res.371 (XXIII) adopted by the Twenty-third Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers and by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU (June 1974, Mogadiscio), by the Declaration of principles of international cultural co-operation adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its fourteenth session in 1966, by the Pan-African Cultural Manifesto of Algiers (1969), and by the Inter-governmental Conference on cultural policies in Africa organized by UNESCO in Accra in 1975 in cooperation with the Organization of African Unity;