Plural Africa was at the heart of a “dialogue of cultures” organized on Friday in Essaouira, as part of the cycle of “Dialogues of the South”, launched by the Forum of Saint Louis (Senegal).
Initiated by the audit and consulting firm “Mazars Maroc”, this exchange meeting took place in the presence of the adviser to HM the King and President-Founder of the Essaouira-Mogador Association, André Azoulay, an audience of intellectuals and eminent personalities from the African cultural universe.
Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Azoulay enthusiastically welcomed the choice of the promoters of this initiative to opt for “Essaouira in order to launch the South Cycle of the dialogue of cultures and the teachings of the great African tradition: diversity in the service of social modernity”.
Mr. Azoulay recalled in this context “the centrality of Essaouira-Mogador in Morocco’s relationship with West Africa in the 19th century. A hub of spiritual, diplomatic and commercial exchanges between Morocco and West Africa, Essaouira was then often called the port of Timbuktu”.
“Once again and as often in recent years, over its long journey of refoundation and rebirth, it is on its historical heritage that the Cité des Alizés relies to support and strengthen the proximity and the role of our civil societies. in the pluralism and ambitions of the partnerships that Morocco is building south of the Sahara”, he added.
Mr. Azoulay highlighted in this perspective the presence in Essaouira of iconic personalities from the African intellectual sphere, “whether it be the essayist Rokhaya Diallo, Aisha Deme or Professor Alioune Sall, alias Paloma, philosopher , committed and respected writer and activist of a demanding and responsible Africanity”.
For his part, Mr. Sall expressed his joy at taking part in this meeting in Essaouira which, for him, “is more than any other emblematic place”, highlighting the efforts made by Morocco to “give substance to what is in its DNA, namely openness to others and rooting in traditions and cultures”.
At the microphone of M24, MAP’s non-stop news television channel, Mr. Sall explained that the visit to Bayt Dakira “convinced me that we cannot talk about Moroccanness without referring to this desire to respect the spiritual traditions of each other, to take charge of the memory of the communities that populate Morocco, and the will to go to the conquest of the future, based on what these traditions have of life, of promising and engaging”.
For his part, the president of the Forum of Saint Louis, Amadou Diaw, indicated that with intellectuals, artists, thinkers, “we make peregrinations around the world around the concept of the forum”, which is in its 4th edition, knowing that the first three editions took place respectively in Saint Louis, in Essaouira in 2018 and in Berlin, Germany.
“The main message consists of inviting each other to go beyond their daily lives and their usual environment, reach out to others, exchange and share with others to have a rereading of Humanity” , he noted in a similar statement.
Evoking Bayt Dakira, Mr. Diaw explained that beyond the memorial aspect, this space releases a “form of invitation to a richer world and to a humanity more enriched by the contributions of each other”, underlining that Essaouira remains the symbolic crossroads of religions, cultures and populations on the continent and beyond.
As for the Managing Partner at Mazars Morocco, Abdou Diop, he stressed the importance of dialogue between the countries of the African continent on certain issues in order “not only to appropriate our spaces and our history, but also to build together our future”.
And to continue that the choice was made on Essaouira for the holding of the cultural dialogue because this city “is the very symbol of what we must do” and of “this meeting between the different cultures and religions”.
“Essaouira has this soul and that is why we wanted to organize this cultural dialogue there in order to offer the opportunity for everyone to appropriate the culture and to be ambassadors of this African culture. which will be the bedrock of our political, economic and spiritual future,” he insisted.
This meeting was punctuated by a series of interventions and testimonials from Moroccan and Senegalese artists, as well as various actors, invited to present their experiences and shed their light on the question of the dialogue of cultures.