The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe says time is now ripe for Africans to redefine their history and remove the distortions caused by Eurocentric writers.
In his address at the official opening of the Pedagogical use of the General History Project first meeting of the drafting teams, Cde Mugabe said African history has been heavily distorted with the continent and its people being viewed as poverty riddled, barbaric and chaotic.
President Mugabe however said African scholars have a mammoth task of correcting the distortions and tell the real story of Africa.
â€œSubjected to centuries of oppression and exploitation, Africa saw generations of European traders and travellers, missionaries and intellectuals portraying the continent as nothing but poverty riddled, barbaric and chaotic hence the need for Africans to write their own history and remove the distortions,â€ said Cde Mugabe.
Turning to the teaching of history in schools, Cde Mugabe noted that the education system should reflect the African and universal values and eliminate all forms of alienation, exclusion and oppression in Africa.
â€œThe age old lie of white supremacy should be exposed. Our children should be made to understand that the Europeans needed to take the African out of humanity and its history to ensure the domination of Africa,â€ Cde Mugabe added.
UNESCO Deputy Director General, Mr Getachew Enginda said the new project is meant to assist in ensuring that Africans own their history and recognise how Europeans have tried to deny the continent its history.
â€œAfricans have been denied their own history and as such, this project will help in ensuring that we write the history based on the accounts of the African people,â€ said Mr Enginda.
Dubbed â€œRegional Conference for the Use of the General History of Africa (GHA),â€ the conference attracted over 150 participants from higher education institutions in Africa.
The project is subsequent to the elaboration of the General History of Africa (GHA) that the 1964 General Conference, at its 13th session, instructed UNESCO to undertake.