January 24: World Day of African and Afro-descendant Culture

Posted by Kemet Market on

Did you know ? January 24, 2023 is World African and Afro-descendant Culture Day ! This day has been celebrated since 2018 at the initiative of the Network of Cultural Professionals and Experts (RAPEC) proclaimed by UNESCO. If the date of January 24 reminds you of something, that's normal, it coincides with the adoption of the Charter of African Cultural Renaissance in 1966 in Khartoum, Sudan during the Conference of Heads of State in charge of Organization of African Unity (OAU).


This world day is a way of promoting Africa and its riches through culture.

Indeed, the African continent, also called mother earth, is the cradle of humanity. From the birth of humanity in the region of the great lakes, through the civilizations of pharaonic Egypt, the 200 pyramids of Meroe in Sudan (Nubia), the remains of Timbuktu, and the thousand and one wonders that teeming with its fauna and flora, Africa is unique and multiple.

This World Day of African and Afro-descendant Culture (JMCA) is a dignified and respectful way of recognizing the richness of the many living cultures of the continent, and at the same time making the link between the cultures which will live Africa outside of the continent such as the essential African-American culture, Caribbean culture (Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana, Saint-Martin, etc.), South American cultures with strong African influences (Cuba, Brazil, Honduras, Ecuador, Peru ).


A brief overview of some cultural elements

Africa has cultivated a very deep cultural heritage, which manifests itself today in ancestral rites, musical rhythms, dances, fashion, culinary arts, traditional medicine, etc.


We find African influences in:

  • Musical rhythms and dances:
  • Note the practice of the M'Bolon, a traditional musical instrument from Mali, the Kalimba , the Chekere , the Djembé , the balafon , etc., which are other African musical instruments which are used to promote culture,
  • Moutya , a great dance from Seychelles,
  • Zébola , Agbaya , Maringa , Nzango , Polka - Pike , Rumba , etc., musical rhythms from the Democratic Republic of Congo ;
  • Mangambeu , Ben -Skin , Makossa , Menang , etc. : Cameroonian dance rhythms;
  • In the West Indies, we will find Mazurka , Zouk , Kompa , modern Gwo ka , Kadans , etc.
  • Art of cooking :
  • Ndolè , Taro with yellow sauce , Kondrè , Eru , Corn Tchap , Qwem , Mbol , etc., traditional dishes from Cameroon;
  • Cameroonian palm wine , Amarula from South Africa, Sodabi from Benin, Dawa from Kenya , etc. : local and traditional drinks (often alcoholic);
  • Ceebu Jen : a traditional dish from Senegal;
  • In the West Indies, we will find the famous Colombo or even the Ti dwarf cod from Martinique, the Cassave, the Poulet boucané, the blaff of West Indian fish, the Matoulou-Matité of crabs, etc.
  • The African pharmacopoeia by plants, bark, foliage such as khamaré , djeka , mango leaves ;
  • African languages : there are thousands of languages ​​and dialects in Africa, in the past people spoke around ten languages
  • Afro-Asian languages ​​(strong similarity between the grammatical structure of certain African and Asian languages)) ;
  • Nilo-Saharan languages ​​(mainly spoken in Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, etc.),
  • The Niger-Congolese languages ​​(or Bantu languages, consisting of Lingala , Swahili , Zulu , etc., mainly spoken in the Congo region);
  • The Khoisan languages, which are found mainly in southern Africa, among the Khoïkhoi and the Bushmen ;
  • Austronesian languages ​​(which are mainly spoken in island Africa such as Madagascar, Reunion Island, Mayotte ) , and Khoisan languages ​​in South Africa.

Ode to the Afro-Caribbeans

World Day of African and Afro-descendant Culture is also a celebration of African genius. From science to artistic expression in all its forms, Afro-descendants are full of unparalleled creativity that influences the entire world. African culture is today at the heart of the global economy. African values ​​and traditions are part of the common heritage.

How to celebrate World Day of African and Afro-descendant Culture?

The aim of this celebration is to promote all cultures of the African continent as well as those of the African diaspora (Africans who have settled outside the continent). UNESCO is also putting everything in place so that this day is celebrated in a festive atmosphere through debates, conferences, festivals, cultural events, etc., not only in Africa, but throughout the world.


Official celebrations: Tuesday January 24, 2023

  • in Morocco, in Rabat, African capital of culture.
  • in Ivory Coast, in Agboville, on the theme of Africa and its percussion
  • in Cameroon, in Yaoundé, on the theme of the Ngan Medza carnival
  • in France, online conference on the theme of the role of culture in conflict prevention and resolution

More information on

The day is celebrated across continents; African culture no longer belongs only to itself, it belongs to all those who make it live and vibrate across the planet.

Whoever you are, celebrate this World African and Afro-descendant Day, make African culture vibrate stronger within you !

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment



Sold Out