28 May 2008

South Africa: Genealogy Project to Connect Family History

Durban — KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sibusiso Ndebele is to officially launch the Family Tree Project aimed at facilitating research into family history and connecting family members.

The project, to be launched in Durban on Wednesday, forms part of the 10th annual African Renaissance Festival currently taking place in the province until 28 May.

Mr Ndebele, who is the provincial Chairperson of the African Renaissance campaign, said the project seeks to empower family members to conduct research into their family history.

It also entrenches awareness about the significance of ancestral history, respective genealogies, customs and traditions.

"The project will see the African family rising in stature thus enabling it to trace its roots which spans many generations and establish linkages with other related families in the country, including the continent and diaspora," said the premier.

The practice of compiling family trees through school assignments will also be encouraged to facilitate family reunions and enable the collaboration between academics and family historians in documenting respective family histories.

Africans must know each other, know themselves and treasure their roots, Mr Ndebele said.

He said that family roots including family trees and Genealogy Programmes were central to African education and the manifestation as well as the subsequent cementing of the culture of human rights, Africa's social cohesion and economic development.

Mr Ndebele said that Africans who know themselves and their roots well have the potential to excel in commerce, education and politics.

"Families and the mutual recognition and knowledge of one another should play a key role in promoting and deepening the human rights culture, anti-xenophobic tendencies, moral regeneration and social cohesion," said Premier Ndebele.

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