African achievements are being commemorated in a new Book of African Records published this week. In a speech at the launch, Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere urged Zimbabweans to uphold the pan-African ideology and celebrate the beauty of the African continent.
Minister Kasukuwere said it was the responsibility of every Zimbabwean to ensure they build a realistic image of Africa in the eyes of the universe.
Officially launching the Book of African Records, Tourism Minister Eng Walter Mzembi, who represented Minister Kasukuwere, said the book would unite Africans.
"The Book of African Records serves as a positive change agent against modern media portrayal of the African continent as home to war, disease, hunger, and corruption.
"It is a duty for us Africans to celebrate our African success and the project which is being launched today is a milestone to achieve that," he said.
Minister Kasukuwere said the book sought to provide information to future generations.
"In celebrating all these great deeds, the book would draw communities together and help to foster a positive climate to account for Africa's firsts.
"A publication that will collate, promote and celebrate the feats and high achievements of Africa and the African people from the time that similar accounts began to be recorded to present, will be a first for most publishers.
"This honourable initiative will to Africa be the premier authority and custodian of measurable African facts and will continuously seek not only to celebrate the greatest accomplishments of Africa but to unite Africans," he said.
Minister Kasukuwere said over the centuries Africa has received negative publicity which has created an impartial image of the continent and historical achievements of the Africans.
"It has become clear that none but the Africans themselves must give a voice and accentuation to their own accomplishments and contributions to global civilisations.
"This book will empower Africans giving them a voice thereby enabling them to give prominence to their own accomplishments and contributions to global civilisation.
"The Book of African Records is unprecedented, educational, scientific, and informative and will become an inspirational reference point on all facts African.
"It will be an Afrocentric alternative to the Guinness Book of Records whose scope is primarily Eurocentric," he said.
The Book of African Records, he said, would spur the growth of achievements in Africa and in years to come.
"It is yet another step forward in the community's efforts to nurture a climate that encourages the use and appreciation of the outstanding achievements ever to be recorded in the history of Africans from an African perspective. It is a special project for Africa by Africans."
He said the book would also stimulate supplementary reading material for lively discussion on education, the aspirations of our youth or even the way we all perceive the modern world from an African perception.
The Book of African Records is an initiative of the African Mobility Organisation founded by Errol Muzawazi, a vibrant and ambitious young man who claimed a place in the Junior Chamber International 10 Outstanding Young Persons of the Year 2011 after he became the first black African to cross the African continent on land, travelling through 21 countries over a period of six months.
The adventure shaped his understanding that Africa was endowed with a lot of potential and hope.