Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned Africans to be wary of globalisation, saying the concept was being used to mask imperialism and the destruction of African identity. VP Mnangagwa said this in a speech read on his behalf by the minister in his Office, Clifford Sibanda, during the official opening of the Second International Conference on African Cultures (ICAC).
"Through your innovative programme, I see the urge by all to debunk the colonial enterprise through a deliberate review of decades of cultural erasure, while questioning the moral intentions of globalisation," he said.
"While this globalisation appears in a neo-liberal form designed to appeal to the African consciousness, it is nevertheless masking imperialism by absorbing cultures and achieving the initial agenda of the impostor to destroy the African identity."
VP Mnangagwa said the International Conference on African Cultures was important as it taught the current and future generations the values of Ubuntu, which constituted a foundational principle of African culture.
He said Ubuntu conveyed the essence of oneness and unity, which were central components of African culture.
"It is, therefore, sad that we live in a world that describes culture as based on Western constructs," he said. "The conference must, therefore, discuss those intrusive imported cultural and artistic constructs to enable us to deconstruct our colonial minds, and thus priming us to appreciate who we are as an original African people."
Speaking at the same event, the Minister of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage, Cde Abednico Ncube, said his ministry was there to promote African culture in light of the onslaught by Western values under the guise of globalisation.
"We desire and will continue to stand in boldness against anything that seeks to degrade our cultures," he said.
"This conference is an important milestone in that we are looking at African culture and its expressions from the liberated Africans.
"The conference further shows the integration of various cultural expressions that promote and develop a positive national cultural identity. It emphasises the values of Ubuntu, patriotism and Pan Africanism."
The event was attended by delegates from several African countries under the theme: "Mapping the Future".