Africa2020: An Ambitious Educational Aspect
One of the reasons that TotalEnergies Foundation, which focuses its actions primarily on young people, chose to support the Africa2020 Season is because of the event’s educational aspect.
The Africa2020 Season took place from December 01, 2020 to September 30, 2021 across the entire French nation. Initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron and organized by the Institut Français, this unprecedented event was an invitation to discover Africa through the eyes of the people who live there and who are shaping its future, in all areas of activity. The goal is to collaborate, share viewpoints and see the world from an African perspective in order to better understand the challenges of the 21st century. 1,500 cultural, scientific, economic and sports projects were organized in 210 towns and attracted over 4 million spectators. The TotalEnergies Foundation is delighted to have supported this large-scale event, which continues to thrive and resonate nationwide.
Africa is a “plural, multiple and strong continent where part of our shared future will play out. (...) Quite simply, I consider Africa to be the world’s central, global and key continent because it’s where all of today’s challenges intersect,” said President Macron in a speech at the University of Ouagadougou in November 2017, before announcing his decision to launch an African Cultural Season in France. Under the leadership of its Head Curator, N’Goné Fall, the Africa2020 Season saw the roll-out of a multi-disciplinary, pan-African program to show the whole of France (mainland and overseas territories) everything that Africa has to say and to offer. 12 temporary headquarters (HQs) have been opened across France (mainland and overseas), to give people a space to exchange ideas and obtain information.
The program for the season was constructed around 13 major challenges for the 21st Century (innovation and technologies, redistribution of resources, history, memory, economic emancipation, citizenship, etc.). The Curator N’Goné Fall particularly wanted to emphasize the transmission of knowledge and issues concerning women, and so 350 educational projects and 30 Focus Femmes projects focusing on arts, sciences and entrepreneurship were launched as part of the entire initiative.
Its cooperative approach made the Africa2020 Season a unique opportunity to meet and exchange views, and to find new solutions together. Each project was allocated a duo comprising an African professional and his/her French peer. The French National Museum of Immigration invited the Al Maaden Museum of African Contemporary Art to host a shared exhibition on the history of movement and heritage.
The ambition of the Africa2020 Season was to change the way the wider public thinks about Africa by presenting the continent of today in all its social, cultural and linguistic diversity. Head Curator N’Goné Fall set out to “break down clichés and change perceptions” by offering experiences that encouraged people to get to know one other better, think about world issues together, forge links, overcome differences and broaden their horizons. This diversity of opinions was what made the Africa2020 season so productive.
With a population where the average age is 19, Africa is the youngest continent in the world. The Africa2020 Season put young people center stage, as they are the ones who will have to tackle the challenges of the 21st century, pushing back boundaries and reshaping society. Africa2020 set out to show everyone that Africa is a connected, vibrant, thriving continent in the throes of evolution. It trained the spotlight on the vitality of the continent and created opportunities for emerging talents – instigators of change – to express their hopes and fulfil their potential. “As I see it, the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Through their innovations, ideas, thoughts and creations, they are the ones who will drive change,” said N’Goné Fall.
TotalEnergies has been active in Africa for more than 90 years, operating today in 43 countries with nearly 13,000 employees. The continent has a privileged place in the Company’s history and has played a key role in its development. But beyond financial objectives, our aim is to help promote the wide variety of thriving, diverse and flourishing African cultures, and enhance their influence.
The TotalEnergies Foundation naturally chose to become a patron of Africa2020 because its social ambition intersects with its own commitments to fostering dialogue among different cultures, the emancipation of young people and promoting regional vitality in its host communities.
In spite of the complications owing to the health crisis, the Africa2020 Season lived up to expectations. 422 organizations in France and 489 in Afrique put on quality shows, performances debates and conferences, which attracted 4 million spectators. The program saw many links forged and also gave rise to a proactive momentum that will enable the Africa2020 Season to live on and continue to inspire projects in France and in Africa.