By Frederick Tendeng
The mayor of Dakar and the Jamaican reggae band, Morgan Heritage, last Tuesday agreed to seal a partnership, the first act of which entails the construction of a training and production center for film making, music and dance, among other cultural activities to be hosted. Following a meeting attended by some city councillors and four members of the reggae band, Peter Morgan, a senior member of reggae group, said “the ambition to develop this project in Dakar is due to the potential that has been found here. Peter Morgan added that his group has already prepared “whole plan” for the future center. He added the mayor of Dakar will play a key role in the implementation of the said plan that requires a site of five hectares. Tuesday’s agreement clearly indicates that the center facilities should begin to stand within six months. “This availability is very encouraging. We are pleased to know that we can work with your office within six months time to achieve our project,” said Peter Morgan. “This demonstrates that it is possible to develop a true partnership between the Diaspora and the African continent. For us, Dakar will be an example in this area,” he added. The Mayor of Dakar, Ababacar Khalifa Sall, said “the City Council’s ambition is to raise Dakar as the capital of African music. We need you to accompany us in this ambition. So we are open to any proposal that transforms Dakar into a cultural platform.”
Mayor Sall further disclosed that the proposal of Morgan Heritage is meeting a “great concern” of the Senegalese capital city. “We decided to develop a true culture industry,” he added. ”Since you are here, we will activate the public-private sectors to ensure that the project start within six months. We do not theorise”.
Mr. Sall also assured that Senegal will take advantage of its membership in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) to structure and extend the tentacles of the center to other countries.
The Morgan Heritage reggae band was invited as guest star of the first edition of the Ribidion Festival held in Dakar. It is a series of cultural and sports activities organized in the Senegalese capital city to liven up the New Year holiday. Mayor Sall expressed pride at hosting Morgan Heritage reggae band in his city as, according to him, “Morgan Heritage not only reflects good music but also the promotion of black culture, to show that Africans have the means to develop and emancipate. Africans need to believe the message carried in your songs and actions.”
”You make it always clear to Africans that emancipation of Africa begins first at home. This battle must be magnified” the Mayor concluded.
By Frederick Tendeng