Today, March 21, marks the end of a two-day encounter between representatives of African countries and the Brazilian government in preparation for the 2nd Conference of African and Diaspora Intellectuals (2nd CIAD).
The meeting is scheduled to take place in the northeastern Brazilian city of Salvador, Bahia, between July 12 and 14, This is the first time the conference will be held outside the African continent. The first CIAD took place in Senegal in 2004.
The international committee responsible for planning the event is presided by the Brazilian Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, and the Senegalese minister of Foreign Affairs, Cheikh Tidiane Gadio.
The organizers expect the participation of between 700 and 1 thousand intellectuals, as well as heads of State and Nobel Prize winners.
According to Minister Gil, the choice of the theme – the Diaspora and the African Rebirth – "should convey a message of struggle on behalf of a world of peace, work, and fraternity among all peoples."
The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, said he believes that the 2nd CIAD will stimulate the debate and strengthen the dialogue between intellectuals and society.
In his view, the social inequalities that still ravage African communities "require daring and active government policies that can only be conceived through a critical dialogue with intellectuals and social movements."
According to the chancellor, Brazil has never been as close to the African continent as it is now. He observed that president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has visited 17 African countries and received various African heads of State, as well as determining the opening of embassies and dispatching cooperation missions in the areas of agriculture, health, education, and culture.