The Egyptian embassy is hosting a cultural week in Lilongwe aimed at bringing the North African country closer to Malawians.
The week will see the local embassy leading in a number of cultural activities including a food festival, according to Egyptian Ambassador Maher El-Adawy.
“Every day, starting from Monday we will be having a cultural activity. Today [Tuesday] we had two public lectures as well as a cultural dance courtesy of a delegation that has come all the way from Cairo.
“We came to Luanar as it is the biggest tertiary institution in Lilongwe and it was a deliberate choice because we wanted to have an interaction with youths. We have to think of the youths in everything we are doing as they are leaders of today and the future. I am sure the public lecture by the two Egyptian professors was eye opening for the students. Again, we visited the institution because we are much interested in agriculture and Luanar is the hub of agriculture learning in the country,” he said in an interview.
The ambassador said as arts can reach places that traditional diplomacy cannot, the week has created forums from which people can learn from.
“On Wednesday there will be an art exhibition, on Thursday is Egyptian national day and we will give awards to those who participated in the Egypt in the Eyes of the Youth of Malawi. On Friday we will have the main event while on Saturday, we will be at the game complex where there will be dances, a food festival among others.
“The idea is to bring a taste of Egyptian culture to Malawi so that we can interact together. It is very important so that African countries can interact together so that we understand each other better, culturally,” stated El-Adawy.
Deputy minister of education Vincent Ghambi the public lecture gives an opportunity to ask whether culture should be valued more highly for the role it plays in building identity.
“Arts and culture can transform people’s lives in subtle or dramatic ways that politicians often struggle to achieve. Culture provides a powerful means to engage people in issues that may otherwise fail to see or choose to ignore. Investment in culture is increasingly seen as important social or economic development in Africa,” he said. n