Freedom of expression is an integral part of the EU-Africa Partnership expressed through for instance human rights dialogue, coordinated election observation, broad societal vision, as well as through small initiatives like this Cartoon Calendar project, which underlines the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Over centuries, societies in Europe and Africa have been using drawings, illustrations and cartoons to express their desires, aspirations, creativity and sometimes their frustration. Yet another point of cultural links between Africa and Europe.
It is with this common understanding that the Delegation of the European Union to the African Union invited Cartooning for Peace to partner in designing this year’s calendar with images from African and European artists. I am very pleased to see, through this small collaboration, the common desire for Africans and Europeans to describe fundamental issues such as peace as a basis of economic development, the protection of human rights, freedom of press, healing the environment and reducing inequality.
I would like to reaffirm the EU’s commitment to recognise and support cartooning as an essential part of the right of
freedom of expression effectively being used to tell stories and trigger debates. I hope you will enjoy the creativity of this calendar not least this year, which is the African Union Year of the Arts, Culture And Heritage