Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has praised the cultural diversity of Mozambique as the country’s pride, which all citizens should value.

Speaking at the opening of the Ninth National Festival of Culture in the central city of Beira on Wednesday, Nyusi said: “We are celebrating our differences, reflected in this great orchestra called Mozambique where we all play under the baton of a single conductor: the people.

“We have come from all corners of our country, bringing the emotions and grandeur of this heroic nation. We came here avid to meet up collectively with our history which is being raised to higher levels through the arts, and the recreation of our cultural traditions.”

The festival, Nyusi said, was being held at a time of troubles caused “by the destabilizing acts of (the main opposition party) Renamo that are interfering in the normal development of our country”.

Art, he added, was “a powerful weapon to denounce and reject the atrocities and actions contrary to the collective project to promote the well-being and the strengthening of our Motherland”.

Nyusi stressed the centrality of culture in governance, as a factor of identity and a vector of integrated and sustainable development. Events such as the cultural festival not only “stimulate the preservation and divulging of rich cultural traditions, but also inculcate and cement national unity”.

He urged the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and all the artists participating in the Festival, to transform the event into an occasion for training and consolidating new talents.