Decentralization, the diversity of cultural expressions and local policies: a new paradigm for local development strategies in Cameroon

Research Centre for Peace, Human Rights and Development (NGO), Cameroon
IFCD funding: USD 78,560 | Timeline: March 2013 - January 2014

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About the Project

Integrating culture into local development strategies in Cameroon
The project aims to place culture at the heart of local development processes in Cameroon by raising awareness of the potential of cultural industries for social and economic development.

Representatives of local councils and cultural operators will be trained on recently adopted national and international legal instruments related to culture and development, namely Cameroon’s 2004 decentralization laws and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Institutional policy-making capacities will be strengthened to facilitate the integration of culture into local development policies. The Research Centre for Peace, Human Rights and Development (REPERID) will be working in collaboration with the ministries in charge of culture and territorial administration to ensure the pertinence and sustainability of the project.

Project leader: Research Centre for Peace, Human Rights and Development - REPERID
REPERID was established in 2003 in Cameroon as an independent, non-profit organization committed to fostering peace, human rights (especially social, economic and cultural rights) and development. It provides research, education, training and technical assistance in these areas to local and national institutions through workshops, seminars and publications. It also serves as an information and resource centre for professionals, academics and students.

Key targets

  • Human and institutional capacities of council and ministry’s authorities are strengthened. Tailor-made training material will be developed for all capacity-building activities.
  • Connections among stakeholders are created to help better understand and implement cultural policies and measures.
  • Public awareness about the opportunities that culture brings to development is raised.

Main activities

  • Organizing three training workshops and exchange sessions to better understand and implement national and international legal frameworks related to culture and development in Cameroon, namely the 2004 decentralization laws and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Diversity of Cultural Expressions for 90 staff (mayors, councilors and Secretary-Generals) of the 30 councils of the North West and West Regions of Cameroon.
  • Compiling a database of cultural actors and stakeholders in the two regions.
  • Organizing an interactive workshop for 30 cultural actors and trained staff of the councils in order to create a Network of Cultural Actors (NECA) in each council.
  • Organizing two conferences for 150 participants in order to develop a sustainability strategy aimed at linking all local NECAs to an overarching Regional Network of Cultural Actors (RENECA) for better coordination of local actors.
  • Conducting a media campaign (TV, radio, newspapers, among others) to raise public awareness on the role of culture in development processes, give visibility to the country’s cultural profile, and communicate the objectives and outcomes of the project.

How does this project contribute to the implementation of the 2005 Convention?

  • Contributes to the integration of culture in development policies at the local level for the creation of conditions conducive to sustainable development: both the capacity building of policy makers and the awareness-raising campaign are instrumental in ensuring effective policy interventions to develop competitive and dynamic local cultural industries.
  • Encourages dialogue and strengthens the institutional infrastructure in Cameroon: by identifying institutional capacity gaps, strengthening policy and decision makers’ capacities and promoting network-building among key cultural actors to implement development policies with a strong culture dimension.
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