24.02.2014 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Roundtable in Dakar: The role of culture in development

© UNESCO/Tine Ismael

On 19 February 2014, UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar organized a roundtable to which cultural actors and entrepreneurs, as well as technical and financial partners, were invited to exchange thoughts on culture and development in view of the post-2015 agenda.

This meeting was attended by the Director of Cultural Heritage of Senegal, the Director of the Archaeology Laboratory, representatives of UN agencies in Senegal, and the Director of the Spanish international cooperation, among others.

"It is high time that culture be integrated in development agendas in a formalized manner," said Ann Therese Ndong Jatta, Director of UNESCO Dakar.

Greater recognition

The important role of culture for sustainable development has long been ignored by development policies. Since 2000, however, the situation has changed. As reminded by the Director, the recognition of the link between culture and sustainable development is manifested through significant events and initiatives.

"I think in particular of the 18 programmes implemented worldwide under the theme of Culture and Development and financed by the Fund for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG-F),” she added.

Indeed, the round table was also an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of these 18 joint programmes, which were funded by the Government of Spain. In this context, the representative of Spain, Mr. Rafael Garcia, briefly presented his country’s development policy in the cultural sector.

The Director of Cultural Heritage of Senegal, Mr. Hamady Bocoum, also shared his experience gained especially in one of these 18 programmes that was implemented in Senegal since 2009.

Some perspectives

Participants reflected on how to build on the achievements, do more and better for the future. The experience of the MDG-F projects allowed participants to stress the need to focus more on the sustainability of development projects in culture, as well as capacity building and advocacy.

To support further reflection, UNESCO aims, inter alia, to provide spaces for sharing these experiences and skills, highlight success stories, improve practices based on lessons learned, and build a body of knowledge on the theme "Culture and Development".

The meeting was closed by the inauguration of the photo exhibition "Cultural Landscapes" celebrating the recent inclusion of the Saloum Delta and Bassari Country on the World Heritage List - two inscriptions made ​​possible by the MDG-F project implemented in Senegal.

For more information on the theme “Culture and Development” and the post 2015 agenda: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002238/223827m.pdf

View the video "Let's put culture on the agenda now” with Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Helen Clark, Administrator of the UNDP: https://en.unesco.org/videos/lets-put-culture-agenda-now

Learn more about the role of culture in development: http://en.unesco.org/post2015/power-culture-development and the MDG-F Culture and Development: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/achieving-the-millennium-development-goals/mdg-f-culture-and-development/

Discover the MDG-F project in Senegal http://www.unesco.org/new/en/dakar/culture/mdg-f-project-on-cultural-development-in-senegal/

Read the success stories on the integration of culture in development http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/achieving-the-millennium-development-goals/success-stories/

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