Empowering contemporary creation and the creative industries

©Ada Morales – Leral Thiossane – Paris (December 2016)

In West Africa, the cultural sector is facing major challenges, including the need to promote the diversity of cultural expressions and to foster creative industries. In that respect, the UNESCO Dakar Office supports member States through the development of public policy and incentives for the production of locale contents by sub-regional cultural actors and creators.

In response to a request of Member States to pursue its normative action to defend human creativity, the UNESCO General Conference adopted the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in 2005. The convention contains measures in favor of the preservation, safeguarding and valorization of the diversity of cultural expressions. Although the text had been widely ratified by the majority of countries covered by the UNESCO Dakar Office, it suffers from a lack of effective implementation due to a shortage of funding and limited knowledge about the Convention. Thus, the Office actions within the sub-regional focuses on reinforcing public policies, which support the cultural sector; as well as on implementing projects fostering artistic freedom, digital creation or focusing on the role of women in the music industry.

Regarding public policies, the UNESCO Dakar Office supports the preparation of quadrennial periodic reports which intent to report on national policies and measures taken by stakeholders to the promote creation, production, dissemination and enjoyment of cultural goods and services. It also intent to report on the international cooperation measures and civil society’s involvement. Hence, capacity-building workshops are frequently organized.

With regard to creative economy – which represents one of the global economy’s fastest growing sectors – UNESCO provided Member States with a political and advocacy tool. The UNESCO Culture for development indicators (CDIS) is an assessment tool to measure culture’s multidimensional role in the development processes through figures and facts. This new construction methodology allowed assessing the economic weight of the cultural and creative sector within countries of the sub-region.

In an effort to highlight and support sub-regional creativity, the UNESCO Dakar Office promotes the work of the cultural sector’s stakeholders, especially women in the music industry, and is involved in improving their working conditions. The Office also endorses the local content support, particularly in the digital era; and takes part in various events in this respect, such as awards ceremonies, panel discussions, as well as local, national or international festivals such as the International Jazz Day.

Eventually, within the sub-region, UNESCO provided support for the establishment of the Category II centre CERAV/Afrique (Regional Centre for the Living Arts in Africa, in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso) and is now cooperating with it. As the first Category II Centre dedicated to the 2005 Convention, the institute aims at becoming an excellence and reference Centre for the Convention’s implementation in the sub-region.


Learn more:

03.04.2019 The DigitELLES project to train young girls in digital art in Senegal is launched (in French)

29.03.2019 Bilan du FESPACO 2019, retour sur la 26e édition du festival avec M. Lega, point focal de la Convention de 2005 (in French)

12.03.2019 UNESCO calls for more structured cultural policies promoting gender equality at the 2019 FESPACO

08.03.2019 Celebration of International Mother Language Day 2019 in Ouagadougou (in French)

27.02.2019 Action! UNESCO supports women and cinema in Africa at FESPACO

13.07.2018 Elected Representatives of Kedougou trained in Cultural Policies at the local level (in French)

28.06.2018 You like African cinema? We support it!

26.03.2018 3, 2,1…Re|Shaping cultural policies in Africa! (in French)

05.02.2018 1st edition of the World Day of African Culture and Afro-descendants: an historic meeting in Bamako (in French)

07.11.17 Parabens a Praia !!! Nef Paaogo Ouagadougou !!! – New Creative Cities of UNESCO (in French)

27.04.2017 Burkina Faso presents its second periodic report on the implementation of the 2005 Convention

31.03.2017 For a music sector more favorable to women's rights in Senegal

27.02.2017 Celebration of the International Mother Language Day in Senegal (in French)

21.02.2017 UNESCO launches the project to revitalize and conserve Timbuktu's artistic embroidery (in French)

02.02.2017 Producing and Preserving Cultural Products in the Digital Age (in French)

30.01.2017 Culture and creativity at the heart of Burkina Faso's development (in French)

22.12.2016 Official launch of the project "Equations Nomades" (available in French)

21.12.2016 For gender equality in music industry (available in French)

09.12.2016 Senegalese artists showcase their work through a video mapping installation at UNESCO HQ

06.12.2016 Video Mapping Performance at the 2005 Convention’s 10th Intergovernmental Committee

06.12.2016 Policies for creativity on the spotlight in Burkina Faso

01.12.2016 Senegal Completes its First Quadrennial Periodic Report on the 2005 Convention

04.11.2016 UNESCO and the SIAO train 30 Arts and Crafts stakeholders on the opportunities offered by e-commerce

03.05.16 The New Winner of RFI Discoveries Award Visits UNESCO 

07.03.2016 Music is also a women’s affair 

29.02.2016 Senegal is launching into the drafting of its first periodic report about the diversity of cultural expressions (available in French)

22.07.2015 10 years of the 2005 Convention: Big Francophonie Contest 

26.06.2015 Let’s build on culture: cultural and financial actors meet in Dakar 

04.06.2015 UNESCO and AFRICULTURBAN celebrate together the 10th anniversary of the 2005 Convention and FESTA2H in Dakar (available in French)

09.12.2014 Congratulations to Dakar, A Creative City! 

29.11.2014 Launch of the French edition of the Creative Economy Report in Dakar

27.11.2014 Launch of the French edition of the UN Creative Economy Report

19.11.2014 Promoting youth employment within Africa’s creative economy: the Proceedings of the ministerial meeting of Praia 

20.12.2013 The Declaration of Praia: Promoting youth employment in the creative economy in Africa

26.11.2013 Ministerial meeting to promote youth employment in the creative economy in Africa 

10.07.2013 New international fundraising campaign showcases Senegal's Keur Thiossane art project 

27.03.2013 UNESCO welcomes first edition of the Atlantic Music Expo Capo Verde

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