UNESCO 2005 Convention under the spotlight in capacity-building initiative, October 2012
The African Arts Institute (AFAI) is proud to announce its partnership with UNESCO, for a capacity-building initiative aimed at strengthening the African cultural sector.
In a project initiated and launched by UNESCO, a pool of thirty African experts, will attend a one-week workshop on core areas of the Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, including its implementation, operational activities and key related policy-making tools and skills. Two workshops are foreseen, one in English and one in French.
The English workshop will be implemented by the African Arts Institute (AFAI) and facilitated by its executive director, Mike van Graan. It will take place at the South Africa Centre for the Netherlands and Flanders (SASNEV) in Cape Town, South Africa, from 22 to 26 October 2012.
A French workshop will be implemented by Culture et Développement, in Dakar, Senegal, from 26 to 30 November 2012.
The Programme is supported by the UNESCO Emergency Fund as part of a Pilot Capacity-Building Programme in Africa.
Its objective is to strengthen the technical capacity of experts on the 2005 Convention, and for these experts to assure and reinforce the implementation of the Convention in African countries. This would be done by, for example, offering support to governments in the region to design and implement policies enabling the cultural and creative sector to develop and flourish.
For AFAI, this project ties in well with its 2012-2014 Cultural Leadership Training Programme, currently being implemented across five African regions.
More than 200 applications – or expressions of interest – are currently being considered for fifteen English-speaking and fifteen French-speaking experts to participate in the programme.
The workshops will entail five days of intensive training on the 2005 Convention and its implementation at national level in Africa. The participants for both workshops will be announced in early September 2012.
Africa is a strong supporter of the 2005 Convention and boasts a high ratification rate. Many countries in the region are already pursuing different initiatives aimed at translating the Convention’s articles and principles into national policies and programmes.
To assist countries in their efforts, UNESCO launched a pilot Capacity Building Programme earlier in 2012 which marks a new implementation phase for the Convention. During this phase the focus will be on international cooperation, specifically addressing the needs of developing countries and aimed at fostering the emergence of dynamic cultural sectors.
The Capacity Building Programme is part of a long-term strategic investment to provide countries with the tools, capacities and expertise they need to implement the Convention and to develop effective policies for their cultural and creative sectors. The Programme targets key areas requiring specialized methodological approaches to policy development of the cultural and creative industries and other related technical issues.
With 31 parties to the 2005 Convention, Africa has become the first focus of capacity building activities, so as to increase human and institutional capacity and to address the many demands for information, training, expert technical assistanse as well as for mentoring and coaching interventions.
It is within this framework that UNESCO has called to enlarge its pool of experts, aiming to assure and reinforce the implementation of the 2005 Convention in African countries.