Congress

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Videos of the 6th IFCCD Congress

The 6th IFCCD Congress was held in Lomé, Togo, from October 9 to 11, 2019.

It was divided into a pan-African conference and a general assembly of the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), and brought together 85 participants from 28 countries, including 16 African countries, for three days.

The speakers presented their actions and discussed pan-African and international issues in seven panels, each of which was the subject of an online summary.

Read the reports

 

Panel videos can be viewed online:

Opening Day 1 

 

 

 

 

Panel 1 : The implementation of the 2005 Convention in the African region

>>> Read the article : The implementation of the 2005 Convention in the African region

 

 

Panel 2 : Public policies for culture

>>> Read the article : Public policies for culture

 

 

 

Panel 3 : Civil society participation in public policy development

>>> Read the article : Civil society participation in public policy development

 

 

 

Panel 4 : Addressing the major challenges for the diversity of cultural expressions

>>> Read the article : Addressing the major challenges for the diversity of cultural expressions

 

 

Opening Day 2

 

 

 

 

Panel 5 : Civil society challenges elsewhere in the world

>>> Read the article : Civil society challenges elsewhere in the world

 

 

 

Panels 6 and 7 : The challenges for cultural diversity on the Internet / Facing the challenges of the future through innovation

>>> Read the article : The new realities of the globalized market for the dissemination of digital cultural content and the challenges for cultural diversity on the Internet

>>> Read the article : Facing the challenges of the future through innovation

 

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the National Commission of the Francophonie in Togo.

 

 

Facing the challenges of the future through innovation

The last panel of the Regional Conference “Pan-African Perspectives for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” (9 and 10 October 2019) focused on innovative civil society initiatives to meet the challenges of the future. It brought together Brenda Uphopho (Women in the Arts) and Violet Maila (Music in Africa).

  • Brenda Uphopho presented the Women in the Arts Festival, a group of the same name that she co-founded in 2015. The first edition of the festival took place from November 15 to 17, 2018.

Women in the arts (WIA) is a collective of women who work in the creative industries of fashion, theatre, literature, film, music, dance, and who share common ideas. The group met for the first time in March 2015 at the Lagos Theatre Festival in Nigeria, and the number of its members has grown to more than 250 women.

The WIA Festival presents women’s performances, conferences, networking activities aimed at increasing women’s participation and financial empowerment in the cultural sector. The WIA festival focuses on networking, artistic performance and discussions. It takes place in the context of the Lagos Fringe (next edition from 19 to 24 November 2019), which gives it a showcase. One of its main objectives is to change the perspectives for women.

Brenda Uphopho explained that government funding was very insufficient and that a lot of time had to be spent seeking private funds to carry out cultural projects. She deplored difficult economic conditions but also a major corruption problem in Nigeria. She explained that in the 1990s and 2000s, young people, especially women, had to learn on the job. There was no mentoring for young girls, no training. It is in this context that Nollywood has developed, a film industry that is now self-financing.

One of the objectives of the WIA collective is precisely to create a mentoring system to strengthen women’s capacities. The first edition of the festival provided an opportunity to organize advocacy activities against gender-based violence and the various forms of harassment to which women are subjected. Brenda Uphopho explained that the regulations on sexual harassment have been updated in Lagos but that there is still a lot of work to be done on this issue. The festival also focused on women’s participation in the electoral process, particularly in villages. Several sketches and performances were presented on the gender issue. These sketches will be translated in November 2019 and there will be a comic strip adaptation.  There is also a comic book project planned for November 2019.

Presentation by Mrs Uphopho

  • Violet Maila then spoke about Music in Africa, a web portal for information and exchange dedicated to the African music sector.

Music In Africa is a non-profit initiative that aims to support the African music sector by promoting knowledge exchange and creating opportunities and capacities for those who work in the sector. The Music In Africa portal is owned and managed by the Music In Africa Foundation, established in 2013 and headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. Thanks to its network of contributors, the platform offers a unique range of useful and quality content on the sector. Music in Africa allows artists, creators, music professionals, fans, etc. to

  1. Deepen your knowledge of the African music scene;
  2. Discover and listen to the music of the continent;
  3. Find actors of the music scene in Africa;
  4. Create a profile and promote your work;
  5. Exchange information about the African music scene with other users;
  6. Access self-help aids and tools;
  7. Contribute to a complete and reliable source of information.

Violet Maila also spoke about other projects carried out by the Music in Africa Foundation through partnerships: the EPK platform, for artists who wish to perform at the Sauti za Busara festival in Zanzibar, or the Music in Africa conference for collaborations, exchanges and showcases (ACCESS), which is held in a different African city each year and allows artists to show their work beyond their country.

Like other speakers, Violet Maila stressed the importance of data collection and sharing. She also stressed the need to create partnerships on the continent and to speak collectively. She finally explained that, even if the case of South Africa is unique in Africa, with a State that plays a real role as a cultural promoter, it is essential for African civil society to highlight the importance of its work and to mobilize to have policies adopted to support culture.

Presentation by Mrs Maila

 

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the National Commission of the Francophonie in Togo.

 

 

The new realities of the globalized market for the dissemination of digital cultural content and the challenges for cultural diversity on the Internet

As part of the Regional Conference “Pan-African Perspectives for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” (October 9 and 10, 2019), Destiny Tchéhouali, Professor in the Department of Communications at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), presented at a conference the realities of the dissemination of digital cultural content and the challenges for cultural diversity on the Internet.

The exchange of cultural goods and services has increased with the advent of digital technologies. Their rapid development has significantly changed the way cultural goods and services are accessed and consumed around the world. Several studies have examined the subject over the past five years (2018 report on the state of the digital Francophonie, study “Towards a diversified network culture”, UNESCO report on digital technology, etc.) but too few of them focus on Africa. There are very few indicators and data on consumption and usage in ACP countries (Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean) for online cultural content. In its Study on the economic and artistic challenges and benefits of the online dissemination and distribution of ACP cultural content (European Commission, 2016-2017), Destiny Tchéhouali noted significant disparities between the countries of the North and the South in terms of the dissemination and distribution of digital cultural content. Platforms have made it possible to widen access to certain cultural content, they are increasingly positioning themselves in local markets, but they control, influence and guide our choices. There is a form of dictatorship of algorithms: “If it is free, you are the product”.

The digital divide between the world’s regions can lead to a cultural divide. Today, 4 billion people still live without the Internet, 60% of them in Africa. Destiny Tchéhouali mentioned several challenges for the diversity of online cultural expressions in the region:

  1. Policy and regulatory challenges. The cultural policies of the ACP countries are not adapted. Policies to support cultural industries focus on supply and not demand. These policies should take into account considerations on the distribution and distribution of digital content;
  2. Technological challenges. There is often a lack of infrastructure and a lack of an overall strategy to develop access to online content;
  3. The lack of professionalism in the cultural sector

Destiny Tchéhouali also mentioned the challenges of accessibility and discoverability of local and national content, which concern all regions of the world. Digital innovation actors are trying to impose their leadership on traditional cultural actors. There is a gap between the logic of recommending cultural content and the effective presence, accessibility and discoverability of our content on the Web. Instead of promoting the diversity of online cultural expressions, algorithms tend to impose their dictatorship and lock us into tastes. Consideration must be given to a way to regulate GAFAs, as is being done by the European Union, which has adopted directives to this effect. The challenge is also to innovate at the local level. Several platforms have already emerged in Africa: Afrostream, for example, which has been very successful for three years, or Musik Bi, an innovative platform in Senegal. In the future, efforts could focus on the development of shared alternative platforms.

Presentation by Mr Tchéhouali (in French)

 

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the National Commission of the Francophonie in Togo.

 

 

Civil society challenges elsewhere in the world: discussion with representatives of coalitions for cultural diversity

The second day of the Regional Conference “Pan-African Perspectives for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” (9 and 10 October 2019) began with a round table discussion on the challenges faced by civil society outside Africa. It brought together several representatives of coalitions for cultural diversity: Guillaume Prieur (French Coalition), Jérôme Payette (Canadian Coalition), Alejandra Diaz (Paraguayan Coalition), Ray Argall (Australian Coalition).

At the European level, coalitions have been mobilized by the issue of the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital environment with several European directives:

  1. The Copyright Directive, including a section on value transfer and a second section on the transparency triangle;
  2. The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).

The objective of these directives is to regulate digital platforms in favour of creation, to integrate them into the creative economy. The next step, which will be crucial, is the transposition of directives in the Member States. In the future, beyond the regulations obtained, it is also necessary to move towards a regulation of algorithms and artificial intelligence, the objective being to prevent a standardization of cultural creation.

In Canada, the CDCE focuses on two main issues: maintaining the cultural exemption in free trade agreements (obtained during the renegotiation of NAFTA, renamed ACEUM) and the application of Canadian cultural policies in the digital environment. The CDCE produced a brief in January 2019 as part of the review of Canada’s Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts. There was also significant involvement of CDCE members in the campaign for the October 21, 2019 federal election. The CDCE has also closely followed what has happened in Europe regarding copyright and the AVMS Directive. The CDCE regularly works with researchers, academics, the UNESCO Chair, UQAM. There is a willingness to develop work with the research community on the impacts of artificial intelligence on culture.

At the Paraguayan level, the priority is to reorganize and strengthen the space of confluence between the different artistic sectors. With the new National Secretariat for Culture, there have been changes. In particular, a round table for the performing arts was organised for the first time. Others followed for music, theatre, books, and there is a national cultural plan that is beginning to be discussed. From a broader perspective, South America is facing the wave of the orange economy. Neoliberalism dominates and the economic policies of the countries are similar, with significant budget cuts for culture. The former coalitions of Argentina and Brazil have been weakened by the general dismantling of cultural resources and plans. In Chile, the Chilean coalition succeeded in getting a law passed that ratifies the celebration of the Day of Cultural Diversity on October 20. The Chilean coalition is also working on the preparation of a workshop for officials from the various ministries of the Chilean government to raise awareness of aspects of the 2005 Convention.

There are many organisations very active in the region but it faces significant political challenges and the issue of human rights is a major problem in some countries. China has become a global giant, like the United States, and it is a threat to the diversity of cultural expressions, especially for the smallest territories in the region. The Australian coalition has exchanges with New Zealand and South Korea, including copyright and royalty collection. The defence of copyright is a priority issue for the Australian coalition, which is also interested in the presence and enhancement of local content online, but also in the contribution of platforms and the telecommunications sector to the financing of artistic creation. Among the actions that mobilized civil society, Ray Argall mentioned the “Why make it Australian” campaign to defend the Australian audiovisual industry.

 

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the National Commission of the Francophonie in Togo.

 

 

Addressing the major challenges for the diversity of cultural expressions

The fourth panel of the Regional Conference “Pan-African Perspectives for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” (October 9 and 10, 2019) focused on the current and future challenges for the diversity of cultural expressions. It brought together Samuel Sangwa (CISAC), Ivana Otasevic (UNESCO Chair on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions), Edith Katiji (Zimbabwe Musicians’ Union), Luc Yatchokeu (REPAC).

He first recalled the role of copyright collecting societies in remunerating and recognizing creators, and then presented CISAC and its work in Africa. With 37 copyright societies in 31 countries, CISAC is present throughout the continent, from Algeria to South Africa and Togo. CISAC produces an annual global collection report each year. In 2017, out of €9 billion raised worldwide, Africa’s share was only 75 million, or 0.8% of the total. Samuel Sangwa deplored the fact that African creators are not remunerated at the level of the exploitation of their works. He listed the major challenges to the growth of clinics in Africa:

  1. The resistance of users: lack of knowledge of copyright, deliberate refusal of the principle of payment of the fee;
  2. The operational efficiency of collective management organizations: licensing of users, territorial networking, management of digital exploitation rights;
  3. The obsolete, inadequate or inadequate legislative frameworks.

He also pointed out that only eight African countries are now able to collect the private copying levy. Samuel Sangwa then listed the challenges and priority campaigns for CISAC:

  1. The transfer of value on platforms;
  2. The resale right for creators of artistic works (visual arts and crafts);
  3. The right to fair remuneration for authors of audiovisual works

He presented the “Copyright Friendly” label, launched in Cape Verde, which can be awarded to festivals, organizations and events that respect copyright. Finally, he argued that the notion of copyright has always been part of African culture and called for respect for the rights of creators, in Africa as elsewhere in the world.

Presentation by Mr Sangwa (in French)

  • In a second presentation, Ivana Otasevic, coordinator of the UNESCO Chair on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, presented the Guide on Cultural Clauses in Trade Agreements, by Véronique Guèvremont (Chairholder) and Ivan Bernier (Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Law of Laval University).

The Chair’s guide meets several objectives:

  1. Raise awareness among States about the possible implications of trade negotiations for the culture sector;
  2. Assist States in developing their capacities so that they can choose the appropriate cultural clauses to preserve their sovereign right to intervene in favour of culture;
  3. Present the best practices that have been developed by some States over the past 15 years;
  4. Inspire new initiatives to protect and promote cultural diversity in trade agreements (particularly in the area of digital trade).

This guide offers an approach inspired by State practice. It is based on a comparative study of 99 free trade agreements concluded since the adoption of the 2005 Convention. The Chair identified the most relevant cultural clauses in these agreements and made recommendations. The guide is structured in four steps. First, it invites States (and civil society organizations that use the guide to lobby their States) to become familiar with their own cultural sector, to understand the mechanisms of free trade and their potential impact on the cultural sector, and to develop a knowledge of existing cultural clauses and trade instruments. In a second step, the guide makes recommendations concerning the preparation for the negotiation of a new trade agreement containing cultural clauses. Thirdly, it gives indications on the main chapters of the agreement for the incorporation of cultural clauses. It highlights the importance of defining exactly what we want to protect and paying particular attention to electronic commerce. The last step of the guide concerns the monitoring of the negotiated free trade agreement and the implementation of cultural clauses.

Presentation by Mrs Otasevic (in French)

  • Édith Katiji, President of the Zimbabwe Musicians’ Union, then addressed a third major challenge for the diversity of cultural expressions: that of women’s participation and conditions in the cultural sector.

Three main things affect women in the cultural spheres:

  1. The defined, imposed and expected roles of women;
  2. A work environment that is often dangerous for them;
  3. Their exclusion from participation in the cultural economy.

Édith Katiji was a member of an all-women music group that performed throughout Zimbabwe. She noted many prejudices about their performance. Some expected them to play one type of music and not another, reserved for men, others had similar expectations regarding the lyrics. There were also prejudices related to their presence on stage, many expected them to dance in a way that was considered “feminine”.

Edith Katiji then referred to the many cases of women facing all kinds of abuse – emotional, physical, sexual – in the workplace. She deplored cases of discrimination, sexist attitudes and general contempt that discourage women from continuing to work in the cultural sector. Women are easily victims of sexist behaviour and even sexual exploitation. Sexual favours may be required from artists in exchange for a promotion or exhibition of their work. The cultural and creative industries are most often led by men and most decisions are therefore made exclusively by them. This creates a situation where women are excluded from any advantageous decisions.

Moreover, much of the exclusion of women does not occur in the open. Men may decide that female interpreters have no place in a particular event. In other cases, they consider that the type of audience expected is not suitable for a female performer. Some male promoters may also consider that the type of music played by a woman is unsuitable for certain audiences. Faced with these obstacles, women often turn to private organizations to perform. But there is little public attention paid to private events and women are therefore most often excluded from the media space. Without this media coverage, they are less visible and earn less. Some use social media to promote themselves, but this does not have the same impact because traditional media are still dominant on the continent (in Zimbabwe, radio is the first broadcasting channel).

Edith Katiji concluded her presentation by calling on African societies to review their history and consider how to achieve gender balance in the cultural sector and in all spheres of society.

Presentation by Mrs Katiji

  • Luc Yatchokeu, coordinator of the Regroupement des Professionnels des Arts et Culture d’Afrique Centrale (REPAC), presented the Art Connect Africa project.

A platform for cultural cooperation and exchange, Art Connect Africa (www.artconnectafrica.com) was designed to encourage and develop cultural relations between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. At the origin of the project, there is a desire on the part of cultural actors in North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa to get closer and strengthen exchanges between the two regions. Cultural actors are concerned to present through the arts a united Africa, which a few years ago appeared as two different continents.

The platform brings together several different actors: artists, professionals, festivals, professional organizations, places of cultural expression, media, cultural institutions. It concerns all artistic disciplines: music, performing arts, visual arts, sculpture, literature, cinema, architecture. Luc Yatchokeu reviewed how the project was developed with, on the one hand, the creation of a digital platform (website and application), and, on the other hand, the establishment and animation of a pan-African programme to support cooperation and exchange initiatives.

The expected results are diverse: building an artistic community, sharing information on ongoing collaborations and opportunities, supporting projects, producing statistics, strengthening cooperation and exchanges, exploring new markets.

Presentation by Mr Yatchokeu (in French)

 

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the National Commission of the Francophonie in Togo.

 

 

Civil society participation in public policy development

The third panel of the Regional Conference “Pan-African Perspectives for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” (9 and 10 October 2019) focused on the participation of civil society in the development of public policies in Africa. It brought together Annie Ngo Njock Njock Njock (CODEC), Mohamed Diakité (Malian Coalition for Cultural Diversity), Josh Nyapimbi (Nhimbe Trust), Malik Chaoui (GTPCA), Daves Guzha (Arterial Network).

Their analysis was based on a questionnaire submitted in both countries to civil society cultural organizations. On the basis of the replies to this questionnaire, some meetings, and a review of existing documentation on this subject (in particular, in Mali, the framework document defining the country’s cultural policy), Annie Ngo Njock Njock and Mohamed Diakité showed that, in both countries, there is a real involvement of civil society in the adoption of cultural policies. However, this involvement is still low and could be much higher. There are many expectations on the part of civil society actors towards the government for better consideration of their concerns and better involvement in public policy making processes. There is a general impression that initiatives in favour of culture most often remain at the level of actors, locally, but that they have difficulty accessing the political level.

– In Mali, cultural policy is multiannual and the Ministry of Culture opted for a participatory approach. The contribution of cultural actors has been taken into account. However, some actors are more involved than others.

– In Cameroon, there is a special allocation account to support the arts and culture sector, but this remains insufficient (out of a budget of 4 billion CFA francs for culture, only 1 billion goes to artists and professionals in the sector). There are also laws, implementing decrees, copyright collective societies, but the latter often have funding and management problems. 

Presentation by Mrs Ngo Njock Njock and Mr Diakité (in French)

  • Josh Nyapimbi, Director General of the Nhimbe Trust, then shared his experience and thoughts on the drafting of the quadrennial periodic reports on the implementation of UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

It is not always easy to implement the 2005 Convention in some countries; nor is it easy to report on what has been implemented. This was explained by Josh Nyapimbi in his presentation, which focused on the challenges of writing the quadrennial reports provided by countries. Several difficulties are to be noted:

  1. There is a governance problem in some countries with a lack of civil society trust in governments and vice versa. There is also a division between Western and non-Western countries, both politically and economically. The money available to African civil society often comes from external aid, which is not the case in other parts of the world.
  2. It is difficult to assess the exchange of cultural goods and services in the absence of data. Data is the new global gold and is increasingly being privatized. In the absence of publicly available data, it will no longer be possible to have a realistic picture of what is happening in the field.
  3. The integration of culture into sustainable development objectives is an important issue. The challenge of climate change is central, but not all members of civil society have the same priorities in this area. Again, there are differences between regions.
  4. The promotion of human rights and freedoms is also a major challenge. We must account for what is happening in terms of artistic freedom. But this is not always easy because critical issues are censored by states.

Josh Nyapimbi said he was in favour of a “shadow report”. He explained that the reports submitted to UNESCO are far from reflecting reality and that it would therefore be essential to have a report on what is actually happening in the countries.

*In the Lomé Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, participants at the regional conference, and in particular organizations from countries of the South, called for the need to prepare alternative reports.

Almost sixty years after its independence, Algeria still does not have a cultural policy. The members of the GTPCA decided to fill this gap by drafting a policy themselves. Taking into consideration all the dimensions related to the cultural sector, some 100 artists, writers, cultural activists, journalists and students undertook a consultation process in 2011, which led to the publication in 2013 of a “Cultural Policy for Algeria”, published online on the GTPCA website. Consisting of clear principles and concrete recommendations, this e-participatory project aims to provide Algeria with a policy that will allow the development of the arts and culture.

Malik Chaoui also mentioned other activities of the GTPCA:

  1. Six training workshops that were organized to strengthen the capacities and skills of cultural actors;
  2. The next Forum on Culture, which will make it possible to make a precise assessment of the Algerian cultural sector and will give rise to a report by the GTPCA;
  3. The creation of a cultural map of Algeria (www.culturemap-dz.org) launched in 2015 to identify the places, links and resources available, promote local talents, enable networking of actors and facilitate their mobility. The database of this platform is continuously updated and each person can register and share information freely.

Malik Chaoui then spoke about the cultural context in Algeria. The culture budget fell by 8% between 2017 and 2018, from the equivalent of $145 million in 2017 to $132.7 million in 2018. The sector has lost 70% of its public funding in recent years. The 2005 Convention was not ratified until 2015. Since February 2019, the country has experienced major demonstrations against corruption. There is a real call for cultural renewal and a willingness to have a new cultural policy.

Presentation by Mr Chaoui (in French)

  • Daves Guzha, President of Arterial Network, presented Arterial’s experience with the African Union and the case of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

An Action Plan on Cultural and Creative Industries in Africa was adopted in Dakar in 1992 and updated in 2008. In October 2018, Arterial Network was approached by the African Union to update this action plan for the creative industries. The objective is to align this action plan with the challenges of the 21st century (copyright, digital issues, etc.). This plan is supposed to be a roadmap for civil society, but Daves Guzha found that of all the organizations present at the Congress, only two have heard of its existence. In January 2019, many requests were sent to individual African countries for data; most countries provided these data but others never responded. This roadmap will define priorities for the next ten years and Daves Guzha deplored the lack of response from some countries. From November 6 to 9, 2019, the Arterial Network team will meet to finalize this action plan. The document will then be shared with all governments and submitted for adoption in February 2020, at the 13th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Daves Guzha explained that this plan was developed by cultural professionals who conducted a broad analysis. He welcomed the fact that, for the first time, Arterial Network had succeeded in establishing a link between civil society and the African Union.

Daves Guzha then spoke about the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) that was negotiated by the African Union. It entered into force in May 2019 and defines the African Continental Free Trade Area. Two months ago, artists and creators met in Kigali. There is a willingness on the part of some groups to accelerate the implementation of the agreement in relation to the technology and creativity sectors. Arterial Network will launch a call in the coming weeks to analyse the trade agreement. In each region (five in total) an expert will examine the clauses of the agreement and the issues it raises. When asked about the cultural exemption clauses and the scope of the agreement on the diversity of cultural expressions, Daves Guzha said he would share information and contextualization with the IFCCD secretariat.

Arterial Network is also working with the African Union on Africa Day on May 20. Several artists will be invited by Arterial and the African Union on this occasion. Daves Guzha also presented Artwatch Africa, another Arterial Network project that will be launched on November 25, 2019. This is a new approach that aims to encourage dialogue between artists and with those who develop cultural policies.

 

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the National Commission of the Francophonie in Togo.

 

 

Public policies for culture

The second panel of the Regional Conference “Pan-African Perspectives for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” (9 and 10 October 2019) focused on African public policies in favour of culture. Invited for this panel were Donikpo Kone (UEMOA), and Komi N’kegbe Foga Tublu (CELTHO – UNA).

Created on 10 January 1994 in Dakar, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA, from its name in French) brings together eight African States: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The UEMOA cultural sector mobilizes a large part of the regional population but still makes a small contribution to the economy of the area. Several reasons explain this paradox: the predominance of the informal sector, the lack of professionalism in the sector, the absence of verifiable indicators to measure the social and economic impact of culture, the scarcity of financial resources. Donikpo Kone also pointed out the lack of leadership for the sector and the lack of promotion for cultural resources.

UEMOA adopted a common cultural development policy in October 2013 and a Regional Cultural Development Programme (PRDC-UEMOA) in September 2014. The overall objective of this programme is to contribute to the enhancement of culture as a source of wealth creation and influence for UEMOA. Specifically, the PDC-UEMOA aims to develop a structured and attractive regional market for cultural goods and services and to improve the visibility of UEMOA’s cultural expressions. The expected results are as follows:

  1. Better protection of literary and artistic property;
  2. Cultural enterprises that provide jobs and generate income;
  3. A structured and productive regional market for cultural goods and services;
  4. A better circulation of cultural actors, goods and services within the Union;
  5. Cultural goods and services labelled and further promoted in the sub-region and at the international level;
  6. The inclusion of culture in national development strategies;
  7. A cultural information system is operational.

Regarding the promotion of cultural diversity, Donikpo Kone stressed UEMOA’s involvement in the drafting of regulations and support for cultural and artistic events. He also mentioned the establishment of a regional information system on culture (SIRC) and the development of a mechanism to promote cultural enterprises. Asked about the presence and visibility of the diversity of cultural expressions online, he explained that the SIRC platform would promote the visibility of cultural content but that it implied a responsibility on the part of countries to share information and data. Regarding the high cost of the Internet in WAEMU countries, he indicated that several departments of the organization are currently working on this issue.

Presentation by Mr Kone (in French)

He explained that the African Union does not have its own cultural policy but that it has provided itself with tools and institutions. Among these tools, the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance was adopted in 2006, and its ratification is ongoing. Komi N’kegbe Foga Tublu deplored the slowness of the ratification process but announced that the quota had just been reached for the Charter to officially enter into force. He also mentioned Agenda 2063, a strategic framework for achieving Africa’s objective of inclusive and sustainable development, which has a cultural heritage, creative arts and enterprise component. The African Union has also set up various bodies and institutions: a culture division in Addis Ababa, CELHTO in Niamey, the African Academy of Languages in Bamako. CELHTO’s main objective is to contribute to the continent’s cultural influence, to support the development of cultural industries in Africa and to support civil society approaches. CELHTO develops several programs:

  1. A scanning program;
  2. A collection program;
  3. A program of research and valorisation of results;
  4. A support programme for cultural civil society: capacity building, support for cultural encounters, support for the mobility of artists.

 

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the National Commission of the Francophonie in Togo.

 

 

The implementation of the 2005 Convention in the African region

The first panel of the Regional Conference “Pan-African Perspectives for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” (October 9 and 10, 2019) focused on the implementation of the 2005 Convention in the African region. It brought together Michel Saba (CERAV), Marie Isabelle Ba (OIF) and Kodjo Cyriaque Noussouglo (Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, IFCCD).

  • Michel Saba, General Delegate of the Regional Centre for the Living Arts in Africa (CERAV), presented the bodies of CERAV/Africa and its various missions in relation to the 2005 Convention.

Nearly fifteen African States benefit from the support of CERAV, which aims in particular to support the implementation of the 2005 Convention. Michel Saba highlighted the essential role of national coalitions in the ratification processes (46 African States have ratified the Convention to date) and their mobilization in the implementation of policies promoting the diversity of cultural expressions. At CERAV level, a first regional workshop on the 2005 Convention was held in Niamey in August 2017. The organization is also involved in the production of quadrennial reports that report on what is being done at the country level to meet the commitments made under the Convention. Michel Saba returned to the difficulties encountered in translating the Convention into public policies and the importance of civil society expertise. He called for better organisation and more dialogue between stakeholders. In the coming years, CERAV plans to develop a resource centre on the 2005 Convention and to set up a digital platform for exchange between civil society organisations. Several events will also be organized around the Convention: celebration of the World Day for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, organization of workshops to share experiences, organization of a symposium on the mobility of artists.

  • Marie Isabelle Ba, attached to the “Language Policies and Cultural Development Strategies” programme of the “French Language, Culture and Diversity” Department of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), then returned to the role of the OIF in the adoption of the 2005 Convention and its implementation today.

After a presentation of OIF’s areas of intervention and priorities (setting up exchanges, supporting States, structuring civil society, etc.), Marie Isabelle Ba detailed the seven points of OIF’s contribution to the implementation of the 2005 Convention in the African region:

  1. Strengthening public policies (launch in 2010 of a pilot project to support cultural policies and industries);
  2. Measures to support the creation of and access to culture (worldwide network of CLAC reading and cultural activities centres);
  3. Participation of civil society;
  4. Integration of culture into sustainable development;
  5. Cooperation for development (MASA, Prix des 5 continents, Fonds de soutien à la circulation du spectacle vivant et des arts visuels, “En scène ! “, ” Limited Edition ” and ” Images ” programs, FESPACO in Ouagadougou, Vues d’Afrique in Montreal);
  6. Exchange, analysis and dissemination of information (mapping of cultural enterprises and industries);
  7. International consultation and coordination (complementarity with other actors in international cooperation: WIPO, UNESCO, Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, WAEMU, ACP).

When asked about the selection criteria for projects financed by OIF, Marie Isabelle Ba explained that they were chosen according to their objectives and sustainability. Four African countries were assisted in 2010 and four others are currently being assisted.

Presentation by Mrs Ba (in French)

  • The third speaker on the panel, Kodjo Cyriaque Noussouglo, President of the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity and Vice-President of the IFCCD, presented the concerns of African civil society regarding the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions on the continent.

Kodjo Cyriaque Noussouglo began his speech with the following observation: despite the dynamism and abundance of cultural activities in Africa, the majority of cultural actors have the impression that nothing is being done. The cultural sector is dominated, protection and promotion measures are lacking and there are significant problems in terms of economic and human resources. Calling for a rapid improvement of the legal and institutional environment, he explained that sectoral funds for culture do not solve the problems related to structural challenges: the challenge of cultural decentralization, the challenge of financing, the challenge of capacity building, the challenge of measuring and the challenge of raising awareness of the issues surrounding the diversity of cultural expressions. Kodjo Cyriaque Noussouglo then went back over the different chapters of the 2005 Convention. He stressed that the Convention recognizes the important contribution of artists and stressed that States must respect their commitments, ensure that the diversity of cultural expressions is valued and protected and enable artists to live better from their art. When asked about the structuring of cultural industries in Africa and their capacity to create wealth, he confirmed the existence of developed and dynamic cultural sectors, books, visual arts, music, cinema, but deplored a lack of investment in innovative policies to support these industries and enable them to participate more broadly in the countries’ economies.*

*For data on the contribution of the cultural and creative sectors to the world economy by sector and region, see the study “Cultural Times: The first Global Map of Cultural and Creative Industries”.

 

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the National Commission of the Francophonie in Togo.

 

 

6th IFCCD Congress: Election of a new Board of Directors and new officers

At the 6th Congress of the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), IFCCD members elected a new Board of Directors for the next four years. These newly elected representatives then appointed the new IFCCD officers.

The composition of the IFCCD Board of Directors is as follows:

  • Beat Santschi, President
  • Mane Nett, Vice President, Americas
  • Kodjo Cyriaque Noussouglo, Vice President, Africa
  • Ray Argall, Vice President, Asia Pacific
  • Mahamadou Adamou, Treasurer
  • Guillaume Prieur, Secretary
  • Holly Aylett, Administrator

The IFCCD management team is completed by Nathalie Guay, Secretary General.

At the General Assembly, delegates identified priorities and discussed action plans for the coming years. The IFCCD will work over the next three years on trade agreements, the diversity of online cultural expressions, the mobility of artists and data on the diversity of cultural expressions. It will also mobilize to renew interest in the 2005 Convention and will continue to monitor the Convention by ensuring the participation of civil society.

The next IFCCD Congress will be held in 2022-2023. The place and date will be announced in 2021.

6th IFCCD Congress: A look back at the regional conference

The 6th IFCCD Congress was held in Lomé, Togo, from 9 to 11 October 2019. It was divided into a pan-African conference and a general assembly of the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), and brought together 85 participants from 28 countries, including 16 African countries, for three days.

The congress was launched on October 9 by Kodjo Cyriaque Noussouglo, President of the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity and Vice-President of the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), who opened the regional conference “Pan-African Perspectives for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions”. Eric Adja, Director of the West Africa Regional Office (WARO) of the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF), and Donikpo Kone, Head of Cultural Affairs at the Culture Directorate of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) Commission, then made a speech before giving the floor to Philippe Alarie, attaché for educational and cultural affairs at the Délégation générale du Québec in Dakar, who closed the opening ceremony with a welcoming address to participants.

The first panels of the conference were moderated by Kangni Alemdjrodo, writer, university professor and representative of the Togolese Head of State on the Permanent Council of La Francophonie (CPF), who addressed representatives of the various institutions on their programmes to promote the diversity of cultural expressions. The second day of the conference was opened by Togo’s Minister of Culture, Tourism and Recreation, Mr Kossivi Egbetonyo, who reaffirmed the Togolese government’s support for the organisation of the Congress.

The speakers presented their actions and discussed pan-African and international issues in seven panels, each of which was the subject of an online summary:

 

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the National Commission of the Francophonie in Togo.

 

 

Congress Participation Grants: Call for applications

The International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD) offers a limited number of grants to attend the IFCCD Congress.

Two categories of grants are available:

  • One grant to attend the regional conference (October 9 and 10);
  • One grant to attend the IFCCD Regional Conference and General Assembly (October 9, 10 and 11) reserved for IFCCD members in good standing.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA (FOR GRANTS ONLY)

  • Be a member of a national coalition for cultural diversity (all regions of the world);
  • Be a representative of an organization that has joined the Federation as an associate member (new memberships in preparation for the convention will be considered) (all regions of the world)
  • Be an observer representing an organization of cultural professionals in Africa;
  • Understand English or French, the two languages of the congress, or have the possibility of being accompanied by an interpreter. The secretariat will try, as far as possible, to help participants to contact local interpreters, but will not be able to cover the costs.

APPLICATION DOCUMENTS

  • A curriculum vitae;
  • A two-page cover letter with the following information:
    • Your most relevant professional experiences;
    • Your action within the national coalition for cultural diversity and/or the cultural community;
    • What motivates your participation in the IFCCD congress (relevance to your activity, perspectives for action at the end of the congress);
    • A short file presenting the organization represented and summarizing its activities. The objective of demonstrating that the organization is taking action, even if modest, in the cultural sector (short description of the organization’s activities, recent activity report, publications, links to the website, Facebook page or other social networks, programs or publications related to an organized event, etc.). For observers, any other document attesting to your involvement in promoting the diversity of cultural expressions;
    • Letter of support from the national coalition for cultural diversity or the professional association represented.

FURTHER INFORMATION

  • Possession or possibility of obtaining a valid visa for Togo: note that all expenses advanced for obtaining a visa must be approved in advance by the secretariat, otherwise they cannot be reimbursed. In all cases, a supporting document must be presented to obtain reimbursement of all expenses advanced;
  • If an invitation letter is required, mention it.

SELECTION CRITERIA

  • Diversity of geographical origin;
  • Gender diversity;
  • Experience and anchoring of the candidate;
  • Mission and realization of the represented organization;
  • Intergenerational diversity.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT PROVIDED

  • Cost of international transport
  • Accommodation
  • Per Diem for the duration of the stay
  • Cost of the visa

* According to the dates planned in each scholarship category.

** Extension of travel dates will be possible, but the cost of accommodation beyond the activity will be at the participant’s expense.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at midnight, Montreal time

Applications should be sent in English, French or Spanish, the three languages spoken by the IFCCD secretariat, by e-mail to coalition@cdc-ccd.org

Subject of the email: IFCCD Montreal Convention Application + name of your organization.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION

Céline de Dianous: cdedianous@cdc-ccd.org

With the support of the  International Organisation of La Francophonie and the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA).

Presentation of the 6th IFCCD Congress

The 6th IFCCD Congress in Lomé, Togo, will consist of a pan-African conference and a general assembly of the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity.

This congress will allow:

  • To provide African cultural associations with a forum for analysis, foresight, dialogue and proposals for the development and implementation of cultural policies;
  • To raise awareness of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the role of the main active international organizations, such as the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF), current challenges for the implementation of the Convention, as well as some innovations from civil society;
  • To increase the participation of African civil society in the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions;
  • To promote the participation of African civil society in the IFCCD and thus contribute to a better recognition of the plural reality of the diversity of cultural expressions at the global level, as well as to a better representation of the IFCCD;
  • To renew the IFCCD Board of Directors and establish the main orientations of the organization for the period 2019-2023.

Regional Conference: Pan-African Perspectives for Policies that Protect and Promote the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

The consultation with African IFCCD members identified the main objective of this conference, which will be to support the role of civil society organizations on the African continent in the implementation of the 2005 Convention, one of the main conditions of which is the adoption of cultural policies.

The conference will focus on the implementation of the Convention in the African region, advances in cultural policies, either at the national or regional level, emerging issues of the diversity of cultural expressions, innovations implemented to address current and future challenges, and the role of civil society.

This one-and-a-half day conference will be followed by the IFCCD General Assembly, which will provide the opportunity for a roundtable discussion with African and non-African representatives to highlight best practices in terms of public policy development. About fifty participants and guests are expected for this conference.

READ THE PROGRAM

IFCCD General Assembly

This activity will be open to regular or associate members of the IFCCD. As several policy discussions took place at the Montreal conference, the aim will be to confirm these orientations, address short-term actions, administrative issues and renew the IFCCD Board. The meeting will take place over two half-days and is expected to be attended by approximately 30 people.

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications of the Government of Quebec, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Délégation générale du Québec à Dakar, the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity.

Become a member of the IFCCD and attend its next Congress

If you are a member of a cultural organization, you can join the IFCCD as an associate
member. You can also join with other organizations to form a national coalition. Each person
can also provide individual support to the cause we are defending.

The next IFCCD Congress will be held from 9 to 11 October 2019 in Lomé, Togo. The congress
will be the occasion for a regional meeting to support dialogue between cultural actors at the
African level and to implement actions that respond to the continent’s challenges. We invite
all cultural actors to participate.

Send us an email if you would like to become a member and attend the Congress:
coalition@cdc-ccd.org

MORE INFORMATION

5th Congress of the IFCCD

The International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD) met in Montreal for its fifth international congress on October 26 and 27, 2018.

Founded on 19 September 2007 in Seville, Spain, the IFCCD is the voice of cultural professionals around the world. Its member coalitions represent creators, artists, independent producers, distributors, broadcasters and publishers in the book, film, television, music, performing arts and visual arts sectors.

Since its foundation in Seville, the Federation has held its international congress in Salvador de Bahia (Brazil) in 2009, Bratislava (Slovakia) in 2012, Mons (Belgium) in 2015. This year, Canada hosted the event, which brought together eighteen delegates on site and four remotely. Nineteen countries were represented: Cameroon, Gabon, Mali, Niger, Uganda, Senegal, Chad, Togo (Africa), Argentina, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay (Americas), Australia (Asia-Pacific), Belgium, France, Slovakia, Switzerland (Europe), Uganda and United Kingdom.

What to remember from the Montreal Congress

The IFCCD had experienced a slowdown in its activity since the Mons Congress in 2015, its secretariat having been vacant for almost two years. Organized to relaunch the IFCCD’s work, the Montreal Congress provided many avenues for reflection and work for the coming years.

During the first day, IFCCD members discussed the composition of the organization, its means of action, the possibilities of supporting national coalitions and their necessary re-mobilization at the regional level around targeted actions. They also expressed their wish to rebuild the relationship with the UNESCO Secretariat and to get involved in the activities surrounding the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

During a round table discussion, everyone presented the challenges of cultural diversity in their country, developments since the ratification of the UNESCO Convention, progress, obstacles and the current situation of each coalition.

South America, which was particularly mobilized at the time of the adoption of the Convention, has experienced political changes that have marked the cultural sector and weakened the coalitions that have been in place in recent years. The lack of resources complicates coordination between civil society organizations in the field of culture. Nevertheless, IFCCD members are taking every opportunity to participate in legislative reviews or to establish, as in Chile, a national day for cultural diversity.

In Africa, the situation is also very much linked to the political context of each country. For many, the challenge is to depoliticize culture. There is a lack of resources in the region but also a problem with the management of funds, which are not always allocated properly. The discussions also revealed that the Convention is largely unknown in most countries and that governments must be made aware of the importance of cultural exemption clauses in trade treaties.

The situation in Asia-Pacific, which was poorly represented at this congress, made it possible to present the problems related to authoritarian regimes and the issues of freedom of expression that affect many artists. The territorial and linguistic challenge makes joint action difficult, but several organizations maintain a certain dynamism and activity in their countries.

In Europe, the focus is on strengthening national coalitions for better networking. As in Canada, the development of digital technology and its impact on culture are at the heart of general concerns. Coalitions are also mobilizing to recognize the specificity of cultural goods and services in trade agreements.

A dialogue with representatives of the governments of Quebec and Canada

The congress continued in the presence of representatives of the Canadian and Quebec governments, who came to meet the members of the IFCCD.

The Government of Quebec has identified three main priorities regarding the diversity of cultural expressions: the implementation of the UNESCO Convention in the digital context, the challenges of international trade, and international cooperation, in particular through UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD).

The presence of Canadian government officials opened a discussion on maintaining the cultural exemption in the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement. The France-Canada declaration on cultural diversity and the digital space was also mentioned.

The exchange highlighted that government support for the CDCE and the work of the IFCCD is valuable and extremely beneficial for all organizations around the world, and should be an example to be followed in other countries.

Finally, this exchange was also an opportunity to discuss the mobility of artists and the means to be implemented to improve their circulation.

Working with the research community

Researchers were invited to join delegates to provide input on the second day of the conference. Véronique Guèvremont, of the UNESCO Chair on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, presented the Study on International Cooperation with French-speaking African Countries for the Implementation of the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in the Digital Environment, commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and Communications of Quebec and conducted in five African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal.

Destiny Tchéhouali, a researcher at the Centre d’études sur l’intégration et la mondialisation (CEIM – Université du Québec à Montréal) then discussed his work with the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, in relation to international Internet governance and the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital age.

The discussion continued on the importance of collaboration with researchers, in particular on information sharing (statistical data, national reports) and the bridges to be built between the IFCCD and the various UNESCO Chairs, the academic community and networks such as the International Network of Jurists for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

The IFCCD members then summarized their priorities and defined several working areas and projects for the year 2018-2019.

The Congress ended with the election of the Board of Directors, which maintained the current bodies to better prepare for the future. The next IFCCD Congress will be held in an African country in the fall of 2019.