Creative professionals and policy makers in Rwanda finalise report tracking implementation of UNESCO’s 2005 Convention

Artists, musicians, film makers and civil society representatives in Rwanda were invited to a public consultation in Kigali on 8 September 2016 to have their final say on what key cultural policies and measures will be featured in Rwanda’s first periodic report on the implementation of UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

This public consultation was led by Rwanda’s National Team responsible for drafting the country’s periodic report on the implementation of cultural policies and development of the creative industries in Rwanda. This report will guide the Ministry of Sports and Culture as a benchmarking tool and contributes towards future policy making.

Periodic reports submitted to UNESCO by States that are Parties to the 2005 Convention provide statistical evidence and innovative examples of measures and experiences. Rwanda’s report shows that the National Cultural Heritage Policy (2013) and its implementation strategy are the guiding forces for the development of the creative industries in Rwanda. Some of the main challenges cited are the need for increased cultural spaces and skills training for creative professionals from an early age and as part of the formal and non-formal education sector.

During the preparation of the periodic reports, Parties to the Convention must ensure the active involvement of civil society. This process serves therefore as a unique platform for  policy dialogue between Governments and civil society, especially artists and professionals from the culture sector.

‘‘I believe in the potential of the creative industries to help build Rwanda’s economy and contribute to its sustainable development,’’ Ms Julienne Uwacu, Rwanda’s Minister of Sports and Culture said. ‘We will use the lessons learned from this participatory reporting process to strengthen the culture sector in Rwanda by increasing the capacities of artists and creating spaces for the transmission, production and enjoyment of the cultural industries — such as the new Culture Village being developed,’’ she added. In Rwanda, participants were given different sections of the report to rework based on their area of expertise before the national team agreed on the final text.

Rwanda’s periodic report will be examined by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in December 2016 in Paris. It will also contribute towards the next edition of UNESCO’s Global Report on the implementation of the 2005 Convention, to be published in December 2017

This latest workshop in Kigali is a follow up from an earlier consultation session held at the end of May 2016, organized by UNESCO and the Ministry of Sports and Culture and fundedby the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) as part of a  policy monitoring project entitled:’ Enhancing fundamental freedoms through the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions in Rwanda’.Follow us on Twitter: #supportcreativity