On 29 November, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, launched the French edition of the United Nations Creative Economy Report, within the framework of the 15th Francophonie Summit in Dakar, Senegal.
"Culture and creativity do not only improve our economies but also our lives and communities," said the Director-General, highlighting that the creative economy promotes creativity in societies, asserts identity, and improves the quality of life at the local level. "This dual nature is the great strength of the economy and the foundation for us to rethink our development strategies.”
"This presentation is a historic opportunity to recognize culture as an essential resource, engine and vector for sustainable development," she continued. "We must continue to collect data, attract attention and advocate for the inclusion of culture in the post-2015 UN development agenda.”
The Director-General underlined the importance UNESCO gives to linguistic diversity as reflected in the launch of the French edition of the Report.
"For us, it is imperative that this Report, which shows the potential of cultural diversity for innovation and development, does justice to linguistic diversity."
Ms Youma Fall, Director of Cultural Development in the International Organization of La Francophonie, and contributor to the Report, testified to the development of African villages on the basis of craft activities and local tourism.
Mr. Birane Niang, Secretary General of the Senegalese Ministry of Culture, shared recent developments in the creative economy of Senegal. Mr. Coulibaly Mamidou Diakite, from the Ministry of Culture of Côte d’Ivoire, emphasized the delicate balance that must be struck by public authorities to encourage local hubs of creativity that flourish in freedom, underlining the example of the Ambroise creative space in Abidjan.
"This report is a blessing for creators, because it shows our strength and our potential," concluded the artist and singer Saintrick.
The special edition of the Report focuses on the creative economy at the local level in developing countries. It is co-published by UNESCO and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the UN Office for South South Co-operation. The Report is organized in two volumes: a policy report and a web-documentary that brings to life cases and trends, and opportunities and challenges of creative economy on the ground.