Burkina Faso has partnered with UNESCO in the implementation of the project “Enhancing fundamental freedoms through the diversity of cultural expressions” (2014-2018), leading to the establishment of data collection mechanisms, the reinforcement of coordination mechanisms between government and civil society representatives, the successful completion of a second Quadrennial Periodic Report (QPR) in 2016 and the identification of key areas for future policy action.
In that context, two important strategies inspired by the principles of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural expressions have been adopted: the National Plan for Economic and Social Development 2016-2020 (PNDES) and the new National Strategy of Culture and Tourism (SNCT), that both recognize the potential of cultural and creative industries for economic growth and social cohesion. Furthermore, a Fund for Cultural Development has been created to support civil society organizations.
As part of the second phase of the project, Burkina Faso is partnering again to build on the results achieved so far, sustain the policy dialogue mechanisms and platforms established, and monitor policy priorities in view of the third periodic report to be submitted in April 2020. Follow-up activities will also draw linkages between policy monitoring and policy implementation, notably regarding the promotion of gender equality in creative sectors.
Building on the 50th year anniversary of the Panafrican film and television festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO, 23rd February to 2nd March 2019), Burkina Faso and UNESCO joined efforts to address as a policy priority, women’s challenges and opportunities in the African film sector.
A half-day networking event entitled “The Yennenga’s Assembly: Where are the women directors?” was organized, bringing together women working in the film sector to share experiences and put forth policy recommendations. Women film professionals expressed the need for solidarity, equal pay and legal support to defend their rights, which they officially presented to Mrs Sika Kaboré, Burkina Faso’s First Lady.
A high-level round table entitled "50 years of FESPACO: 50-50 for women" was also held with the participation of Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, and Ms Sika Kaboré, First Lady of Burkina Faso. The roundtable brought together women directors, film distributors and ministers of culture from West Africa to discuss challenges faced by women in accessing funding and training opportunities in the film and broadcasting industries. It also examined the issue of gender equality in national cultural policies and the representation of women in decision-making positions.
The activities implemented served to: increase visibility of the challenges and opportunities for gender equality in the African film industry; strengthen the capacities of women filmmakers through networking and knowledge sharing; consolidate a first set of recommendations under the slogan "Women filmmakers are directors like the others"; mobilize policy makers to support participation of women in Africa’s film industry.
The second Global Report ReIShaping Cultural Policies: Advancing Creativity for Development was launched in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) 28th of February 2019 on the occasion of the FESPACO festival.
The Secretary General of Burkina Faso’s National Commission for UNESCO, Aristide Dabire, the Secretary General of Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism, Lassina Simpore, the Director of UNESCO’s Dakar Office, Dimitri Sanga, and the Secretary of UNESCO’s 2005 Convention, Danielle Cliche, participated in a public discussion on the Global Reports’ main messages and recommendations and triggered a debate on support mechanisms for artists and cultural professionals.
On this occasion, the national contact point for the 2005 Convention, Patric Lega, presented Burkina Faso’s various achievements in implementing the 2005 Convention objectives. He highlighted the decentralization of Burkina’s cultural policy, the establishment of the Culture and Tourism Development Fund, and collaborations with Burkina Faso’s Chamber of Commerce to promote cultural and creative entrepreneurship.
The launch of the report was followed by a "Create | 2030" talk on UNESCO's international assistance and cooperation programmes supporting the film and audiovisual sector in Africa. Beneficiaries of UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) from Senegal, Malawi, Madagascar and Cameroon discussed achievements and challenges.