Ethiopia has partnered with UNESCO in the implementation of the project “Enhancing fundamental freedoms through the diversity of cultural expressions” (2014-2018), leading to the organization of consultation meetings with government and civil society representatives, workshops on policy monitoring, 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 Cultural Policy (2015) and the Film Policy (2017). As part of the second phase of the project, Ethiopia 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 by April 2020. Follow-up activities will also draw linkages between policy monitoring and policy implementation, notably regarding the operationalization of the film policy to enhance access to cultural life, gender equality and artistic freedom.
Over 250 cultural professionals gathered in Addis Ababa to attend the public consultation meeting co-organized by UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to discuss the future of Ethiopia’s cultural policy and steps to implement its recently adopted Film Policy (30 April 2019).
Professionals from a wide range of creative sectors – film, dance, music, book, and visual and performing arts – were present at the consultation. Over a daylong consultation, they concluded that the urgent needs for art councils and funds, support to civil society organizations, professional training and education institutions, and transparent rules and regulations for copyright management are shared across artistic disciplines. Film producers and filmmakers’ professional associations called for a transparent implementation of legal framework to support the sector’s value chain, from production to dissemination and access.