Reshaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in Burkina Faso
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.
A national training workshop on the periodic reporting process was held from 4 to 7 December 2019 in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. The workshop, facilitated by Désiré Ouédraogo, a member of the UNESCO Expert Facility, was organized by the Directorate General of Sector Studies and Statistics, the Regional Centre for the Living Arts in Africa (CERAV/Africa) and the regional UNESCO Office in Dakar. The workshop covered a series of sessions on the promotion of cultural and creative industries in Burkina Faso, the results and recommendations of the 2nd report of Burkina Faso and the state of production of cultural statistics, as well as the framework for periodic reports, the formulation of results and challenges, and the action plan for the continuation of the process. The workshop provided clarification on the concepts of measure, digital arts, cultural management and cultural regeneration as well as the justification of a specific form for civil society.
A multi-stakeholder consultation was held on 09 and 10 January 2020 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Mr. Abdoul Karim SANGO, Minister of culture, arts and tourism of Burkina Faso opened the consultation attended by more than 100 persons representing public culture and non-cultural agencies as well as the civil society. The Minister recalled that the objective of the consultation is to inform all the stakeholders invested in the implementation of the 2005 Convention on the periodic reporting process and to seek their support. The discussions between participants fostered interesting debates on the production and dissemination of cultural statistics, the ownership of the 2005 Convention by all stakeholders and the methodologies for policy monitoring. On the 10 January 2020, a specific session with medias was organised to inform the relevant actors on the process carried out by Burkina Faso for the elaboration of its third periodic report. The goal was also to ensure the visibility of activities and to seek their support. The journalists in attendance represented fifteen medias from written press, radio, television and online medias. A specific session was also organised with civil society organisations and professional associations in the cultural sector. The session provided a space for information sharing and dialogue on participatory policy monitoring and the features of an inclusive and transparent methodology.
On Friday 18 September 2020, the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism of Burkina Faso brought together more than 50 stakeholders, including representatives of ministries and institutions, civil society organisations, cultural professionals and national media, in Ouagadougou for a workshop to present the results of Burkina Faso's 3rd quadrennial periodic report on the implementation of the 2005 Convention. The Minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism, Mr. Abdoul Karim Sanga chaired the public presentation and commended the work and efforts made to complete the periodic report in particularly difficult circumstances. The Mayor of Ouagadougou, Mr Armand Roland Pierre Béouindé, also took part in the event and reaffirmed the city's commitment to place creativity and cultural industries at the heart of its development plan and to collaborate at the international level through inter-city partnerships.
Burkina Faso's periodic report, which lists more than 30 policies and measures in favour of creativity, formed the basis for discussions at the public presentation to define the challenges and priorities for the next four years. Developed in close collaboration with CERAV/Africa, several drafting workshops were held with the national team to finalise data collection and report drafting. In addition, Burkina Faso reaffirmed its intention to disseminate its 3rd periodic report as widely as possible, particularly to technical and financial partners and in the regions.
CERAV/Africa (Regional Centre for the Performing Arts in Africa) has set up a series of webinars, bringing together key actors from the cultural and creative sectors in the West African region to discuss the revival of the sector post-COVID-19. The first webinar took place on 8 September 2020 under the theme “Debating the African cultural sector in the face of COVID-19: what examples of good practices and solutions for a resilient Africa”. The second webinar was held on 22 September 2020 and focused particularly on perspectives and solutions to revive activities and strengthen the resilience of the culture sector in West African States. This second webinar brought together the focal points of the 2005 Convention from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo.
A regional launch of the Global Report, “ReIShaping Policies for Creativity”, was hosted on 22 May 2022 in the framework of the Biennale of Dakar for Contemporary Art, with the participation of 150 African cultural professionals. The event gathered the Vice-director of WIPO, Commissioner of ECOWAS, the President of the African Fund for Culture, and the Representative of the Minister of Culture of Senegal. The presentation of the report was followed by a panel discussion on the impact of Covid-19 on the creative and cultural industries in Africa, with Mr. Hamadou Mandé, Burkinabe expert on cultural industries, Ms. Reema Selhi, Head of the international pole DACS, Mr. Pierre Taugourdeau, Deputy director of the French Sales Council, Ms. Thérèse Turpin Diatta, gallerist and member of the Biennale's steering committee. Alongside the event, communication and visibility actions were carried out to disseminate the report and information on this meeting, including with a series of posts on social media. This event was also the occasion to kickstart a series of professional meetings on the following days, including panels on financing culture, the art market, and author's rights.
Read the article here (in French)