In recent years, Mali has experienced increasing security incidents that jeopardized the ongoing peace process and social cohesion. The country has stressed the role of culture in peace building and reconciliation to offset these insecurities. The safeguarding and protection of heritage, in particular, has been at the heart of the Malian cultural policy, providing a tangible response to destructions and damages sustained by attacks during conflicts. Nonetheless, the domestic creative and cultural industries sector has continued to develop through festivals, biennales, and civil society initiatives, as well as support mechanisms for audio-visual sector and photography.
With a view to further professionalize the country’s growing creative and cultural industries (CCIs), the country is turning its attention to the reinforcement of legislative framework and development of public policies. The Cultural Policy Framework Document, published in 2013, lists three strategic priorities: work conditions of cultural professionals, structural reinforcement of creative and cultural industries, and reinforcement of the place and role of culture in all relevant policies. The Document reaffirmed Mali’s commitment to establish creativity as a pillar of development, and to accelerate their support for artists and creative workers. The adoption of a 2016 decree on the status of artists which recognizes the principle of artistic freedom is a manifestation of the country’s pledge.
The UNESCO/SIDA project on the participatory monitoring of cultural policies presents an opportunity to create a space for dialogue between government actors and arts, cultural and media professionals. Through a collaborative process, the project aims to improve the structure of the CCIs, paving the way for diverse artistic expressions and greater access to local contents. This will also mark Mali’s first submission of a periodic report, which details the country’s progress on the implementation of the 2005 Convention.
On 17 June 2019, 2018 Global Report “Re-Shaping Cultural Policies” was launched in Bamako. The event was an occasion for over 60 cultural professionals to come together in the spirit of furthering the Malian cultural and creative industries (CCIs). The exchange session during the event revealed that many of the participants, despite representing diverse artistic disciplines and organizations, experience similar obstacles including lack of available funds and training opportunities. Capturing inputs from cultural actors, such as the concerns expressed by the attendees, is the central component of the four-year project Reshaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in Mali. Through improving monitoring and data collection mechanisms on creative sector, the project ensures that future policies address current, pressing challenges faced by creators and cultural professionals on the ground.
N’Diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo, the Minister of Culture, reaffirmed the Ministry’s commitment to give tenacious support to state and civil society actors, ading that arts and culture “occupy a central role within the national strategy towards sustainable development.”
She also hailed the 2018 Global Report “Re-Shaping Cultural Policies” as a game-changing publication that serves as “an orientation device, a reference document and an advocacy tool.” This UNESCO flagship publication draws on Quadrennial Periodic Reports, submitted by ratifying countries of the 2005 Convention, to identify global trends and innovative practices. A multi-stakeholder national team, consisting of public sector and civil society members, was introduced during the event as the main lead on Mali’s first report due in 2020.
A national capacity-building workshop was held in Bamako, Mali, from 21 to 25 October 2019 for the national team responsible for preparing Mali’s first report on the implementation of the Convention on the Promotion and Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005). Led by désiré Ouédraogo, a member of the UNESCO Expert Facility, and Fallo Baba Keita, a national consultant, the workshop allowed participants to familiarize themselves with the 2005 Convention and the process of implementing the SIDA II project and to discuss the production of cultural statistics and political priorities for the promotion of cultural and creative industries (CCI) in Mali. Alternating theoretical sessions, practical sessions and group work, the national team identified measures and policies under each of the 4 goals of the Convention’s monitoring framework.
The debates focused on several themes, including the contribution of the media to the production and dissemination of cultural content, the role of mediators in promoting CCIs, and the division of competences between civil society, government and other actors for a more effective and transparent governance of culture. The status of the artist, and in particular social protection, as well as the weakness of measures to support the mobility of Malian artists were also addressed.
Mali’s national team is composed of 44% of civil society organisations and also includes representatives of various ministries and public agencies, making the periodic reporting exercise particularly inclusive. The national team will now proceed to collect information on the policies and measures that will be included in the report, as well as to identify key achievements and future priorities to promote the diversity of cultural expressions. A drafting committee will be in charge of consolidating the contributions of the various stakeholders and drafting the report. To this end, a residential writing workshop will be organized by the Ministry of Culture of Mali in February 2020.
On Wednesday 08 July 2020, the UNESCO Office in Bamako in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of Mali organized the public presentation of Mali’s first quadrennial periodic report (QPR) on the implementation of the 2005 Convention. Organized in the form of a webinar, this presentation gathered more than 30 participants and was chaired by Mr Yamoussa FANE, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Culture and President of the National Committee for the implementation and monitoring of the 2005 Convention in Mali. Through this first national assessment, Mali has chosen to highlight the public policies and measures implemented by the country to support the cultural and creative sectors over the last sixteen years, since its accession to the 2005 Convention on 9 November 2006. This webinar was opportunity for the members of the National Committee for the Implementation and Monitoring of the 2005 Convention in Mali to present the results of these eight months of work, the methodology used, the difficulties encountered, as well as the challenges and future opportunities. The exchange session included the participation of technical and financial partners, as well as cultural actors and operators from the public and private sectors and civil society in Mali.
Webnews public presentation: https://fr.unesco.org/news/validation-du-premier-rapport-periodique-quadriennal-convention-2005-au-mali-0
The government of Mali and the UNESCO Office in Mali organized, in close collaboration with the Union of Free Radio and Television Broadcasters of Mali (URTEL), the Press House and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), a capacity building workshop for media actors on the prevention of violent extremism, the promotion of press freedom and the 2005 Convention. The workshop, held in Mopti from 17 to 19 August 2021, trained around forty media professionals from Mopti, Bandiagara, Douentza, San, Ségou and Bamako with the aim of reaffirming the role of media actors for dialogue, social cohesion, cultural diversity and peace in a context of conflict and instability.
The workshop focused on three key areas: prevention of violent extremism and prevention strategies to promote security and peace; issues related to media diversity, diversity of contents and the promotion of press freedom; and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions. It reaffirmed the principles of media ethics and highlighted the role of the sector's actors in raising awareness among local communities.
Building on the conclusions of the first quadrennial periodic report elaborated in 2020 by Mali, the workshop resulted in a list of recommendations targeting different stakeholders, including the government of Mali, the organizing institutions (MINUSMA, URTEL, UNESCO) and actors in the media sector.
More information here (in French).
Between December 2020 and February 2021, the Ministry of Crafts, Culture and Tourism organized a cycle of seminars in Bamako, Mopti and Keyes aiming to develop and update the policy action for the cultural, tourism and crafts sectors. These three fields, that represent strong pillars in Mali’s socio-economic growth, have been severely affected by the security crises and the global pandemic. The cycle of workshop.
Recommendations from the cycle of seminars, which was opened and closed by the prime minister, M Moctar Ouane, were presented in a workshop held at the National Museum of Mali on 29 November 2021. Opened by M. Andogoly Guindo, Minister of Crafts, Culture and Tourism, the event involved around 60 agents representing organizations and governmental institutions, civil society and private sector in order to translate the recommendations into an action plan for the development, monitoring and evaluation of cultural policies. Thus, this activity aimed to reinforce dialogue between concerned stakeholders to promote the creative economy.
On the occasion of the 5th edition of the Planète A International Fair of Fiction, Visual Arts and Gaming of Mali which took place in Bamako from 26 to 27 November 2021, the UNESCO office in Bamako carried out visibility actions on the 2005 Convention in Mali. The participation to the fair was an opportunity to reach out to a broad audience, and to highlight the role that policies can play to support these sectors and young entrepreneurs.
Planet A. aims to address the challenges and promote business opportunities that exist within the creative industries through digitalization, especially in the fields of video, visual arts and film production. This edition focused on the impact of global digitalisation and the opportunities it presents for young African entrepreneurs, for instance by facilitating the distribution of video games on the market.
For two days, participants from Mali, Senegal and France shared their experience with Malian youth on their knowledge and know-how in the field of creative industries through panels, master classes, exhibitions, workshops on digital marketing and competitions. The event was placed under the aegis of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy.
Read the article here ( in French)
On 2 and 3 June, a two-day hybrid workshop was organized by the UNESCO Office in Bamako and the Ministry of Handicraft, Culture, Hospitality Industry and Tourism to launch the 2022 Global Report, “ReIShaping Policies for Creativity”. The Minister of Culture and the director of the UNESCO Office in Bamako delivered an opening address. The event which gathered participants from civil society organisations and the government, aimed to raise awareness on the Global Report, Mali’s first quadrennial periodic report, highlighting the links between the two reports, lessons-learnt and next steps.
The event was also the opportunity to host a comprehensive training on the International Fund for Cultural Diversity applications, including guidance on the scope of eligible projects, the structure of proposals and the eligibility criteria of the Fund. This training was followed by an exchange session with participants, with a view to foster a higher rate of submissions among the cultural stakeholders in Mali for the next call for project, and further support dynamic cultural and creative sectors in the country.