Creative industries play a central role in Mali’s sustainable development

Culture can accelerate economic development and social cohesion of Mali – The message was clear on 17 June 2019 in Bamako at a launch of the project Reshaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

The event was a valuable 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 this four-year project. 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.

Culture is a vector.

- N'Diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo, the Minister of Culture

 

 “Culture is a vector”, declared N’Diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo, the Minister of Culture. Reaffirming the Ministry’s commitment to give tenacious support to state and civil society actors, she said that arts and culture “occupy a central role within the national strategy towards sustainable development,” highlighting Mali’s effort in mainstreaming culture into national development plans. The UNESCO representative, Hervé Huot-Marchand, spoke of another essential role that creative expressions play – “a foundation of culture of peace, resilience in the face of terrorism, national reconciliation and the stabilization of peace in Mali.”

The minister 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. It is expected to include latest data and testimonials that reflect the current state of Mali’s CCIs and implementation of cultural policies, followed by recommendations for future action. In order to draw on regional expertise, Désiré Ouédraogo, member of the UNESCO Expert Facility from Burkina Faso, also joined the team to provide technical assistance, accelerating the South-South cooperation for cultural policies.

The project, funded by the government of Sweden, signals the start of a collaborative process of cultural monitoring and policymaking in Mali.