Discussing policies for creativity in Egypt and Sudan

More than 40 participants took part in a workshop organized by the UNESCO Cairo Office from 24 to 26 February 2019, to discuss policies for creativity in the Arab region and mechanisms needed to support the emergence of strong and dynamic creative sectors, through the implementation of the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Representatives from the Ministry of Culture of Egypt and Sudan and from related National Commissions for UNESCO, along with representatives of the Cairo Governorate, the National Council for Disability Affairs, artists and organizations from the civil society working in the cultural industries sector, such as art festivals organizers and cultural promotors, participated in this three-day capacity building event in Cairo.

The workshop, opened by Dr Ghaith Fariz, Director of the UNESCO Regional Office in Cairo, and the Secretary General of the Egyptian National Commission, Dr Ghada Abdelbary, was facilitated by UNESCO Expert Facility members, Basma El Husseiny and Hanane Hajj Ali. Participants discussed perspectives and challenges for the implementation of the 2005 Convention, ratified by Egypt as early as 2007 and Sudan in 2008.

Among the topics addressed: cultural entrepreneurship, cultural policies for cultural and creative industries, trade and distribution of cultural goods and services, digital, artistic freedom, and gender equality. Mechanisms for international assistance, such as the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD), were also presented. The 10th call for funding was recently launched.

“Through the 2005 Convention, countries can design new regulatory environments that can allow cultural and creative industries to thrive. This workshop also helped institutions and partners working in creative sectors to network and work together towards the implementation of the Convention and some key UN Sustainable Development Goals related to gender equality, economic growth and reduced inequalities”, says Basma El Husseiny.

This workshop took place as UNESCO and the European Union launched an open call for provision of expertise and peer-to-peer learning support in order to design and implement regulatory frameworks to strengthen the cultural and creative industries and promote South-South cooperation (See News and Call for Applications).

Egypt and Sudan are due to submit to UNESCO their next quadrennial periodic report on achievements and challenges in implementing the 2005 Convention by 30 April 2020. These reports will serve to collect data and information, through a participative process, on policies to support creativity, and inform UNESCO’s Policy Monitoring Platform.

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