Artistic creation: Harnessing diversity development and social change (cultural industries section)
The Millennium Development Goal fund (MDG-F) achievement fund for culture and development thematic window is among the major joint programs funded by the Spanish government and channelled through the UN system for Harnessing Diversity for Sustainable Development and Social Change (HDSDSC). The program had the following objectives:
Strengthening intercultural/religious dialogue to foster mutual understanding of heritage and the sharing of common values with view of contributing towards social cohesion.
Developing and implementing policy as well as setting the legal frameworks for the protection and safeguarding of Ethiopia’s natural and cultural heritage.
Harnessing the potential of the cultural and creative industries, particularly heritage-based activities such as handicrafts, cultural tourism for income generation, economic development and poverty alleviation.
Enhancing indigenous knowledge, protection and value of natural heritage management as well as strengthening the link between nature and culture- based sustainable development.
Harnessing the potential of cultural industries (handicrafts and creative) and tourism for income generation and poverty alleviation: this includes development of cultural infrastructures (for example establishing four Living Cultural Resources Center) ; provision of skill development trainings, equipment and seed money for the target community and enable them to engage in business activities.
It was an integrated multi-sector and multi-agency program addressing sustainable development and social issues. The part of the project related to the 2005 Convention sought to harness the cultural creativity of Ethiopia for economic development and social progress.
The Joint Project supported the Ethiopian government efforts in alleviating poverty through the direct and indirect contributions of culture to economic growth. The direct contribution of the Joint Project included the creation of culture related income generating schemes. In this regard, income generation opportunities through cultural industries allow economic development, diversification of income, and serve to supplement the income of the poor. The job opportunities created has increased income generation capacity of the project beneficiaries of which the majorities are women and youth who have shown an observable livelihood improvement. It has strengthened the development and implementation of culture related laws/policies and the incorporation of indigenous knowledge to heritage management.
The indirect contributions include the creation of enabling and conducive environment for the citizens of the country at large by enhancing social cohesion, creating peace and stability among peoples. This in turn helps to foster socio-economic development through promoting mutual understanding and appreciation of diversity, reconciliation and peace, which are essential elements for social stability and constructive engagement among different cultures and religion. It also empowered the community especially the disadvantaged groups (women and youth).
With regard to enhancing and promoting Ethiopian nations, nationalities, and peoples languages and folklores, Ethiopian Languages policy drafted; the Cultural policy of Ethiopia, issued in 1990, revised; Orthographies, Grammars and Folklores on the languages of the Ari and Hamar ethnic groups studied, documented, produced and made ready for use.
The languages policy drafted and the cultural policy revised as well as the Orthographies, Grammars and Folklores for the Ari and Hamar ethnic groups language prepared which has created favorable condition to the languages, cultural, historical and natural heritage, fine arts, handicrafts, oral literature, customs and other cultural elements of the nations, nationalities and peoples.
5 million USD was planned for the project but only 3,556,631.00 USD were actually utilised.