The workshop runs from 17 to 19 September 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa and was organized as part of the Swedish-funded project “Reshaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions”, which is benefitting four countries from the Eastern Africa region: Ethiopia, Mauritius, Tanzania and Uganda, and runs through 2021.
What do cultural and creative industries look like in 2019 across Eastern Africa? How can cultural policies keep up with the region’s youthful, dynamic creative workers constantly finding new ways to collaborate, produce, disseminate and capitalize on their artistic expressions?
Guided by these questions, and in support of UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the 3-day training on cultural policy monitoring was organized by UNESCO in partnership with Tshwane University of Technology, the Department of Arts and Culture of the Government of South Africa, and the South African National Commission for UNESCO.
Cultural policymakers, creative workers, artists and civil society representatives, including 19 Eastern African stakeholders, gathered and exchanged good practices, lessons and challenges in order to strengthen the peer-to-peer learning network in the region. Participants represented: Botswana, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as selected members of UNESCO’s Expert Facility and UNESCO staff from Addis Ababa, Harare, Juba, Nairobi, and Paris Headquarters.
During the training, participants were introduced to the newly updated form for the quadrennial periodic report (QPR), an obligatory report submitted by Parties to UNESCO’s 2005 Convention every four years. The QPRs, which contain detailed responses on the current state of cultural policies and the cultural and creative sectors, reveal achievements and challenges encountered by each country over the past four years. The importance of completing the form in a participatory manner, involving non-governmental actors and creative workers, was highlighted throughout the workshop.
Through the Swedish-funded project “Reshaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions”, UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions supports governments and civil society to engage in policy monitoring practices that are more participatory and open: the inclusion of relevant stakeholders, the creation of a space for policy dialogue, and transparency and accountability are pillars of the successful QPRs.
This regional training workshop aims at strengthening the capacities of Eastern and Southern African countries to engage in participatory monitoring, peer-to-peer learning, and expansion of South-South cooperation and networks. The training is also promoting ratification of the 2005 Convention in Botswana, Eritrea, and Zambia.