Strengthening and Diversifying Partnerships for ACP CulturesPalais des Congrès, Niamey (Niger)
The 5th meeting of ACP Ministers of Culture held in Niamey (Niger) last October represented an important step in the implementation of the EU-ACP partnership in the field of culture. Two years after the previous meeting, held in Brussels in 2017, this event offered a unique opportunity to jointly assess the progress made, to review the state of implementation of the commitments made in Brussels and to draw new perspectives enabling culture to fully play its role as an engine of economic and human development in the ACP countries.
In this context, Mr. François Bouda, expert in culture and cooperation, delivered an analysis of the 4 ministerial declarations published during the meetings of the Ministers of Culture held from 2003 to 2017, together with the results of the 3 ACP-EU support programmes to culture implemented between 2008 and 2017 on the 9th and 10th EDFs. He also proposed a projection of the main questions and problems to be taken into account in the future in the cultural sector in the ACP countries, which will be of great use in the programming of actions in favor of culture and creativity in a next post-Cotonou cooperation agreement between the EU and the ACP countries.
The meeting also officially launched the new ACP-EU CULTURE programme entitled “Towards a sustainable cultural industry”, funded by the European Commission from the intra-ACP envelope of the 11th EDF.
Three panels brought together experts and policymakers on several priority issues for the cultural and creative sector of ACP countries, such as the diversification of sources of financing, the interaction between cultural heritage, creative industries and climate, and the role of cities and local and regional authorities in South-South cooperation.
Mrs Henriette Geiger, Director at the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Union, presented the new “Financing Initiative for Cultural and Creative Industries” (CreatiFI), a program offering unprecedented opportunities for access to financing for ACP cultural creators and operators.
The Niamey Declaration “Strengthening and diversifying partnerships in favor of ACP cultures” reflects the richness of the discussions held at this event. It expresses the will of the ACP States to further develop the potential of the cultural sector, but also to base cooperation in this field on multiple North-South and South-South partnerships. The document also makes a clear statement on issues that have become unavoidable, such as the fight against climate change and the return of cultural property to their countries of origin, and marks the commitment of the ACP States to intensify their cooperation and to adopt more effective policies in these areas.