ICAPA delegation at the Brussels Conference on the results of EU supported ACP projects
In February a small WFOZ delegation was invited by the EU-ACP secretariat to Brussels/ Belgium. The purpose of the visit was to review the projects of the EU ACP Cultures + programme 2012 - 2017. The discussions focused on impact, achievements and lessons learned by the partners in promoting the cultural sector in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific. During the conference, the Deputy-Secretary General of the ACP Secretariat, Mr Ognimba commended the results and achievements of the financed projects.
The Projects had been financed under two headings, first for cinema and the audiovisual sector, then all the other cultural industries (dance, theatre, music, visual arts, crafts, photography, architecture, heritage, literature, networking) . The production projects in the cinema/AV section included 8 feature films from Burkina Faso, France, Mauritius, Portugal, Cote d'Ivore and South Africa as well various short and documentary projects Senegal, Congo, Belgium, France, Mozambique, Trinidad + Tobago, and Italy.
Debate also focused on the markets for cultural services and products, with access to local, regional and international markets all being of significant importance. European partners of each project, were encouraged to contribute to the sustainability of local cultural expressions by helping them in the access to the lucrative European market.
'No culture, no future' was announced as the theme for the 2018 call for projects, which has a budget of €40 million. Focus areas are production and distribution of quality goods and services, innovation in the cultured goods services value chain, sustainability of finance mechanisms, access to markets, new sources of funding and audience development - locally , regionally and internationally. The emphasis in these areas is on supporting the development of culture, promoting resilient society and empowered young people. The meeting stressed that all these societal objectives can be contributed to significantly through culture and cultural and creative industries.
The conference concluded with the confirmation that cultural and creative sectors relay vitality and creativity and contribute to jobs, economic growth, wealth, social cohesion, cultural diversity, peace and stability.
The WFOZ team attended the conference together with Shamek Stepien, of Afrykamera Poland, who is the organisation’s main European partner.