Cultural diversity

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European Commission and African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries discuss culture and creativity as vectors for development

On April 2 and 3, the European Commission held an international conference in Brussels on "Culture and Creativity as Vectors for Development." More than 500 people from the African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries (ACP) and the European Union—artists, high-ranking politicians, and professionals from the world of culture—took part in the event, discussing ways of using the creative potential and cultural wealth of the ACP countries more effectively to promote their development.

The conference was the brainchild of Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, who explained, "Looking at the creativity, wealth, and diversity of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, I am more convinced than ever of the untapped potential of culture and creativity for innovation and development. Openness, solidarity, creativity, and dialogue are all areas we should be exploring in order to achieve better global governance and prosperity that is shared more equally."
According to the press release, while the G20 summit was being held, the Commission wished to

  • Demonstrate the fundamental importance Europe attaches to dialogue with developing countries
  • Remind the world that investment in development is essential and a source of growth for the international community as a whole
  • Launch new measures, based on discussions at the conference, to help developing countries meet their full potential

By way of introducing this event, Francisco d’Almeida, Director of Culture et Développement-France, provided an extensive description of the potential of and issues surrounding creation and culture with regards to development. He also described certain success stories: École des Sables (in Toubab Dialaw, Senegal), DANSE L'AFRIQUE DANSE (a platform for developing a dance economy on the African continent), and the Sauti za Busara Festival (in Zanzibar, Tanzania).

In addition, a number of workshops allowed professionals, politicians, and investors to discuss the following themes: “Culture in National Policies,” “Culture and Decentralised Cooperation,” “The Financing of Cultural Development,” “Cultural Policies and Access to Markets,” and “Creative Management of Cultural Heritage.”

For access to all content from the conference, please visit the event website.

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