A sub-regional seminar about Cultural Industries in West Africa: realities and challenges , was held on last September 14 in Dakar , Senegal . This seminar, organized by the Senegalese Commission for UNESCO, in which participated representatives from Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo, as well as national experts and academics, was in keeping with the general pattern of the UNESCO Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions for which the international community mobilizes in view of its prompt ratification . The purpose of the seminar was to assess the situation of cultural industries in West Africa and to evaluate each sector; to make decision-makers aware of the role of cultural industries in the safeguard of cultural identity and its profitability; and to think about a strategy to reinforce endogenous production capacities and a strategy to develop local markets.
Assuming that cultural industries are nowadays the main way to create and circulate cultural products, create jobs, and fight against poverty, the organizers emphasize that these cultural products, once marginalized in Afrique, have acquired the status of basic goods and are exchanged considerably . In addition, they make the following remark: " In West Africa , industries within music, cinema, audiovisual, and book sectors experience a certain dynamism, but they are confronted to obstacles and difficulties which are challenges to take on. Among these, we note the piracy problem; a customs and fiscal system as well as a legal environment not too favorable to the development of cultural industries ; and high production costs".
Participants recommend "a good implementation of cultural industries". To this purpose, we must necessarily consider defining the status of artists and creators, creating a favorable legal environment to the creator's right and the protection of its works, and regulating the profession.