Cultural diversity

Cultural policies and measures - Best practices

The French-speaking world promoting cultural policies

The France Diplomatie site, which is operated by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, outlines various initiatives by the multilateral French-speaking world to promote cultural policies. Below is a translation of the recent online post.

"Cultural diversity is a priority for the French-speaking world. The International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) works to support cultural creation and presentation through the promotion and touring of works of art and artists and by proposing a book policy that benefits its least privileged member states as well as the general public of developed countries who have become aware of forms of inspiration and expression through participation in a rich and shared heritage.

1/ The promotion of African arts

Four types of initiatives are underway:

  • Support for regional and international performing arts tours.
  • Support for performing arts fairs (Marché des arts et du spectacle vivant d’Abidjan, Tananarive’s Biennale de la chorégraphie, Ouagadougou’s FESPACO and SIAO) and major artistic events on the African continent (Dakar’s Biennale des arts plastiques and Rencontres de Bamako, a photography festival), and support for African professionals at the large music publishing fairs (MIDEM, WOMEX). These programs are also open to cultural representatives from central and eastern Europe.
  • Contribution to the development of regional cultural centers such as the Bangui and Tunis pilot centers.
  • Protection and promotion of intangible heritage and promotion of traditional cultural expressions. The organization is collaborating with Centre d’étude linguistique et historique en tradition orale, a body of the African Union (AU), on the project to digitize Africa’s oral heritage.

For more information, see the OIF link Soutien aux arts vivants et aux arts visuels.

2/ Cultural policies

This program aims to help countries strengthen their institutional structures in the cultural arena. It focuses on concerted action and making experts and factual resources available, particularly legal resources (copyright and anti-piracy, and the status of creators). For OIF, it is a way of developing francophone solidarity by promoting cultural policies and the development of cultural industries likely to create jobs in African countries.

For more information, see the OIF link Rapport du secrétaire général de la Francophonie.

3/ Centres de lecture et d’animation culturelle (CLAC)

This very popular program was launched in 1986. The centers focus on developing public reading in rural areas but also provide development information. In 2009, 225 centers in 18 African countries were identified ( Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Comoro Islands, Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, and Togo).

For more information, see the OIF link Rapport du secrétaire général de la Francophonie.

4/ Books

Initiatives in this area are focused on the circulation of French books, African professionals’ attendance at international fairs, and support for literary prizes for young talent (Prix du jeune écrivain francophone and Prix des cinq continents). Centre africain de formation à l’édition et à la diffusion du livre (CAFED) in Tunis, which has been managed by OIF since 1999, offers regional training opportunities.

For more information, see OIF linkhttp://www.francophonie.org/-Actions-.html?&id_article=81&page=recherche Rapport du secrétaire général de la Francophonie.

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