By Florence Mukanga
Published March 4, 2011
Seven Africans have been appointed by UNESCOÂ and the European Union to a database of 30 technical experts to provide assistance to developingÂ countries to help them to formulate appropriate cultural policies.The seven include Egyptian Basma El Husseiny, Zimbabwean Stephen Chifunyse, Senegalese Youma Fall, Togolese Francisod-Almeida, Beninoise William Codjo and South Africans AvrilÂ Joffe and Mike van Graan.
The aim of the project is to assist countries, particularly in the global south, to implement and takeÂ advantage of the opportunities afforded by the 2005 Convention on the Protection and PromotionÂ of theDiversity of Cultural Expressions. The pool of experts has been selected to reinforceÂ human and institutional capacities in beneficiary countries at the national and local levels byÂ establishing legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks necessary to develop the creative sectorÂ in those countries, and introduce policies that address the role of culture in social and economic development, especially through the cultural industries.
The experts are drawn from Latin America (7), West and Eastern Europe (11), Africa (7), Caribbean (2), Australia (1) and Canada (2).They will gather in Rabat, Morocco 21-21 March for a training and briefing workshop, and are to be available to participate in at least one mission of up to 63 working days until August 31,Â 2012.
Joffe was the lead consultant in helping Arterial Network to devise its cultural policy framework for African countries, and El Husseiny and Van Graan participated in the Cultural Policy Task Group that helped to develop this framework.