By Florence Mukanga
Published April 1, 2011
Arterial, a pan-African network of creative and cultural practitioners has on April 1, 2011 launched a generic cultural policy which aims to strengthen support for the cultural sector in Africa.
Adapting the Wheel: Cultural Policies for Africa, the cultural policy template for Africa (launched in partnership with the Commonwealth Foundation and DOEN Foundation of The Netherlands)addresses the lack of strong cultural policy in many Commonwealth countries, 20 of which are in Africa. It was developed by a 12-member Task Group, and aims to assist artists, cultural practitioners and stakeholders in Africa to develop effective policy in order to raise the standard of arts and cultural practice.
“The Commonwealth Foundation is pleased to be a partner with the Arterial Network on this project, responding to civil society’s call at the 2009 Commonwealth Summit to strengthen the creative and cultural industries through the implementation of strong and sustainable frameworks. With this key document, it is hoped that the rich array of cultural talent in African countries will have the opportunity to flourish and reach its full potential,” says Vijay Krishnarayan, Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Foundation.
The template generic policy can be applied and adapted to a range of African national contexts. Adoption of the template will improve support for the creative and cultural industries, develop the creative economy and ensure cultural diversity is protected and promoted.
Mike Van Graan, the Secretary General of Arterial Network, says, “The Millennium Development Goals have particular resonance for Africa and at their 2010 summit to reflect on progress in meeting the 2015 deadline for the MDGs, world leaders recognised that culture is integral to development. The Commonwealth Foundation and DOEN Foundation has done excellent work in promoting the links between culture and development, which is why we are delighted to have been able to partner with them in producing this Cultural Policy Framework.”
In addition to the framework, the Arterial Network will develop an ‘arts and culture barometer”, a tool to assist African governments and civil society networks in developing, monitoring and evaluating national cultural policies.