Selam’s regional initiative ‘Connect for Culture Africa’ is endorsed by the African Union Ministers

The African Union (AU) recently concluded its fourth ordinary session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Youth, Culture, and Sports (AU STC-YCS4) from 22 to 26 May. As part of the session, Selam was granted the opportunity on 23 May to present its regional project, Connect for Culture Africa (CfCA), during the STC-YCS4 Experts meeting. A comprehensive report of the meeting was compiled and subsequently presented to the Ministers of Youth, Culture and Sports meeting on 26 May for their careful consideration. On 2 June, Experts convened virtually in regards to the Ministerial meeting to address the agenda item “Adoption of Ministerial Report,” which encompassed the endorsement of the CfCA initiative by the Ministers. The CfCA initiative is being implemented in collaboration with the Culture Division at the African Union Commission (AUC).

Madam Angela Martins, Head Culture Division at the AUC during the launch of CfCA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 25 May

The 4th African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Youth, Culture, and Sport (STC-YCS4) Ministers of Youth, Culture and Sports meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 26th May 2023 approved the recommendations of the Experts report, including support for Selam’s new regional project, Connect for Culture Africa (CfCA).

During the meeting, the Ministers acknowledged the significance of the CfCA initiative and made several resolutions. Firstly, they took note of the official launch of the project, acknowledging its potential to promote the creative economy of the continent. Secondly, they requested the African Union Commission (AUC) and Member States to extend their support to Selam’s CfCA.

Moreover, the ministers emphasised the need for close collaboration between the Connect for Culture Africa Project and the AUC. They urged Selam to work hand in hand with the AUC in advocating for the implementation of Assembly Decision AU/Dec.772, which aims to allocate 1% of national budgets to the arts, culture heritage, and creative industries sectors by 2030. The decision for increased budget allocation is an integral part of the recently approved Revised AU Plan of Action on Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs).

With the approval of the Revised AU Plan of Action on Cultural and Creative Industries, Member states were requested to monitor its implementation using a dedicated monitoring tool after the initial ten years of execution. The AUC was entrusted with the responsibility of promoting the Revised plan of Action for the CCIs extensively and advocating for its adoption and implementation by Member States.

In addition to endorsing the revised plan, the Ministers urged Member States to expedite the implementation process of Assembly Decision AU/Dec.772. By allocating 1% of national budgets to the arts, culture heritage, and creative industries sectors by 2030, Member States can demonstrate their commitment to fostering economic growth, preserving cultural heritage, and nurturing artistic expression across Africa.

Teshome Wondimu, the executive director of Selam, expressed appreciation for the Ministers’ encouragement, emphasising the significance of investing in the cultural and creative sectors. 

“After dedicating more than a quarter of a century to our work on the African continent, we are deeply grateful for the official recognition bestowed upon us by Africa’s most prominent regional institution.” he said
Adding that: “The decision by the Ministers marks a significant step towards fostering the cultural and creative industries in Africa. 

It highlights their dedication to advancing cultural and creative industries within the African Union, with the ultimate goal of creating a vibrant and sustainable creative economy that harnesses the immense cultural wealth and talents of the continent. 

We are optimistic that a collaboration between Selam and the AUC will enhance the advocacy efforts to ensure that Member States allocate the necessary resources to support cultural and creative initiatives, fostering an environment conducive to the growth and sustainability of these sectors.”

The Ministers’ Meeting saw the participation of ministers from thirty-four AU Member States, including Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Mauritania, Malawi, Mozambique, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

This latest decision by the Ministers came after SELAM presented the CfCA initiative during the STC-YCS4 experts’ meeting, which took place from 22nd to 24th May 2023. “This initiative sets the stage for a dynamic transformation of Africa’s cultural and creative landscape, opening doors for economic opportunities and cross-cultural exchange,” Wondimu said.

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About Selam

Selam is a Pan-African organisation based  in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Selam was created in 1997 and has since  evolved into an international player, partnering with artists, cultural producers, the private sector, the media, culture institutions, researchers, and national and regional governments across the African continent as well in other regions in the world.

CfCA is being implemented by

CfCA is being implemented by

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