Connect for Culture Africa to Host Partner Network Meeting in Zanzibar

The Connect for Culture Africa (CfCA) initiative, in partnership with the African Union (AU), is gearing up for a regional network meeting scheduled for February 11 in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

This meeting will bring together representatives from civil society organizations (CSOs) and key stakeholders, including policymakers such as Fumba Chama, Permanent Secretary responsible for arts in the Zambian Ministry of Youth, Sport, and Arts, and Juliana Naumo, Director of Gender and Community Development in the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development.

The primary objective of the meeting is to connect representatives from National Working Groups (NWGs) in Zambia, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and Uganda. They will be presenting and deliberating on the outcomes of the inaugural NWGs meetings, held between January and February.

CfCA was launched in May 2023 and has since made strides with the formation of a regional expert advisory group, which held an initial evaluation of the CfCA implementation plan, leading to a series of roundtable discussions in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Ethiopia. These discussions identified challenges and opportunities in accessing public funding, culminating in the formation of the NWGs.

The NWGs hold a crucial mandate—advocating for AU member states to allocate 1% of public funding to the culture sector while concurrently working towards bolstering a more substantial national presence. In pursuit of this goal, the NWGs provide advice to culture and affiliated ministries, oversee intervention implementation aligned with CfCA objectives, and guide activities starting with a baseline study and mapping for the culture and creative sector—a flagship project set to commence later this month.

Selam’s founder and Executive Director, Teshome Wondimu, emphasizes that this approach enables more targeted support for the Culture and Creative Sectors. He notes, “The NWGs ensure that strategies and decisions regarding project interventions are firmly rooted in national considerations and enriched by diverse perspectives. This is a crucial step in building a consolidated and collaborative network among cultural actors, empowering them to lobby more effectively and marking a significant advancement in the cultural landscape.”

During the meeting in Zanzibar, NWG representatives will unveil a roadmap for planned mapping and baseline studies on public funding and creative landscapes in represented countries. They will also share the report from their NWGs meetings, contributing to the collective experience and insights within the CfCA community.

Adding to the depth of the meeting will be Professor Dr. Vicensia Shule, Senior Cultural Officer in the AU Department of Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Social Development. Shule will present the AU Plan of Action, a guiding document for the development and strengthening of African Cultural and Creative Industries.

“The CfCA project is founded on the principles outlined in the AU Plan of Action,” Selam’s Regional Programme Director Lucy Ilado said. “It recognises the role of the Cultural and Creative Sectors in fostering inclusive development, good governance, economic empowerment, poverty alleviation, job creation, trade, and regional integration.”

Adding that: “ Considering the diverse range of stakeholders at the meeting, we find it crucial to emphasize the significance of this important document. Our intention is not only for stakeholders to understand the document within the context of the CfCA project but to encourage them to leverage its content beyond our initiative. The AU Plan of Action serves as a comprehensive guide that can benefit a broad spectrum of stakeholders, contributing to the overarching goals of inclusive and sustainable development in the region.”

The upcoming meeting will also foster networking and collaboration among experts and organisations, creating opportunities for future partnerships, joint projects, and knowledge sharing.



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

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The website will be updated in the coming months.

Contact : Lucy Ilado –  Regional Programme Director  |  Email:    Whatsapp:   +254 700 322 664

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