CULTURAL and creative industries’ support for the development of the culture and creative industries in African countries has grown over the years through the wide ratification and implementation of the 2005 Conventionthe Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression.
Nhimbe Trust programme officer Lisa Thelma Sidambe who joined a virtual UNESCO ResiliArt panel by Zoom to discuss the status of artists in Africa on 28 July said the UNESCO Convention has been ratified by several Member States in Africa.
“Although Member States report regulations and programmes that favour the creative sector, many challenges still remain; hence the need for continued or increased support.”
The panel was comprised of UNESCO heads, a representative of the International Labour Organisation, and cultural professionals from eight African countries: Mauritius, Mali, Morocco, Kenya, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe.
On World Art Day, 15 April 2020, UNESCO launched a global movement ResiliArt to shed light on the current state of creative industries.
Sidambe said ResiliArt aims to strengthen the resilience of artists and cultural professionals in the face of the enormous challenges posed by Covid-19.
“In the spirit of the UNESCO ResiliArt campaign, several African countries have held online debates with key stakeholders in the cultural and creative industries sector to exchange experiences and views on the impact of Covid-19 on artists, performers and other actors in the sector.
“Through these ResiliArt discussions across the continent, the fragility and unstable status of artists’ income and social protection is clear. This need is apparent at a critical time when governments are being called upon to develop legislative proposals for stronger rights, fairer remuneration, and copy-right reform to protect artists’ rights.”
Sibande added that the organisation of this webinar provided an opportunity to learn more about the UNESCO 1980 Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist and the vulnerable situation of artists during the Covid-19 pandemic. “This exchange will lead to an increased awareness of the importance of national legislation to support and protect the interests of artists in the Africa region.” – LIFESTYLE WRITER