Culture and Arts – Accelerators of progress, Maison Dentsu supports the African Capitals of Culture.

H.M. King Mohammed VI.

28th African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, 31 January 2017.

“For a long time, we have looked elsewhere, to make a decision, a commitment… Isn’t it time to put an end to this tropism? Isn’t it time to turn our attention to our continent? Isn’t it time to consider its cultural wealth, its human potential? Africa can be proud of its resources, its cultural heritage, its spiritual values and the future must carry this natural pride loud and clear!”

Under the impetus of the pan-African organisation “United Cities and Local Governments of Africa” (UCLG Africa), and patrons by the African Union, the African Capitals of Culture aim to federate, promote and accelerate all the creative energies of Africa.

Art, culture, design, fashion, innovation, sustainable and solidarity-based economy: with a cultural heritage of unique depth, the African Capitals of Culture wish to affirm the leading role that Africa will play in the invention of new development models, for the future of the continent as well as for the world.

By connecting private and public actors, the African Capitals of Culture are an independent, autonomous and sustainable ecosystem created by Africans for all the people and diaspora of Africa.

Officially launched in Marrakech in 2020, the program of African Capitals of Culture will be rolled out across the continent with the election, every 3 years, of a new host city.

Structured around 42 strategic projects and local actions, the African Capitals of Culture will accelerate the dynamics of African cultural, social, societal and economic reinvention while ensuring a continental and international influence for the initiatives developed.

Over a period of twelve months, the host city will host a series of events, forums and demonstrations from all over Africa, thus becoming the gathering point for the creativity of an entire continent. Mirroring this, partner cities will host artistic programing developed by the host city, ensuring a global and unifying dynamic to the program.

“Yesterday, advertising made culture, today it is culture that makes advertising. This conviction is at the heart of our transformation and that of our clients. Through the Maison Dentsu, we work daily to build close links between artists and brands to invent new models. We are convinced that the African Capitals of Culture will accelerate the transformation and international influence of the African continent. The Dentsu Group is extremely proud to support this initiative,” said Thierry Jadot, President of Dentsu Aegis Network France and MENA.

An evening of presentation of the African Capitals of Culture will be held on January 16 at the Maison Dentsu and will bring together major players in the fields of culture, the arts and the economy around an exhibition of Leila Alaoui’s works created by Galleria Continua under the patronage of the Leila Alaoui Foundation and the artistic direction of Anissa Touati and Thomas Erber.

During this event, Thierry Jadot will welcome Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, President of the Organizing Committee of the African Capitals of Culture and Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr Chakib Benmoussa, Ambassador of H.M. King Mohammed VI in France and Mahi Binebine, Honorary President of the Marrakech 2020 Organizing Committee.


About the African Capitals of Culture

The African Capitals of Culture program is developed by the pan-African organization “United Cities and Local Governments of Africa” (UCLG Africa), which brings together 48 national associations of local governments from all regions of Africa, as well as 2,000 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. UCLG Africa therefore represents more than 350 million African citizens. UCLG Africa is notably a founder of the Africities summit, the largest democratic gathering on the continent.

The African Capitals of Culture are also accompanied by institutional partners: The Department of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission, the European Commission, UNESCO, and the ACP Group of States.

Marrakech 2020 has been entrusted to a tripartite organizing committee composed of representatives of UCLG Africa, the Municipality of Marrakech and the Regional Council of Marrakech Safi, whose presidency is held by the Wali of Marrakech-Safi.


Khalid Tamer

Director General of the African Capitals of Culture

+212 6 61 61 88 82

+33 6 85 72 45 41

Claire Le Goff

In charge of Programmes for African Capitals of Culture

+ 212 6 61 58 59 82

About Maison Dentsu:

Artistic residence, exhibition and creation place, Maison Dentsu is a space dedicated to the reinvention of brands through art and culture.

Through Maison Dentsu, the Dentsu Group creates a bridge between its clients and an international network of visionary designers, artists and innovators, with the ambition to develop the cultural authority of brands and their ability to influence.

Press Contact:

Cédric Galonské

Associate Director Luxury Division

T: +33 (0)1 40 26 55 55

About the Leila Alaoui Foundation :

The Leila Alaoui Foundation was created in March 2016 to ensure the archiving, conservation and dissemination of Leila Alaoui’s work. A committed photographer and video artist, Leila Alaoui explored the themes of migration, the construction of identities and cultural diversity.

Through her work, she helped to bring to the forefront the forgotten of society and give them back some of their dignity. A victim of the terror attack, January 2016 in Ouagadougou, her art and her struggles are now carried by the Leila Alaoui Foundation.