Stakeholder Session SH-18: “The contribution of local authorities in the promotion and reinforcement of the role of arts and culture in the Agenda 2063”

30 November 2015, Sandton Convention Centre, Exhibition 1 boardroom 3, Johannesburg, SA

In the framework of the second day of the Africities Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, a session on the topic: “The contribution of local authorities in the promotion and reinforcement of the role of arts and culture in the Agenda 2063” took place in the conference room set inside Africities Exhibition.

The session tackled the question of what goals and strategies for the implementation of the cultural dimension of Agenda 2063 can be put in place by the African Authorities.

The session was organized by “Arterial Network” and “Culture et Développement” and the panel comprised Mayor of Yopougon, Kafana Koné Gilbert, Chairman of UVICOCI with the participation of Mayor of Dakar, Khalifa Sall, President of UCLG Africa; Mayor of Segou, Ousmane Simaga; Deputy Mayor of Durban, Nomvuso Shabalala; Mamou Daffe (Arterial Network/ Réseau Kya, Mali); Francisco D’Almeida(Culture et Développement, Togo/ France); Selma Ouissi (L’Art Rue, Tunisia).

All the panelists highlighted the vital role of culture in the social and economic well-being of communities, especially those in vulnerable situations. They also emphasized the importance of local authorities in promoting and strengthening of cultural activities within their respective municipalities.

The representative of the Deputy Mayor of the City of Durban, Mr. L.Naido, said that his city is one of the most diverse cities in South Africa and several communities live next to each other. In attempt to bring all these communities together, the City of Durban has created a festival called “African Renaissance” where they all come together as nation and try to move forward. That is to say the relevance of such events that can be extended to a much bigger scope to bring all Africa together.

Mrs. Selma Ouissi from L’Art Rue, Tunisia presented an interesting project called “Dream City”. The project consists of bringing 20 artists from all Africa and elsewhere to work closely with different communities in order to bridge the gap and establish dialogues. It’s a way of “reviving democracy”, said Mrs. Ouissi.

Mr. Francisco D’Almeida, from Culture et Développement, Togo/ France, highlighted the possibilities and opportunities that can emerge from bilateral cooperation between African and European cities and he gave examples of successful cooperation which allowed the creation of revenue generating activities for young people.

By the end of the session, the organizers proposed an exercise to the entire attendance that aimed at gathering and writing down of their recommendations that will be handed out to UCLG Africa as a contribution to the Agenda 2063.