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Africa’s Cultural and Creative Sector Defines the New Normal

Despite the challenges of Covid19, the continent’s rich and diverse cultural and creative industries have emerged fighting for survival and facing the greatest challenge to re-define itself, as public performances are restricted and entertainment venues and tourist attractions remain closed.

In 2018 United Cities and Local Governments of Africa launched the African Capitals of Culture during its
flagship event Africities in Marrakech, Morocco. This cultural celebration, being a first on the continent, will
follow a similar model to the well-established European Capitals of Culture, which has been running for over 35
years. The European Capitals of Culture initiative was designed to:

  • Highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe
  • Celebrate the cultural features Europeans share
  • Increase European citizens’ sense of belonging to a common cultural area
  • Foster the contribution of culture to the development of citie

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4th International Award UCLG –Mexico City -Culture 21: Segou (Mali) winner, special mention for Yopougon (Ivory Coast)

The results of the fourth edition of the International Award UCLG –Mexico City -Culture 21 were made public on 29 May 2020 during the Executive Bureau of UCLG.  Two African cities are among the laureates, Ségou from Mali and Yopougon from Côte d’Ivoire.

In the “city” category, 81 81 bids from cities and local governments from across the world  were received between 15 November 2019 and 18 March 2020.

The Jury analysed all the nominations submitted in each of the two categories and decided to award the Prize to the nominations of (in alphabetical order) “Network of Arts and Cultural Practices in  Medellín”, submitted  by the City of Medellín (Colombia), and “Ségou: A Creative City”, submitted  by Ségou (Mali).  Each candidature will receive EUR 25,000.

The project “Ségou: A Creative City” started in 2015 as an initiative by the Festival on the Niger Foundation. In partnership with the municipality of Ségou, the initiative has provided the city with a sound cultural policy focused on sustainable development. The implication and commitment of all cultural actors together with the local government and civil society in the implementation process of this solid initiative has helped unfold its main objectives, providing access for everyone to culture and enhancing the value of Ségou’s cultural identities -music, design and fashion, visual arts, heritage and gastronomy- and artistic and cultural creation, by putting art and culture at the centre of local development. “Ségou: A Creative City” has contributed to professionalize the cultural sector as well, improving the working conditions of cultural and creative actors and creating synergies among cultural organisations, stakeholders and citizens. Furthermore, “Ségou: A Creative City” constitutes a suitable framework for collaboration with other African cities, and promotes the implementation of projects based on co-creation, co-production, exchange of experiences and sharing of good practices.More details on the Segou project here.

The International Jury decided  to award 2 cities, give 7 special mentions, and award 2 individuals. Among the special mentions, the city of Yopougon was selected for its project ”  “Yopougon: Becoming an educational and creative city through social cohesion”. This is a sound and complete initiative that demonstrates the willingness of the local government to place culture as a pillar of local sustainability policies. The initiative has a clear inclusive and participatory component, with specific lines on the integration of youth into the cultural and creative sector, which has resulted in the improvement of the well-being of citizens. More details here.

All the details about the 4th edition of the UCLG International Prize – City of Mexico -Culture 21 here.

Postponement of the Official Launch of the celebration of Rabat, African Capital of Culture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Organizing Committee of the African Capitals of Culture informs the public and interested institutions that the official launch of the celebration of Rabat, African Capital of Culture, initially scheduled for March 26, 2020, is postponed to a later date in accordance with Order No. 4917 of the Ministry of the Interior dated March 4, 2020, on the measures taken as part of the fight against the risk of propagation of the Coronavirus – COVID19.

 

For the Organizing Committee,

The President

Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa

Download The Release here

Read the press release relating to the designation of Rabat, African Capital of Culture 2020-2021.

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.

Contacts:

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

cedric@dmmediapr.com

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.