February 12, 2018



The conference gathered 150 participants to present of the results of the Programme and share best practices implemented over the last five years

The Secretariat of the ACP Group of States and the European Union organised the final conference of the ACPCultures+ Programme on 8 and 9 February 2018. The objectives of the conference were to present the results of the ACPCultures+ Programme and share the best practices implemented in the framework of the supported actions over the last five years.

The meeting has been an opportunity to present the future ACP-EU support programme to ACP cultural sectors, with an envelope of 40 million euros.

Nearly 150 representatives of the beneficiaries and partners organisations, involved in the implementation of the 54 finalised funded projects, were present to the event.

“At this stage of our life, when we are bombarded with negative forces, extremism and radicalism, we need art and culture more than ever to reach communities, especially the young, with alternative narrative”, said Stefano Manservisi, General Director for International Cooperation and Development at the European Commission.

The soft power of culture can rival any political, economic or defence power, but this rich and untapped historic resource requires proper tools to thrive and make an impact.

“Culture is the vector to create pluralism, coexistence and respect within societies and between north and south”, pointed out Patrick Gomes, General-Secretary of the ACP Secretariat. “ACP Secretariat believes culture could be the conduit to tackle ripple effects of unrest and disenchantment that are often compounded with poverty and unemployment, such as radicalism and marginalisation”, he added.

The results of the Programme and of the financed projects have been presented by Léonard Emile Ognimba, Deputy-Secretary General of the ACP Secretariat. Many examples illustrate the impact of the actions.

Film productions have given the opportunity to create quality jobs. Many films were an important step in building a strong film and audiovisual sector in the countries where the productions took place. The trainings significantly improved the ability of artists, managers, producers and cultural actors to export their talent and works. Thanks to the financed project, distribution of works has been improved.

The Programme has allowed young artists from several ACP regions to meet. Through creative residencies in several disciplines, these talents have discovered innovative ways to promote their work.

The projects contributed to film and audience education. Many actions have been implemented in remote areas, multiplying the impact and interest for local people.

Many projects contributed to the improvement of the regulatory framework and the cultural policies of several ACP countries.

“These themes are important because culture is not about dance, music, films only. If we talk about development, we talk about development of culture, promoting resilient society, empowered young people. We can do it all through culture. We can address employability through culture. Therefore, culture is a cross cutting theme, it involves many sectors…” said Aida Liha Matejiček, Head of Unit Culture, Education, Health at European Commission, DG International Cooperation and Development.

Two workshops run in parallel, where each project’s representative has been able to present the results of their action. To sum up the many discussions, it is possible to affirm that through the Programme:

  1. The quality of creative works have been improved;
  2. Value in its benefit targeting have been increased and talent of young artists developed;
  3. While Europe continues to be a lucrative market, sustainability of local cultural expressions has been enhanced by the development of and access to local and regional markets;
  4. Capacity building was a product of all projects, and had a positive impact on career prospects of trainees;
  5. Duration of the projects was identified as one of the biggest challenges, impacting on:
    • creating a strong partnership and a business model,
    • changing mentalities, markets, habits and the public.

Projects conceived for longer duration are perceived to be more amenable to ensuring the sustainability of the actions and interventions.

The conference has been an opportunity to present the next intra-ACP cooperation programme that will be launched in 2018 for the 6 years. Giorgio Ficcarelli, Head of Sector Culture and Inter-Cultural Dialogue at the General Directorate for International Cooperation and Development, told that the priorities will be placed on cultural and creative sectors which relay vitality and creativity and contribute to jobs, economic growth, wealth, social cohesion, cultural diversity, peace and stability.

Production of quality goods, innovation, sustainability, access to markets, new source of funding and audience development are the key sectors of the new support programme.

The Secretariat of the ACP Group of States and the European Commission will publish in the next months the calls for proposals to identify the structures at local and technical level, able to support projects through sub-grants in all ACP regions.

For cinema and audiovisual projects, the Commission and the Secretariat will launch calls for proposals addressed to audiovisual funds and film centers in ACP and European countries. These funds will manage the grants and subsidies according to the terms and conditions defined by the guidelines.

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