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VIEWPOINT: Culture at the heart of sustainable development in ACP countries - Assistant Secretary General Michèle Dominique Raymond

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Brussels, 25 September 2014/Vivendi/ACP: No future without culture: this assertion is not just merely part of the promotional efforts of the ACP-EU Program’s support for the cultural sectors (ACPCultures+). Rather than a cry, it is a profession of faith.
It is a belief built upon the philosophy, vision and fundamental essence underlying its goal of reducing poverty by structuring and consolidating the creative industries of the ACP Group’s member States. In addition to supporting the creation and production of cultural goods and services and improving access to the appropriate markets, which requires an increase in the expertise of the sector’s players, operators and entrepreneurs, the focus is on the positive impact and the remarkable influence that the sector can have in terms of its contribution to sustainable development.
Since 2000, on the premise that culture and the creative industries bring proven potential for economic diversification, the ACP Group has been financing art-related activities in Sub-Saharan Africa and the regions of the Caribbean and the Pacific. Therefore, creative industries should be placed at the center of all initiatives aimed at creating jobs, accelerating economic growth and increasing trade.
This example demonstrates the need to maintain and above all to substantially expand financial support for creators so that they may benefit from the fact that creative goods and services are the most dynamic of all global trade sectors. As attested to UNCTAD, its expansion is the fastest in the global economy with a growth rate of 13.9% in Africa.
The rise of Africa is undeniable; all the forecasts of renowned economists support this statement. Nevertheless the value chain of the creative industries must not be marginalized or neglected. If professionals in the cultural industries in Africa innovate, shake things up and channel all their energy and enthusiasm into bringing their arts to life, it is essential to give continued momentum to the production and transmission of culture while establishing the regulations necessary for safeguarding intellectual property rights. In this way, culture can continue to fulfill its noble functions of generating wealth, employment, diversity, value, meaning and identity.
Assistant Secretary-General of ACP Group of States Brussels, Michèle Dominique Raymond is Head of the Department of Political Affairs and Human development.
First published at Cultures with Vivendi  
Further information about the ACP-EU Culture programme, visit their website ACPCultures+ Program  

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