Lliving Arts in Africa: A regional center in Bobo-Dioulasso for its protection and promotion

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Arts vivants en Afrique : Un centre régional à Bobo-Dioulasso pour sa protection et sa promotion

The official opening of the headquarters and the launch of the activities of the Regional Center for the Living Arts in Africa (CERAV / Africa) took place on Monday, March 29, 2016 in Bobo-Dioulasso, on the sidelines of National Culture Week (SNC). Several cultural actors attended the ceremony sponsored by Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thiéba. The first of its kind in Burkina, CERAV / Africa aims to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions.

It is in accordance with the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Living Arts that the idea of opening CERAV / Africa was born. CERAV specializes in the promotion of the performing arts as well as cinema and audiovisual. It was created on June 14, 2010 in Paris, France and officially launched on October 3 after a successful agreement between Burkina Faso and UNESCO, with the status of public institution of scientific, cultural and technical nature.

Choosing Bobo-Dioulasso to house CERAV / Africa is in the opinion of Jérémie Kouka Ouédraogo, a strong signal of the attention that the government gives to the development of the said city, and more broadly, to the entire region of high-Basins. It is obvious that this structure will contribute to a greater dynamism of the cultural life of the region while making Bobo-Dioulasso a culturally boiling city thanks to the great meetings of exchanges, reflection and demonstrations.

CERAV / Africa, a pole of impetus for new cultural actions

The regional center of the living arts is under the responsibility of Michel Saba as general delegate. He has during the official ceremony spread out the actions that will be developed there. This is, he listed:

  •  strengthening the supply of cultural goods and services of Burkinabe operators in the live arts and audiovisual sectors.
  • the access of local cultural operators to the markets of the member countries of the African region in the fields of the live arts and audiovisual.
  • to strengthen the operational capacities and the competitiveness of the operators of the sectors concerned.

The operationalization of CERAV / Africa at the regional level will facilitate the sharing of experiences on good practices in the fields of the living arts and audiovisual, but especially the strengthening of cultural cooperation. In short, says the delegate general, CERAV / Africa wants to bring new opportunities for the development of the African cultural sector. Also, it makes it known that: "the process of operationalization of the Center should orient parallel to the outside, towards the other countries, with regard to the regional vocation of the institution".

The godfather Filiga Michel Sawadogo Minister of Higher Education, for his part first recalled that CERAV / Africa is the 2nd center of UNESCO Category 2, after the International Center for Education of Girls and Women in Africa (CIEFFA). It is also in Africa, one of the three institutions of its kind in the field of Culture. Burkina Faso is honored to host these UNESCO category 2 institutes, considered as operational partners that play an important role in the specific field of culture. Burkina continues, has gone through a great diplomatic campaign conducted on the basis of a solid file, to obtain in 2010 the agreement of the General Conference of UNESCO, the only authority authorized to authorize the creation of a Center Category 2 .

As the President of the National Commission for UNESCO, the Minister of Higher Education welcomed the efforts already made. He also urged the leaders of the Center to work to become the hub of experts, African cultural operators, international institutions in the cultural sector and political actors through relevant programs. With the creation of this center adds Tahirou Barry, Minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism, Burkina undertakes to maintain, develop and boost more cultural sector rich in Africa. On behalf of the Government, he appealed to all States and institutions at the regional level to listen attentively to the solicitations, in order to facilitate the full operationalization of CERAV / Africa in its regional vocation.

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