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By Yerima Kini Nsom — The Minister of Arts and Culture, Ama Tutu Muna, has declared Government’s determination to make culture pivot for national and regional integration and development in the Central African sub-region. She made the declaration in Yaounde on November 21, while chairing a sub-regional forum on culture on behalf of the Prime Minister, Philemon Yunji Yang.

During the forum, which was organised by the Yaounde and Addis Ababa offices of the Economic Community for Central African States, ECCAS, in collaboration with the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, and the Organisation International de la Francophonie, OIF, Ama said Cameroon has made several legal provisions that promote and protect cultural industrial property and the country’s national heritage.

She also reiterated the need for a synergy that will enable all actors in the culture sector to work together to come out with a regional strategic plan that would boost culture and place it at the service of integration and development. The Director General of the Regional Bureau for the OIF, Eric Poppe, in his address at the opening of the meeting, regretted that most of the efforts of ECCAS are more often than not, centred around peace, security and economic issues.

He said that the creation of a network that will promote the industrialisation of the culture sector in the sub-region where all member countries can work on a common platform will go a long way to solve the problem of piracy, which to him is a regional problem. Poppe also took the opportunity to outline some of the actions carried out by the Francophonie to promote culture in the sub-region.

He remarked that the organisation intervenes in areas of advocacy and sponsors and facilitates travel procedures for artists from member countries of the OIF. The representative of UNESCO took a trip down memory lane, stating the various ways and means by which the organisation has been promoting culture around the world since its creation. He re-echoed UNESCO’s determination to support viable cultural policies everywhere in the world.

He said the organisation attaches a lot of importance to culture because culture is a very effective and efficient tool for regional, sub-regional and national integration and development.
Participants at this three-day forum brainstormed on cultural dialogue, cultural diversity and the role of communication in cultural development, among other pertinent issues in the sector.

First published in The Post print edition no 01393

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