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UNESCO project to boost Gambian Female Artists’ career

Hassoum Ceesay

The National Centre for Arts and Culture with support from the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO-Aschberg) programme will on Tuesday 1st November 2022 organise a day-long consultative meeting on Elaboration on Regulation for the Culture and Creative Industries. 

He added that this will strengthen the competitiveness of Gambian female artists and the cultural and creative industries through capacity building on entrepreneurial and marketing skills.

The forum intends to promulgate a Regulation from the existing NCAC Act 2007, to operationalize the National Endowment Fund for Arts and Culture to enhance funding of artistic and cultural program for the betterment of the economic and social status of female artists.

The Director General of the Centre (NCAC) Mr. Hassoum Ceesay said the consultation with policy makers, cultural organizations and Artists anticipates to improve the social and economic protection of artists, decent employment and the balanced circulation of cultural goods and services.

“The consultation will design and elaborate on regulations and strategies derived from the current NCAC Act and the National Arts and Culture Policy to help promote the economic, social and cultural rights of the artists,” he said.

Mr. Ceesay revealed that capacity building will be provided for target artistic associations, individual artists and female artists on database access, and various Gambian laws that protect the rights of artists including women creators. Also, he went on, female artists will be trained on Contracts Management, E-marketing of their products, Public Relations and Communication Skills, Business and Self Promotion, Time Management, and Financial Planning including creating and managing a budget, calculating expenditure and managing tax and self-employment issues. He observed that such capacity will help to set them on the pedestal of artistic success in the Gambia.

Ms. Yarri Kamara, a Policy Consultant and Researcher, said UNESCO is conducting a survey on status of women participation and contribution to the Cultural and Creative Industries with a view to acquiring data, understanding and create a conducive context for creativity as well as inform on the status of women artists.

She noted that this will assist in preparing pedagogical material for the capacity building of female artists on contracts negotiations, public Relations, e-Marketing and strengthen the competitiveness of Gambian female artists in the cultural and creative industries.

“UNESCO is giving a new impetus to the UNESCO-Aschberg Programme for Artists and Cultural Professionals to support States and key actors in their efforts to promote the status of the artist and the diversity of cultural expressions. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the entire cultural ecosystem, and has further highlighted its fragility. As the recent UNESCO report on cultural and creative industries in the face of COVID-19 demonstrates, job losses in this area are conservatively estimated at 10 million worldwide, suggesting a rapid decline in employment that is profoundly affecting the livelihoods of creative workers,” said Ernesto Ottone Ramirez, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture.

The event will be graced by female artists, journalists, cultural and creative associations as well as policy makers.

Editor’s note: The author, Aminata Sanneh is the Information Officer at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

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