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UNESCO Workshop Strengthens Media Diversity and Cultural Pluralism in Eastern Africa

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UNESCO Workshop Strengthens Media Diversity and Cultural Pluralism in Eastern Africa

Countries should ensure that copyright laws adapt to the new digital environment and are effectively enforced.

PARIS, France, November 30, 2021 / APO Group / –

Within the framework of the project “Restructuring cultural policies for the promotion of fundamental freedoms and the diversity of cultural expressions”, UNESCO organized a series of hybrid knowledge transfer workshops (physical and online) from 15 to 25 of November 2021 on media diversity and cultural pluralism in four East African countries (Ethiopia, Mauritius, Tanzania, Uganda).

The training targeted 35 cultural and media stakeholders, national experts, and government officials from the region and provided a platform for capacity building on the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. and to discuss policy initiatives and measures necessary to support the media. diversity and its content in East African countries.

Mr. Charles Vallerand, international expert on media diversity at the 2005 UNESCO Convention Center of Experts, led and moderated four interactive sessions that raised awareness among national media on the links between media diversity and diversity of communities. cultural expressions. Mr. Vallerand equipped media professionals with the necessary tools to advocate for the promotion of diverse cultural expressions in the media sphere, identify gaps, and demonstrate the role of the media as facilitators of diversity in cultural expressions.

“The most pressing issue facing media and culture professionals today is the fight against online piracy and other forms of piracy, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the global consumption of culture in the home. International cooperation and collaboration of digital platforms are key. At the national level, countries should ensure that copyright laws are adapted to the new digital environment and are effectively enforced to ensure that artists, professionals in the media and publishers have the means to prosper. ” Mr. Charles Vallerand, UNESCO expert.

The workshop included presentations by Mr. John Bosco Mayiga, Communications and Information Program Specialist at UNESCO’s Regional Office for East Africa, covering national policies and measures to support media diversity and content diversity in media in the digital environment. . Mr. Bosco also led a group discussion on recent trends at the national, regional and international levels that could have a positive or negative impact on media diversity.

Ms Karalyn Monteil, Culture Program Specialist at UNESCO’s Regional Office for East Africa, highlighted how creativity can foster national identity, social cohesion, intercultural dialogue and sustainable development, as well as the role of media in promoting the diversity of cultural expressions. and monitoring the implementation of the 2005 UNESCO Convention. Ms Monteil also expressed UNESCO’s hope that this workshop would help strengthen the network of media stakeholders in the East Africa region and identify recommendations for the role of the media in promoting diversity of expressions. cultural in East Africa.

National focal points of the Ministries of Culture of the four beneficiary countries – Mr. Teferi Teklu from Ethiopia; Mrs. Annabelle Arekion from Mauritius; Mr. Peter Simon Maqway from Tanzania; and Ms. Juliana Akoryo Naumo from Uganda – facilitated the participation of national teams in the workshop activities and guided the development of national strategies for media diversity, presented and discussed during the last session.

The workshop was closed by Mr. Toussaint Tiendrebeogo, Secretary of the 2005 UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, who encouraged participants to continue participating in promotional actions and policies on regulations and media policies for media diversity and diversity. of cultural expressions in their respective countries. He stressed that “the media play a key role in fostering the production of diverse cultural content, as well as in promoting public access to cultural content” and that “stakeholders in the media are, for therefore, key strategic partners for the implementation of the 2005 Convention “.

As beneficiary countries participating in the project “Restructuring cultural policies for the promotion of fundamental freedoms and the diversity of cultural expressions”, funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Ethiopia, Mauritius, Tanzania and Uganda will continue implementing activities in 2022, by building on the submitted quadrennial periodic reports and the third UNESCO World Report: Reshaping Policies for Creativity, to be published in February 2022.

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