Leaders of government arts support agencies and Pan African networks gathered in Cape Town this week for a unique 'African Dialogue' hosted by the National Arts Council of South Africa. Ten African countries were represented together with networks such as Arterial, the Africa Centre, the Southern African Theatre Initiative, the International Conference on African Culture and Development and Creative Africa. IFACCA’s board member, the CEO of the Bomas of Kenya, Quresh Ahmed, and IFACCA's executive director, Sarah Gardner, were also present.
Over two days delegates explored the variety of arts funding models currently operating in Africa and identified many common issues such as funding levels, advocacy to government and the community, the need for more information about arts support infrastructure in Africa, creative industries, copyright and the development of arts management skills. They also discussed potential responses specific to the African context as well as possible areas of cooperation and concrete projects for the future.
Also discussed were ways to develop an African approach to the World Summit on Arts and Culture, to be held in Joburg on 22-25 September 2009. As well as South Africa, delegates came from Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Swaziland and Tanzania.