Brussels, 4 March 2014/ ACP: Artists, trainers, creative professionals and managers representing projects funded by the ACP Cultures Plus programme were in Brussels last week to share experiences and refresh their knowledge on how to better manage their projects.

With nearly a hundred participants gathered at the ACP House on 24-25 February, updates were shared on a range of ventures, from creative works such a Mozambique-made TV documentary series on Southern African history, to trainings run by the International Music Council to make musicians more employable, youth music camps and on-going festivals in the Pacific and Caribbean, and a digital distribution platform for Caribbean literary works, among dozens of others.

All seek to promote cultural diversity while also boosting the economy.

Head of Unit for ACP-wide and Sub-Saharan Africa regional programmes at the EU Development Commission, Mr Denis Salord underlined the cultural sector as a priority, pointing to clear benefits in employment and development of crafts.

He told beneficiaries that the ACP Cultures Plus programme had received more than 600 submissions over the last two calls for proposals, with more and more projects being accepted for funding. With budgets exceeding a million Euro for some activities, he stressed the importance of sound project management to ensure results.

ACP Assistant Secretary General Mme Michele Dominique Raymond encouraged delegates to continue generating results, in order to pave the way for other ACP professionals in the field.

She added that despite the trend to axe funding to the cultural sector in times of global financial constraints, the Cultures Plus Programme has managed to provide support for more than 50 projects around the ACP regions. These include film and television production, media training, organisation of music festivals, capacity building and professionalization, architecture and design projects, music tours, literature programmes, and others. All involve partnerships and coordination amongst ACP countries and at least one EU country.

The ACP Cultures Plus Programme is funded under the 10th cycle of the European Development Fund and aims to promote development by reinforcing the creation of cultural goods and services in ACP countries. The programme also supports higher access to markets and capacity building of professionals in ACP States, as well as improving the regulatory environment of the cultural sector. Priority is given to activities that can generate real, measurable employment.

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(Photo top: DEVCO Head of Unit of ACP programmes Mr. Denis Salord leads discussions along with ACP Assistant Secretary General Mme Dominique Raymond, and other colleagues; above – Participants at the Beneficiaries Meeting, 24-25 February 2014)

– ACP Press