PAAGZ and CfCA Initiative Celebrates Africa Day and Kicks off Advocacy Campaign in Addis Ababa

Connect for Culture Africa (CfCA) initiative, in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), is gearing up to commemorate Africa Day on May 25th amidst the vibrant ambiance of the Addis Jazz festival at the African Jazz Village in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
This celebration will coincide with the kick-off of CfCA’s Advocacy campaign on May 24th, aimed at rallying various stakeholders, including artists, to advocate for increased budget allocation and public funding for the culture sector.
The Advocacy campaign, marking one year since the official launch of CfCA, is focused on lobbying African member states to allocate a minimum of 1% of their national budget to arts, culture, and heritage sectors by 2030. Through research, data publication, and policy recommendations, CfCA aims to drive substantive progress in resource allocation towards cultural development.
A press conference on May 24th will present CfCA ambassadors, leveraging their influence to broaden the campaign’s reach and advocate for enhanced public funding in the culture sector. These ambassadors will also articulate the significance of increased public investment in culture, fostering awareness and garnering support for CfCA’s mission.
Simultaneously, CfCA will host a regional network meeting, bringing together national coordinators and researchers from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and Uganda. This meeting aims to facilitate discussions on the progress of ongoing baseline studies regarding public investment in the culture sector and stakeholders’ mapping exercise. Moreover, it seeks to strengthen collaboration, exchange of best practices, and reinforce CfCA’s network.
Partnering with the Addis Jazz Festival for the Africa Day celebration on 25th and 26th May, underscores CfCA’s commitment to promoting the socio-economic potential of the culture sector. By showcasing local and regional musicians, this collaboration kickoff CfCA’s advocacy efforts, raising awareness and fostering appreciation for African culture.
Teshome Wondimu, Executive Director of Selam, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, emphasising its alignment with CfCA’s broader goal of reshaping perceptions regarding the culture sector’s economic, creative, and societal contributions.
“We are grateful to the musicians who have joined CfCA as ambassadors,” said Wondimu, highlighting the pivotal role of artists in advocating for policy reforms and increased funding. “These efforts are crucial for enhancing the production, marketing, and distribution of cultural goods, amplifying their impact globally.”
In the same vein, CfCA National Coordinators in Zambia, PAAGZ’s Executive Director, Khazike Sakala, also expressed similar sentiments, he said “We are grateful to Selam for sparking meaningful conversation and advocacy efforts towards shaping perceptions and promoting public investment in the creatives and cultural sector in Africa through the project.” Sakala also reiterated the belief that public investment in the cutlural sector posseses limitless potential that can translate into a significant positive impact of the arts industry on national revenues and development outcomes in Africa and Zambia specifically.
The upcoming event builds upon CfCA’s recent achievements, including a successful regional network meeting in Zanzibar, Tanzania, and the establishment of National Working Groups (NWGs) in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Ethiopia.

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