The theme of this session of African Cultural Ministers held in Algeria from 19-23 October 2008, was the harmonisation and coordination of cultural policies, programmes and activities contained in the Nairobi Plan of Action for Cultural and Creative Industries that emanated from the previous Ministerial gathering held in Kenya in December 2005, but which itself is an updated version of the Dakar Plan of Action on Cultural Industries adopted in 1992 by OAU Heads of State and Government.
Some of the priority areas outlined in the Nairobi Plan are:
1.addressing the needs for statistical data on cultural and creative industries
2.institutional capacity-building at national, regional and continental levels
3.facilitating access to markets
4.improving infrastructure and working conditions for African artists
5.protecting African intellectual property and
6.reinforcing African ownership and leadership of the processes and strategies to realise the Plan
Numerous strategies outlined in the plan resonate with current and future projects of the ARTerial Network, including:
1.undertaking research into the economic impact of the arts on the African economy
2.collecting and disseminating statistical and general information in support of the African cultural sector
3.opening regional and international markets for African cultural goods and services
4.developing capacity so that African artists and entrepreneurs can derive the maximum benefit from their work
5.lobbying for policies and a legislative framework conducive to sustainable arts practice and better working conditions for artists
While the African Union unites governments on the continent and IFACCA coordinates parastatal funding agencies in Africa, the ARTerial Network could potentially play an important role in helping to unite and mobilise civil society in the implementation of this plan.