Yes, the year 2020 is indeed the year of the 15th anniversary of the legal birth of the Observatory of Cultural Policies in Africa.
But before the publication of Annex No. 1, series 3, no 3, of January 19, 2005 of the Bulletin of the Republic of Mozambique, country of its headquarters, OCPA had started its mission as a resource center. It immediately set up a network of information collected from everywhere, gathered and processed in order to take stock, at its launch, on the orientations and meaning of the directives of cultural life in Africa and to already feed the preparation. the research, harmonization and, if necessary, training program for national experts and skills. He could then initiate a technical dialogue with local, national and international partners and participate in the identification of national cultural policies whose new parameters had just been defined respectively in 2005 with UNESCO and in 2006 with the African Union.
Thus, at the rate of three medium-term programs, the OCPA carried out dozens of expert seminars and training workshops, carried out and published the results of research oriented towards the essential questions of cultural factors for sustainable development, undertook numerous advisory missions in States, accompanied its primary partners, the African Union and UNESCO, in reflections on the relevance, promotion or revision of the main instruments of cultural policies, having also broadened its own network of cultural cooperation on a global scale. At the same time, of course, he participated in the structuring of the network of regional cultural institutions of the Continent and of the Diaspora after having previously identified and invested its national focal points in three quarters of the 55 states that make up Africa.
At the dawn of its 4th medium-term program, a five-year plan, which will take it from 2021 to 2025, the OCPA plans to pay particular attention to fundamental questions that have remained latent and made current by the need for a new approach imposed by this particular moment in human history. These questions concern the transversality of public policies, the impact of the digital civilization on the protection of creation, the imperative need to safeguard identities and the relevance of the enhancement of endogenous knowledge. These questions indirectly challenge cultural geopolitics. They obviously concern one of the aspects of the resilience program to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, the extent of which cannot be ignored!
Long before this interlude, a study seminar had been scheduled to celebrate this anniversary of the birth of OCPA. This seminar is maintained and it will be organized, “face-to-face”. An opportunity will thus be given to the actors engaged with us to deepen this data, revisit the missions of our House, this apple of our eyes, follow the different stages of its journey, learn about the successes and problems encountered and ensure that the answers given are appropriate, up to the stakes and challenges of the present times and of the future.
Maputo, July 25, 2020