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UNESCO’s IFCD Strengthens the East African Contemporary Dance Scene


A Tanzanian NGO, Muda Africa, has received 72,989 USD in funding from the UNESCO International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD), for the project “Strengthening the East African contemporary dance scene.” The project aims to strengthening the East African contemporary dance scene in Rwanda, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania by creating a web portal that promotes young professional East African dance artists and connects them to global dance markets, as well as empowering women dance artists through choreographic capacity building and new regional policies.

Through the project, a network to promote contemporary dance in East Africa will be created. An online database will also be created featuring 120 East African dancers from the Afrika Mashariki Dance (AMDA) network in United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. The project activities also include carrying-out a survey on dance markets in the region as well as development of a manual and training on art marketing for 180 dancers. The empowerment of East African women dance artists will be ensured through three training workshops on contemporary dance targeting 45 women artists, and organization of a 2-day conference with the members of AMDA network to develop policies promoting East African women artists.

The Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions met on 1-6 February 2021 and approved IFCD funding for initiatives that will boost the cultural and creative industries in developing countries around the world. A total of 6 projects were approved, including this contemporary dance project submitted by the United Republic of Tanzania, which will benefit the region. Selected from 1,027 applications from 102 countries, the projects will enhance the development of evidence-based cultural policies and measures, boost cultural entrepreneurship in indigenous communities, widen the engagement of civil society, women and youth in cultural policy-making processes, and support the mobility of artists. The projects are also intended to strengthen the resilience of the cultural and creative industries, which have been severely hit by COVID-19, and to make culture more accessible to all.

The International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) is a multi-donor fund established under Article 18 of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Its purpose is to promote sustainable development and poverty reduction in developing countries that are Parties to the 2005 Convention. With this year’s attribution, the IFCD has provided more than US$ 8.7 million in funding for 120 projects in 60 developing countries since 2010, covering a wide range of areas, from the development and implementation of cultural policies, to capacity-building of cultural entrepreneurs, mapping of cultural industries and the creation of new cultural industry business models.

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