Statement – Rewriting the Narrative: Africa-Europe Dialogue built on culture, creativity and entrepreneurship

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  • Statement – Rewriting the Narrative: Africa-Europe Dialogue built on culture, creativity and entrepreneurship

Culture and creativity are recognized as key factors not only for economic growth and development but also social cohesion and identity.

At the webinar organized on 17 February 2022 at the EU-Africa week, the first edition in the run-up of the 6th EU-African Union Summit, we are reengaging with African-European dialogue from a different vantage point: we want Africa to take the lead in setting forth a new kind of conversation that is truly transformational and inclusive with a focus on culture, creativity and entrepreneurship.

During a 2-hour online event led and organised by the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA) we brought together cultural and creative entrepreneurs, artists, policy-makers, academics and finance actors from Africa and Europe. The aim is to open debate around the key challenges and opportunities facing collaboration in the cultural and creative industries (CCI), with a focus on strengthening Africa-Europe cooperation and cultural exchange.

We have the following recommendations for the heads of States of the European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) to consider for the rebuilding of the Africa-EU partnership:

  1.  To formally recognize culture, creativity and the cultural creative industry as pillars for inclusive, sustainable and resilient economic development post COVID-19 recovery;
  2. To set up a regional fund dedicated to cultural creative industry (CCI) in Africa, with guarantees and co-guarantees from the African countries and under the EU’s Multi Annual Financial Framework. The CCI fund will be under a joint EU-AU oversight and will have a joint administration from the African Development Bank (ADB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and should be open to others to join. The CCI fund will support entrepreneurs in the CCI and will provide capacity building including digital free training and capitalizing on best practices to accelerate the development of the African ecosystem;
  3. To multiply and extend the regional initiatives and multi-stakeholders innovation platforms and hubs such as CREACT4MED to ensure there are digital and physical market places and targeted regional events for CCI actors including new talents in Europe and Africa to meet, connect, co-create, collaborate, cooperate, build synergies and prosper.

Prof. Rym Ayadi, Founder and President of the Euro–Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA), Director of the CREACT4MED project and Director of the EU-Mediterranean and African Network for Economic Studies (EMANES).

Ms. Jihan El Tahri, a multi-award-winning film director, writer, visual artist and producer currently serving as the General Director of the Berlin based documentary support institution DOX BOX.

Ms. Mane Cisneros, founder and director of the African Film Festival of Tarifa (FCACT) as well as the Centre of Cultural Diffusion of the Strait Al Tarab.

Ms. Angèle Diabang, a screenwriter, director and film producer who is running the production company Karoninka, credited with over a dozen films.

Ms. Najlaa El-Ageli, an architect with over twenty years of experience in the profession who in 2012 founded Noon Arts, a small private arts foundation with a mission to bring the best of contemporary Libyan art from both emerging and established artists.

Mr. Youssef Mechmech, an independent product designer with extensive experience in both sides of the Mediterranean who founded Design Tounsi, the first alternative platform in Tunisia dedicated to the development and democratization of the profession of designer.

Ms. Anna Soler Pont, a writer who in 1992 founded Pontas Literary & Film Agency and has since represented internationally writers from the 5 continents, with a focus on women writers from Africa and Asia.

Mr. Kunle Afolayan, an award-winning Nollywood actor, film-maker, movie producer and director, CEO and founder of Kunle Afolayan Productions Television (KAPTv) and Golden Effects Pictures.

Ms. Nagla Bahr, Managing Director of the Credit Guarantee Company (CGC) in Egypt and chairwomen of the Euro-Mediterranean Guarantee Network (EMGN).

Mr. Moubarak Lo, Former Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Senegal, President of the Emergence Institute, Director General of the Economic Foresight Bureau and member of the Advisory Board of EMEA.

Prof. Pier Luigi Sacco, Senior Advisor to the OECD Center for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions, and Cities, Associate Researcher at CNR-ISPC, Naples, Professor of Cultural Economics, University of Chieti-Pescara, and Senior Researcher at the metaLAB (at) Harvard.

Ms. Nermine El-Tahri, Assistant Minister for micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) at Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation and member of EMEA Advisory Board.

Dr. Yeganeh Forouheshfar, Economists and Researcher at EMEA, where she has led the mapping for the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) in the Southern Mediterranean countries.

Ms. Maria Ruiz de Cossío, Project Manager at EMEA who is coordinating the implementation of the CREACT4MED project.


Event video:

Link to event report



CREACT4MED is a project co-funded by the EU and led by the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA), which aims to strengthen businesses within the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs). It seeks to support entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs, create jobs, and foster sustainable economic growth in the Southern Mediterranean, with a particular focus on young people and women.

About the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA)

The Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA) is a Barcelona-based regional organization  established in 2012, that serves as a leading independent and innovative policy research institution; a forum for debate on the political and socio-economic reforms in Mediterranean and Africa; and promoter of actions and initiatives that fulfil objectives of sustainability, inclusiveness, regional integration and prosperity.



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