“it is more than imperative for Africa in general and Senegal in particular, to contribute to the growth and development of cultural and creative industries that are a lever for the transformation of the continent and a source of employment”, these are the words of the President of the Foundation for Cultural and Creative Industries Youssou Ndour at the launch ceremony of the Forum on Tuesday, March 07, 2023 in Dakar. This cultural event is scheduled for May 24 to 26 at the Douta Seck House of Culture in the Senegalese capital.
The interplanetary artist double disque d’Or is no longer to be presented both nationally and internationally. This Forum of Cultural and Creative Industries will once again show that Senegal, A growing country in the sub-region is also a platform or even a breeding ground for the development of cultural industries, which are a boon for the employment opportunities they can generate in order to consolidate the country’s economic growth.
In his welcome speech, Youssou Ndour thanked his Belgian partners, his international partners (SFI) and his local partners including Momar Dieng Diallo economic operator living in Belgium who is a close collaborator and who has been following this project since its inception. “Belgium believed in this project, the European Union, the foundations come to join us based on our idea,” he said.
For the king of the mbalakh, a fervent businessman through the assiduous creation of businesses that have generated thousands of jobs across the country, the question that arises today is the employment of young people with regard to Africa and particularly Senegal. The artist opts for the development and performance of cultural industries which he believes can be one of the solutions for the promotion of youth employment. “Cultural industries are a niche that today employs more than 30 million people between the ages of 25 and 30 worldwide.” he said in his speech.
For this 3rd edition of the Forum, the Golden Disc artist, who does not hide his satisfaction on its realization, trusts the different organizers. Its objective is to see projects materialize in a sustainable way. Partners as numerous as in previous editions for this flagship project which is in its third consecutive years. The Belgian partners, the embassies of different countries, the support of the European Union, the Development Agencies have supported the event for three years. According to Ndour, the goal of this partnership is to achieve a “winning partnership between Africa and the West and an extraordinary opportunity to create jobs.” “This forum is already an answer and we cannot always wait for ideas to come from the West,” he explained.
Apart from Forum, which is not his only project, the interplanetary artist has travelled the world for more than fifteen years to ask investors to take an interest in the cultural sector, which could be the solution to the problem of unemployment and today.
The founder of Futurs Médias welcomed the fact that the World Bank is among the investors of this Forum with the sole ambition of supporting young people. A total of two billion CFA francs from institutions awaiting projects to be financed. “Money is available, projects are expected to transform Africa. The funding conditions are clear,” he said.
At the end of his speech, Youssou Ndour not only thanked the audience but he paid tribute to Douta Seck who was part of the monuments of Senegalese culture. The Forum will be held in the House that bears his name in Dakar. It brings together cultural actors, investors, international institutions, key partners of the singer Youssou Ndour, officials from the partner countries. Exhibitions, conferences and workshops are organized during these three days.