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Music and development: Poverty Reduction

This session highlighted initiatives addressing poverty reduction implemented in various regions of the world, and the audience was offered an opportunity for an exchange of experiences and opinions. This session was moderated by Timo Klemettinen, who also led the closing discussion.

Diana Hopeson presented her project based in Ghana which she runs as part of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Programme. Managed by the Ghanaian government, the programme however also involves much engagement by the private sector. Central to her speech, Diana Hopeson stressed that poverty really had been reduced in the region and cultural richness empowered. Nevertheless there are still problems in proving the programme’s value to donors in particular as the culture of evaluation is not widespread in Ghana at present. The audience and speakers agreed that the Ghanaian programme could be implemented in other countries. View full presentation here.

Hugues Gervais Ondaye spoke of his work on the promotion of musical heritage in Congo-Brazzaville through music education in schools and in society in general. Competitions have been introduced in the cultural sector in order to create an infrastructure that supports creation and distribution, and therefore allows the music industry to grow. This result in increase in respect for artists' creativity. The implementation of these conditions is facilitated by the growing communication between the Congolese Music Council  and  the local government in Brazzaville. View full speech here.

In the discussion which followed these presentations participants and speakers concentrated on the question of sustainability in general as well as specifically in relation to the financial dependency to the donors. A striking point was raised that the western world continues to gain more and more influence and power in the African culture as a result of its financial involvement on the continent. Despite this criticism of western cultural imperialism, the notion of poverty reduction through cultural work is generally accepted.

Video Poverty reduction session

Photos by Vahur Lõhmus. All rights reserved.

Video by Marek Vilba. All rights reserved.


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