The arts are not always in a prominent place on the political agenda in Africa, Latin-America and Asia. Nevertheless, an increasing number of governments recognise the importance of culture in itself and in connection to social and economic development.

Angola (2008)

April 2008 -

The Angolan Ministry of Culture compiled a tentative cultural policy in March 2003, one year after the war had ended. Since then, large-scale conferences have been held each year in Angola's capitol, Luanda, with leading intellectuals, artists, policy-makers and government representatives in attendance. The parliament, which was a film theatre in the Portuguese era, was the venue for a 'national meeting' on culture in September 2006. One year later, the conferences were about Angola's history and the visual arts sector. At that time, President Dos Santos confirmed the importance of a more extensive legal framework to guarantee access to the arts and to stimulate pluralism in cultural creation.

In the past year, the government has made progress in sustaining cultural heritage in particular. A Unesco committee visited the country, for example, to compile a collective conservation plan. The new museum policy was also effectuated: one by one, all of Angola's museums will be fixed up and the collections restored to their original glory. The Slave Museum in Luanda, the museum of the Royal Congo in Mbanza Kongo and the anthropological museum in Dundo have already been reopened. Subsidies for artists, musicians and writers are primarily issued by the Ministerial Fund for Support of Artistic and Cultural Activities, which was established in 2002. Businesses such as oil companies and banks are also increasingly implementing cultural and social programmes.

The Ministry of Culture's newest and most ambitious plan is the establishment of a Cinema Campus: a kind of Film University for actors, producers and directors. Construction of the campus is scheduled between 2009 and 2013 and it will also have film studios and cinemas. The campus is intended to strongly stimulate Angola's film sector and its resurrection is primarily funded from oil revenues. Details of the project will be announced late in November 2008, during the first international film festival to be held in Luanda.