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Kenya: Cultural Diplomacy Projects

Kenya: Cultural Diplomacy Projects

ACADEMIC EXCHANGE WITH AFRICAN INSTITUTE FOR CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT (AICD)

Project Details

Organisation Description

AICAD is a regional centre in East Africa that serves three countries, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The organization is administered by the African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD), and financed by the Kenyan, Tanzanian and Ugandan governments, with the support of the government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In 2000 AICAD established an office in Kenya, where its headquarters are also located. The mission of AICAD is to link knowledge to application within communities in partner countries in Africa in order to reduce poverty.

Project Description

The International Cooperation Centre for Agricultural Education (ICCAE), Nagoya University and AICAD made an agreement in March 2002 to strengthen mutual cooperation. In 2005 and 2006, five Kenyan researchers were invited to Nagoya University as part of an academic exchange, to perform joint research at the Graduate School of Bio-agricultural Sciences. The project is set to expand to fifteen other universities affiliated to AICAD.

Aims of the Project

–          To foster international cooperation in agricultural education;

–          To strengthen the educational and research capacities of agricultural universities in developing countries;

–          To promote the development of human capacity, through the desire for African problems to be solved by Africans.

Relevance as Cultural Diplomacy

The exchange project is an excellent example of how cultural diplomacy can be carried out in the field of academia. It incorporates knowledge in the field of agriculture between Japanese academics and Kenyan academics, in the hope that their joint research will reap mutual benefits. During the academic exchange, both parties will gain valuable insight into their counterpart’s approach to agriculture.

LAKE TURKANA FESTIVAL, LOIYANGALANI

Project Details

Organisation Description

The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) is a state organization and multi-disciplinary institution, whose role is to collect, preserve, study, document and present Kenya’s past and present cultural and natural heritage. One of their core functions is to synthesize information generated from research and collections for presentation to the public, with the intention of raising awareness and learning amongst the general population through exhibitions, educational programmes and other multimedia channels.

Project Description

The Lake Turkanan Festival in Loiyangalani is sponsored by the German embassy and was established in 2008. In the same year, the National Museums of Kenya officially opened the first and only Desert Museum in Loiyangalani, which mirrors the cultures and lifestyles of the eight communities that live in this area. The festival is now held on an annual basis.

Aims of the Project

–          To promote both local and international tourism;

–          To overcome the effects of tribalism in the region;

–          To promote peace and reconciliation among local communities, including the El Molo, Samburu, Gabbra, Rendile, Watta, Dasannach, Pojot and Turkana groups;

–          To provide a means for cultural cooperation and exchange, both in the preparation for and during the course of the festival.

Relevance as Cultural Diplomacy

The project uses a cultural festival as a means to foster cultural dialogue in an area formerly experiencing conflict between ethnic groups. The project can therefore be seen an illustration of how art can be used as a vehicle to resolve conflict and instil a sense of unity, while simultaneously enabling cultural understanding.

LOLO KENYA SCREEN

Project Details

Organisation Description

Lola Kenya Screen is an international audiovisual media movement administered by its founding director, Ogova Ondego, and endorsed by Kenyan Director of Culture, Silverse L. Anami, the Kenyan Office of the Vice Presdent, and the Kenyan Ministry of State for National Heritage and Culture. Its prime activities and goals are to place audiovisual production tools in the hands of children and youth, to enable the advancement of ideals such as literacy, gender equity, independent thought, human rights, environmental responsibility and global health.

Project Description

Lola Kenya Screen is an annual film festival that was founded in October 2005 under the ‘ArtMatters.info’ literary project of ComMattersKenya. It also serves as a production workshop and audiovisual media platform to empower children and youth with life skills. Besides showcasing the best possible international films for children, youth and family, Lola Kenya Screen holds hands-on production workshops which make at least five high quality, low-budget, moving images per year. The productions are then showcased globally through film festivals, cultural events, schools, vocational centres, and children’s clubs. In addition, story-telling, theatre, music, dance, art and literature are also promoted. Since its inception, the festival has had forty-seven participants who have all gone through production training and also produced short films, and has showed more than 1450 international films for children, youth and family from 95 nations, representing all the continents in various genres, formats and lengths.

Aims of the Project

–          To entrench a culture of making and consuming high-quality audiovisual productions in Kenya and Eastern Africa, with an aim to bring about socio-economic development;

–          To nurture, identify and promote talent among young Africans.

Relevance as Cultural Diplomacy

According to the UNDP, youth comprise 32% of the total population in Kenya, or 9.1 million persons.[1] The Lola Kenya Screen project can therefore be seen an important initiative that targets the youth of Kenya, and works as a tool to increase creativity whilst simultaneously cutting across barriers such as ethnic differences and age ranges.

TUELEWANE YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAMME TO ENHANCE PEACE (TYEPEP)

Project Details

  • Country:        Kenya
  • Telephone:   +254 020 762 478 0
  • Email:            webmaster@undp.org
  • Website:        www.ke.undp.org
  • Sponsored by: The Government of Kenya and UNDP-Kenya

Organisation Description

This programme was initiated by the Kenyan Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, which was established by the Kenyan Government in 2005. The primary purpose of this ministry is to address issues facing the youth of the country, particularly socio-economic issues, in order to keep Kenya on track in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Project Description

TYEPEP was initiated in 2007 by the government of Kenya in partnership with UNDP-Kenya, as a response to the post-election violence between regional ethnic groups. The project is administered by the Kenyan Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and is financed by UNDP Track 3 funds. The project aims to enable youth to travel to other communities and engage in dialogue with local people, in an endeavour to broaden their world views and promote tolerance.

TYEPEP organizes exchanges and education for youth leaders from the six major conflicting communities in Kenya; 360 leaders take part in these activities, which focus on peace and conflict resolution. TYEPEP has also organised cultural exchanges between these communities in the form of sport tournaments and religious activities. It is estimated that the project has reached 5000 people in total.

Aims of the Project

The project aims to encourage peaceful dialogue between members of conflicting communities, through the mediums of exchange, education and cultural activities.

Relevance as Cultural Diplomacy

TYEPEP’s initiation of exchange programs and cultural activities is a clear example of how cultural diplomacy can be used in conflict resolution, as a first step towards reconciliation.


[1] Figure from the UNDP website: http://mirror.undp.org/kenya/moyaempowerment.htm

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