Josh Nyapimbi for ACPN

Nhimbe Executive Director Elected onto Steering Committee of the African Cultural Policy Network

Josh Nyapimbi

Nhimbe Trust executive director Josh Nyapimbi has been elected onto the steering Committee of the African Cultural Policy Network (ACPN), as well as being appointed Convener of the ACPN Working Group on “Culture, the economy and creative/cultural industries” pursuit to his pioneering work with the Creative Economy Outlook Zimbabwe online Portal.

Other members of the ACPN Steering Committee are: Mike van Graan (President, South Africa), Dounia Benslimane (Deputy President, Morocco), Carole Karemera (Rwanda), Aadel Essaadani (Morocco), Christine Gitau (Kenya), Ayoko Mensah (Togo/Diaspora), Ayodele Ganiu (Nigeria), Daba Sarr (Senegal), Bongani Njalo (South Africa), Jean-Pierre Moudjalou (Gabon), Ayeta Wangusa (Uganda).

The Steering Committee was elected from/by 72 ACPN founding members from 23 African countries; after the adoption of the ACPN Constitution.

The African Cultural Policy Network (ACPN) is an on-line network initiated by Mike van Graan (South Africa) and Aadel Essaadani (Morocco) in June 2017.  Both had served in leadership positions in Arterial Network, a Pan African civil society network with a broad mandate to build capacity within and advocate on behalf of Africa’s creative sector.

With numerous – and rapid – developments in the international cultural policy arena, there is a need to have an informed, proactive and bold African voice in the arena of cultural policy and advocacy.

The African Cultural Policy Network will work with, and seek to complement other actors in the African creative space.

While the ACPN will operate mainly as an online network, it recognizes the value of face-to-face dialogue and will seek to facilitate such engagement both through technology and through physical meetings.


The Constitutional aims as adopted by ACPN’s founding members are:

  1. To research, devise and advocate for arts, culture and heritage policies that are relevant and appropriate to varying African conditions
  2. To interrogate international cultural policy themes, strategies and ideas, to present alternatives where necessary, and to initiate and proactively lobby at international level for cultural policies that are priorities and appropriate to African conditions
  3. To serve as an African voice and advocacy network in international, regional (African), national and local forums to do with arts, culture and heritage policy
  4. To provide support to cultural policy-makers, cultural activists and advocates working in, or connected to African arts, culture and heritage
  5. To develop strong relationships with similar networks and advocacy organisations globally, but particularly within the Global South (Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Arab region, Caribbean, Pacific region) and Eastern European countries who share similar conditions to Africa
  6. To collect and distribute information, ideas, publications and other material to arts, culture and heritage stakeholders in Africa, and those working in partnership with African players
  7. To build a strong and active membership in all African countries, as well as within the African Diaspora
  8. To produce publications, online material (blogs, etc) and research that articulate/represent African perspectives on international, regional, national and local cultural policy themes
  9. In recognition of varying African conditions, histories and cultures, to facilitate and encourage robust debate and theorising about arts, culture and heritage in Africa
  10. To build policy-making, implementation, monitoring and evaluation capacity within Africa’s arts, culture and heritage sector
  11. To monitor cultural policy developments in every African country and to share this information through social media
  12. To build and sustain an on-line resource library of arts, culture and heritage policy material relevant to Africa.
  13. Vigorously to promote and defend the aims and principles of the ACPN as outlined in its Constitution


The African Cultural Policy Network is committed to the following principles and requires its members to subscribe to such principles:

  1. democratic decision-making and participation in the affairs of the Network, including accountability and transparency
  2. a commitment to the following rights and freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Article 18: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes the freedom to change his/her religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, and to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20: Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

Article 25 (1): Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his/her family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Article 26 (1): Everyone has the right to education.

Article 26 (2): Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Article 27 (1): Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

Article 27 (2): Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which s/he is the author

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Article 7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.  All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration.

Article 9: No-one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 28: Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realised.


The African Cultural Policy Network is open to individual Africans who reside and work on the African continent as well as those engaged in cultural work in the African Diaspora.

Cultural organisations and institutions may join the ACPN as associate members and representatives of these may attend ACPN activities.

72 founding members from 23 African countries adopted ACPN’s Constitution and participated in the election of its inaugural Steering Committee.

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