South African Cultural Observatory

SACO, Argentina to strengthen cultural development relations

BY 31.07.17

THE South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) is forging an enduring relationship with Argentina through various cultural diplomacy activities. This culminated in a recent visit to the SACO by the Argentinian Ambassador to South Africa, Javier Figeuroa with a view to signing a technical cooperation agreement.

In early July this year, Ambassador Figeuroa, spent the day in Port Elizabeth meeting with the SACO, touring the city’s cultural hotspots with the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) and meeting city stakeholders interested in building a relationship with Argentina on maritime, industrial, economic and cultural development.

Figeuroa met with SACO chief executive Prof Richard Haines, and representatives of the MBDA, Nelson Mandela University, Coega Development Corporation and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

This builds on what is now a three year relationship between the SACO and Argentina. In 2014 the SACO hosted a delegation from the Argentinian equivalent cultural observatory, SInCA (Sistema de Información Cultural de la Argentina), which advised on best practices for the establishment of such an institute in South Africa.

Then, ongoing conversations throughout 2016 led to the inclusion of Andres Gribincow, the Argentinian Undersecretary for Creative Economy, on the SACO 2017 National Conference programme as a key note speaker.

 “We is looking forward to partnering with Argentina to jointly strengthen the technical capacity of both the SACO and the SInCA teams,” said Haines about the technical cooperation agreement the embassy and SACO are planning on entering into.

According to Ambassador Figuero this partnership would contribute to the cultural sector of both countries allowing both to jointly “understand the cultural reality with certainty and reliability” to support the design and planning of public policies.

The joint cooperation would asi the advance of the understanding of the cultural sector’s contribution to economic and social development, “through mechanisms that allow for the participation of the citizenry via open source data and reports,” Figuero added.

“This partnership has many potential outcomes and we look forward to working on a strengthened South-South relationship,” added Prof Haines who is likely to attend the International Meeting on Creative Industries in Digital Convergence that will be held in Buenos Aires Argentina, between the 23-25 August 2017 too in an effort to support the partnership.

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