National Culture Week in Bobo-Dioulasso Draws Large Crowds, Addresses Challenges

BOBO-DIOULASSO — The 21st National Culture Week (SNC) in Bobo-Dioulasso concluded successfully, drawing between 20,000 to 25,000 visitors daily to various cultural events and activities. Bètamou Fidèle Aymar Tamini, president of the national organizing committee, provided insights into the festival’s dynamics and outcomes.

According to Burkina Information Agency, the festival met expectations with robust planning and execution, seeing significant participation in traditional wrestling, literary activities, and culinary arts, among others. The community village site was particularly popular, hosting 14 foreign and 38 national communities and turning away attendees daily due to full capacity. The fair’s integration with the ongoing National Culture Week added to its appeal and effectiveness in promoting cultural exchange and appreciation.

However, the festival was not without its challenges. Issues such as parking space management due to security concerns and attempts by some individuals to take over stands were promptly addressed with the help of security personnel. Additionally, the organizers tackled electricity supply problems by coordinating with SONABEL, the national electricity company, to ensure backup generators were available, preventing any significant disruption to the festival’s schedule.

A notable highlight was the participation of the guest country of honor, Niger, which saw strong engagement from both the official delegation and the Nigerien community in Burkina Faso. The dedicated “Niger Day” explored potential avenues for cultural cooperation, fitting within the broader goals of the Alliances of the Sahel States (AES) and fostering regional collaboration.

One innovative aspect of this year’s SNC was the introduction of online accreditation, which generated significant revenue and improved access logistics to the festival venues. Despite some criticism regarding the quality of the badges, the overall feedback on the new system was positive, demonstrating a shift towards more digital engagement in event management.

The next edition of the National Culture Week is anticipated to take place in 2026, continuing the biennial tradition with expectations of further enhancing cultural engagement and cooperation among Sahel states.

Bobo-Dioulasso Hosts Special Awards Ceremony for National Culture Week

BOBO-DIOULASSO — The National Week of Culture (SNC) culminated in a special awards ceremony on Friday, May 3, 2024, where 45 prizes were distributed to outstanding participants across 17 different disciplines. The ceremony, held in Bobo-Dioulasso, celebrated the artistic achievements of individuals and troupes who participated in the 21st edition of this biennial event.

According to Burkina Information Agency, president of the special prizes commission, a total of 15.5 million CFA francs were awarded, with individual prizes ranging from 300 thousand to one million FCFA. The funds were contributed by a combination of ministerial departments, public and private entities, and international organizations. Ouaro emphasized that the selection of winners was based on their exceptional personalities and their dedication to their crafts.

Dr. Ousmane Bougouma, President of the Transitional Legislative Assembly and sponsor of the SNC’s special prizes, expressed gratitude to all donors for their role in promoting Burkinabè culture. He highlighted the importance of the National Culture Week in fostering cultural diversity and enhancing communal life in Burkina Faso.

Among the recipients was Catherine Soulama from the province of Comoé, who won two special prizes totaling 1.5 million CFA francs in the culinary arts category for her dishes featuring local red rice. Soulama shared her intention to use the recognition to further promote the integration of this nutritious rice into the diets of the Burkinabè population, aiming towards food self-sufficiency.

The Eben-Ezer du Houet troupe, represented by artist and choreographer Alassane Ouédraogo, received three special prizes worth two million CFA francs in the traditional dance/youth category. Ouédraogo expressed his appreciation for the recognition and the motivation it provides to promote Burkinabè culture among younger generations.

Additionally, the ‘lafi-la-boumbou’ troupe from Sanmentenga, composed of young internally displaced girls, was awarded 500 thousand CFA francs by the Ministry of National Education, Literacy, and the Promotion of National Languages. Rasmata Ouédraogo, the troupe’s founder, viewed the award as an encouragement for the troupe’s nascent journey in the cultural scene.

27 Cultural Leaders Honored During National Culture Week in Bobo-Dioulasso

BOBO-DIOULASSO — In a ceremony held on the sidelines of the 21st National Culture Week (SNC), the Ministry of Communication, Culture, Arts, and Tourism awarded honors to 27 distinguished cultural actors on Friday, May 3, 2024.

According to Burkina Information Agency, the annual National Culture Week consistently recognizes cultural figures and partners for their contributions, and this year’s event was no exception. The recipients included one individual recognized as an officer in the Order of the Stallion and 26 awarded in the Order of Merit for Arts, Letters, and Communication. These awards were presented during the closing ceremonies of the SNC 2024 in Bobo-Dioulasso.

Among the notable recipients were Honoré Bambara, promoter of Miss Universities, who was knighted in the Order of Merit for Arts, Letters, and Communication, and Cheick Tidiane Seck from Mali, the artistic sponsor of this year’s SNC, who was also knighted for his contributions to music and dance. Business leaders Lassiné Diawara and Al Hassane Siénou, former sponsors of the 19th and 20th SNC respectively, were made Knights of the Order of Merit.

Additionally, the Minister of Culture from Niger, Colonel-Major Abdourahamane Amadou, received the rank of Officer in the Order of the Stallion, reflecting the deep cultural ties and cooperative spirit between Burkina Faso and Niger within the Alliance of Sahel States.

Minister Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouédraogo highlighted that these honors are a testament to the hard work and dedication of those who actively support and promote the nation’s cultural heritage, aligning with the state’s efforts. He emphasized the importance of these awards as both a recognition of past contributions and a call to continued commitment and exemplary conduct in promoting cultural values.

Al Hassane Siénou, speaking on behalf of the recipients, underlined the role of economic actors in supporting and leveraging culture as a catalyst for growth and innovation. He reiterated the honorees’ dedication to enhancing the cultural sector as a driving force for the country’s progress and influence.

Bobo-Dioulasso Program Equips Youth for Resilience and Professional Development

BOBO-DIOULASSO — On Thursday, May 2, 2024, twenty young individuals in Bobo-Dioulasso received essential equipment to kickstart their careers in various crafts as part of the ‘Resilience through Crafts’ initiative under the ‘Inclusive Governance for Resilience’ (IGR) project. The project, which focuses on building resilience among youth against terrorism, is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and has been instrumental in training these young people, including both residents and internally displaced persons.

According to Burkina Information Agency, the head of the IGR project, the equipment handed over includes sewing, dyeing, and weaving machines, with a total value of approximately 25 million CFA francs. The training provided was comprehensive, covering technical skills in entrepreneurship, marketing, and photography, alongside practical skills in sewing, weaving, and dyeing. Ouédraogo emphasized the program’s aim to deter youth from joining violent extremist groups by fostering economic independence and community integration.

The official ceremony, overseen by Laurent Koutou Kontogom, President of the special municipal delegation of Bobo-Dioulasso, celebrated the contribution of USAID to the project. Kontogom highlighted the initiative’s role in facilitating the transition of these young individuals to autonomous professional life, expressing hope for their prosperous future contributions to society. Cédric Bayala, representing the beneficiaries, expressed gratitude towards USAID, noting the significant impact of the training on their professional and personal development.

Higher Council of Communication Convenes in Bobo-Dioulasso for Regulatory Session

BOBO-DIOULASSO — The College of Advisors of the Higher Council of Communication (CSC) held its 6th ordinary session of the year on Monday, April 29, 2024, focusing on several referral and self-referral files concerning media regulation.

According to Burkina Information Agency, Vice-President of the CSC, the session took place in Bobo-Dioulasso during the National Culture Week, highlighting the council’s commitment to integrating cultural promotion into its regulatory activities. The session’s relocation to Bobo-Dioulasso was strategically chosen to underscore the CSC’s role in safeguarding and fostering Burkina Faso’s national culture through media oversight.

The advisors, organized into commissions, deliberated on various issues, including observed deficiencies in media content and the broader implications for cultural representation in broadcasting. The CSC aims to utilize its regulatory authority to not only oversee but also enhance the portrayal of cultural diversity in the media.

In addition to regulatory discussions, the CSC planned other activities in Bobo-Dioulasso, including a public conference on the theme “Media Regulation and Promotion of National Culture: Sovereignty Issues.” These events are part of the CSC’s broader strategy to support the authorities’ efforts in promoting national culture and asserting cultural sovereignty.

Ouédraogo used this opportunity to praise the media’s efforts in reflecting cultural diversity and encouraged continued initiatives to promote national culture.