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Korea’s Cultural Policy With Africa Emphasize Cooperation, Sympathy – KOCIS Director



… Expends $90m in 2018 Promoting Korea Culture Abroad

KOCIS Director, Kim Hyun Ki revealed that Korea’s cultural policy with Africa emphasis cooperation and sympathy.

Hyun Ki said President Moon-Jae In via empowering the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism with the enforcement of the International Cultural Exchange Promotion Act in 2017, will broaden the horizons of cooperation by diversifying objects of exchange and deepening cooperation.

Aimed at promoting international cultural exchanges in a more systemic and effective way, the Act will enable Korean government “coordinate cultural exchange with Africa and broaden horizons of cooperation to various fields ranging from culture, arts to physical education,” says Hyun Ki.

Hyun Ki confirmed that through KOCIS, Korean government has expended $90m promoting Korea to the world in 2018, via its 32 overseas cultural centers in 27 countries globally, its online content, national images, adverts promotional videos.

However, its chief platforms of cultural cooperation with Africa are the Small Library Abroad (in schools) and Cultural Partnership Initiative (CPI). Via the Small Library Abroad which converts available classrooms of African and Asian schools into small libraries, Director Hyun Ki said Korea has established 112 libraries in 13 countries, 85 of which were built in nine African countries.

While through the CPI, it has engendered cultural exchanges and capacity building of over 1,079 participants from 104 countries. 99 out of the beneficiaries came from 29 African countries, and 8 from Nigeria.

“The Nigerian participants opened the Janggu (Korea traditional drum) Class in collaboration with Kore Culture Center in Nigeria, in Lagos, after training at the National Theatre of Korea. With UNESCO, we conduct field surveys in Uganda and Rwanda to support sustainable development of cultural creative industries and carry out capacity building project for public agencies.”

“We plan to send Korean performance team to South Africa, Botswana and East Africa, in July, and September to celebrate our 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties,” reeled Hyun Ki.

From oral research carried out by LEADERSHIP Books & Art, overtime cultural practitioners have had no access information on the CPI since 2016, despite inquiries, raising doubts of whether the programme still exists, or is open to Africa.

Further, while commendable in the areas of capacity building and promoting understanding of Korean culture, the International Cultural Exchange Act, is vague on the promotion of one-on-one relations between private cultural and art practitioners from both sides.

Government can support Korean culture and art groups’ performance abroad, but it hardly covers cultural collaboration between private cultural and entertainment sectors of Korea and abroad.

Hyun Ki said while many Korean companies in the entertainment sector as the IT, Film, Games, Broadcasting, Beauty and Manufacturing have been active in promoting positive images and the technological prowess of Korea on the global stage, there is no direct financial incentives for them.

“They are largely led by the private sector and government does not give them direct financial incentives. Still, Government is doing its best to improve the system for their easier technical development and global enhancement.”



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