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SEAL OF EXCELLENCE

The Windhoek Cluster Office will be organizing a planning workshop for the launch of the SEAL of Excellence. The workshop will take place in Pretoria from 6 to 7 July 2007. The SEAL is initially to be launched for South Africa but, subsequent rounds will include other Cluster Countries.

clt main.jpg As representatives from the Harare Office are being invited to participate in the planning meeting, we hope also to include countries in their cluster as well in ensuing rounds of the SEAL.

UNESCO is launching the SEAL in close partnership with Project House Design Marketing (PHDM) CC which trades at the CSIR campus in Pretoria, as ‘Provenance Art’ – craft and art gallery. Over the past 12 months a pilot programme has been formulated in collaboration with PHDM, and is now in the first phase of implementation.

The unique aspects relating to this programme, speaking directly to cultural enterprise development and cultural diversity for the African Continent, are highlighted with UNESCO working directly with the private sector to implement, and significantly contribute to, the proposed outcomes of this African cultural Industries development programme.

The quality assurance programme – the SEAL of Excellence for Craft – has been successfully introduced in Central and Eastern Asia, with UNESCO/World Craft Council and the ASEAN handicraft and promotion development agency (APHADA) assisting more than 200 products to achieve this critical stamp of approval, since 2000. International trading houses and buyers are familiar with the criteria and level of quality of the products receiving this prestigious award, improving the marketability of products into the export markets across the globe.

The World Craft Council have given their sanction for the SEAL of Excellence Award introduction to South Africa as the pilot country for the African Continent. The whole process will be delivered through participation from the entire value chain of the craft sector and policy makers. A holistic, and pertinent, contextually relevant approach for the African SEAL of Excellence will dominate the first phase.

Another unique aspect of this programme is the adoption by the United Nations ‘in country’ agencies, for a dual pilot introduction in harmony, starting with KwaZulu Natal Provincial Government, to increase enterprise development training for rural craft producers. Linking to the priority areas of economic development in the local, provincial and national government strategies, it directly speaks to policy development for the sector.

Economic development and gender empowerment, Cultural heritage, poverty reduction, increased access to education, information, particularly human rights and social inclusion, through the introduction of technologies are key priorities of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Producer participating within the programme will be able to attain valuable feedback through market access centres and events for handmade craft art, networking across the country. The programme will be implemented in phases over 3 years 2007 - 2011.

The impact of this programme will be directly linked to the increasing of opportunities for formal and informal craft producers to make the most of the 2010 and the increase in tourism up to, and beyond, the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Developed to have a direct impact on the quality and capacity of cultural enterprises in the Southern African region, the SEAL of Excellence for Craft within Africa will seek to emulate the success of the programme in the Asian continent, with a very definitive African approach.

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Start Date 07 Jul 2007
End Date 08 Jul 2007
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Event Type Workshop
Event Location Pretoria, South Africa
Organizer Contact Ms. Mojisola Okuribido-Seriki at m.okuribido@unesco.org
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