Egyptian Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem delivered Egypt's speech at the Forum of Culture Ministers, held as part of the 40th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), with the participation of 120 culture ministers from all over the world, on 19 November.
Ambassador of Egypt to France and its permanent representative to UNESCO Ehab Badawy, as well as head of the Foreign Cultural Relations Sector at the Ministry of Culture Heba Youssef, were also present.
Minister Abdel-Dayem highlighted some the policies implemented in Egypt to give equal opportunities for all citizens, especially the youth, and achieve social justice. She added that culture is able to contribute to economic, social development, security and prosperity in cities and villages.
The minister added that the Ministry of Culture is working hard as part of Egypt's Vision 2030 for sustainable development to achieve social justice.
"The Ministry of Culture aims to make cultural services accessible in all parts of the country, especially to the most needy areas through cultural convoys, including multiple artistic and cultural activities in addition to training workshops."
She added that the Egyptian government is paying special attention to providing cultural services to the border areas in several governorates, as well as to inculcating the values of belonging in the youth of these areas by implementing cultural integration programmes for children.
Abdel-Dayem also explained that the Egyptian Ministry of Culture pays special attention to people with disabilities, organising a diverse cultural programme for them including the establishment of theatre troupes featuring children with disabilities, the publication of a Braille magazine, as well as designing special halls for the blind to enjoy musical and artistic activities.
She stressed that the strategy also involves promoting creativity in Egypt, empowering women to achieve gender equality in the cultural sector, supporting urban transformation, establishing local markets for creativity and cultural services, enhancing cultural diversity, consolidating the role of culture in cities, and praising pluralism and positive community participation.
This is in addition to developing skills and encouraging creativity and innovation in order to build a strong Egyptian personality, as well as integrating culture into environmental and social development strategies.
"The ministry pays a special attention to protecting cultural heritage through a special programme aimed at building a productive basis in the field of handicrafts from which to launch many small and micro projects for the youth and protect this tradition from vanishing," Minister Abdel-Dayem said.
The strategy also involves "confronting extremism and fanaticism, discovering and adopting new talents, establishing cultural centres targeting all age levels starting from the age of six, opening new branches of the Academy of Arts in several provinces, launching the roaming theatre initiative to consolidate the values of citizenship and to confront extremist ideologies, and using public areas to promote dialogue and social interaction."