The Ségou Symposium which took place february 12 - 15 in the Kôrè Cultural Centre. It was a framework for reflection on arts and govenance in Mali, and in Africa. This international symposium gathered several speakers from Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Uganda, DR Congo, South Africa and Burkina Faso around the theme "Culture & Governance". Strong recommendations have been made during four days of intellectual debates. These recommendations were compiled in a document called the "CALL OF SEGOU". This document, which contains relevant proposal concerning the crisis and national reconciliation, governance and development, have been given to the members of the Malian Parliament  just after the symposium.

The 9th edition of the Festival sur le Niger takes place this year in a context of political and security crisis throughout the national territory. Given this unique situation, the administration of the festival foundation decided, for this edition, to replace the festive organization by a program focused on an international symposium in the form of a Scientific Forum.

A rather appropriate framework to initiate a global reflection on the issue of governance both in Mali and Africa. Several guests from Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and South Africa have come to exchange with their Malian colleagues.

After four days of exchanges and relevant discussions, a number of key findings were made:

· The emergence or resurgence of a « War of Cultures » at the global level, which intervenes to the detriment of the African Continent, through what is commonly called Globalization ;
· The decline of local values and a loss of control over education and training of young people, and on the evolution of social mentalities ;
· The lack of global vision in the development strategies;
· The lack of cohesion and convergence between the various development initiatives.

In such a context, the challenges are numerous and varied and include:

  • The rehabilitation of African values and cultures through more adapted communication and education taking into account the customs ;
  • The archiving and exploitation of knowledge of both tangible and intangible heritage ;
  • The implementation of news systems of political, economic and social governance in line with the local realities ;
  • The construction of a new approach of development on medium and long-term objectives, from endogenous factors.

To meet these challenges, participants in the 9th edition of the Ségou Symposium launched this call:


  • To higher authorities and institutions of the Republic ;
  • To all political, economic, social and cultural actors of the country ;
  • To friends and partners of Mali.

Inviting them to tackle:

Concerning the resolution of the Malian crisis and the national reconstruction…

  • The establishment of transitional justice and the implementation of an inclusive mechanism for the truth and national reconciliation, respectful of our cultural values; and learning from the examples that have taken place in some African countries;
  • The establishment of an uncompromising diagnosis of the political, security, economic and social situation, together with a report on the social, cultural and sociological impacts on a short, medium and long term on society and communities;
  • The organization of a wide consultation in the form of the general state of cultural diversity and social cohesion ;


SEGOU (MALI) – February 12 - 16 2013 – KÔRE CULTURAL CENTRE

  • The involvement of new social mediators with expertise adapted to society ;
  • The implementation of an aggressive campaign of information and sensitization nationally and internationally, in order to correct erroneous perceptions and interpretations of historical, sociological and cultural realities;
  • The development of a concept of cultural diplomacy to restore the image of Mali in the world.

Concerning governance…

  • The realization of an inventory of various fundamental cultural resources and values of the country that are threatened with extinction, or at least dilution ;
  • Institutional adjustments and adaptations (Constitution, the Electoral Code, charter of parties) based on the lessons learned from this crisis, based on our values and cultural resources to enrich the modes and mechanisms of political, economic and social governance ;
  • The promotion of public-private partnership and a real civil society, ensuring a good balance and better governance.

Concerning development…

  • The initiation of a policy of safeguarding, development and promotion of the rich national cultural heritage, and the implementation of real value chains for the cultural industry ;
  • The implementation of diligent actions for the reorganization of the educational system as a national priority based on the enhancement of our cultural heritage, to meet the challenges of the emergence of a conscious and skilled human resources in order to face challenges of a world increasingly globalized;
  • The implementation of structured, planned and coherent approach of the country’s development over time, taking into account the national assets and local initiatives;
  • The creation of a status for artists and cultural actors to develop the sector of Arts and Culture in Mali.

All united, let’s work for a rehabilitated Mali in an emerging Africa.

AuthorHege Aasgaard