Senegal amends law to support cultural workersBy TAMBA JEAN-MATTHEW in Dakar | Monday, March 19 2012 at 08:12
Senegal's law makers have amended country's constitution to support leading cultural actors facing difficulties.
This will particularly apply to those approaching the sunset of their creative careers.
The senate amended article 42 of the constitution which stipulates that the president of the Republic of Senegal is the patron of art and literary works in the country, culture ministry officials said on Saturday.
A senior minister said the law was voted last week because “we do not want to continue witnessing situations where the president of the republic has to intervene personally to help save artists from difficult situations”.
Although the minister did not specify the kind of assistance that would be offered, it is believed that cultural players will benefit from health, housing and pension schemes.
In the past, some of the country’s prominent artists who have immensely contributed in the various fields have either died as paupers or are facing untold hardship.
The new law also seeks to provide an enabling environment for artists and performers to produce quality works thus ensuring they live comfortably off proceeds of their creativity. The law further stipulates that the government will provide 'absolute' protection of art and literary works as well as their creators.
“This right will be extended to all artists regardless of specialisation and age,“ says a report by the Senate.
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