Fostering cultural and social cohesion

Project description

Title: Donko ni Maaya – Crisis prevention and strengthening social cohesion through the promotion of the cultural sector in Mali
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office​​​​​​​
Country: Mali
Lead executing agency: Malian Ministry of Craft, Culture, Hotel Industry and Tourism​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2018 to 2023

Street art project with young artists from Bamako © GIZ/BOATA


In 2012, a serious political and security crisis arose in Mali following a military coup and violent conflict between government troops, separatist rebels and Islamist terror groups. Following the recapture of northern Mali with international assistance, democratic conditions were restored in the country in 2013. Nevertheless, the security situation has deteriorated in many regions, as terrorist attacks and ethnic conflicts have increased.

Radical Islamist influences in particular are threatening the traditional cohesion of Malian society and the freedom of cultural expression. This is affecting the young population above all.

An independently developing youth culture based on tolerant and good-natured traditions offers young people an alternative and helps curb the spread of extremist forces and promote political participation.


As agents of change and through opportunities for cultural expression, young people play an active role in combating extremism, in political participation, in strengthening social cohesion and in crisis prevention.

Final of the Poetry Slam competition ‘Nos mots contre les maux du Mali’ (Our words against Mali’s ailments) © GIZ/BOATA


The project is strengthening social cohesion and offering young people prospects. It supports cultural and youth centres in their efforts to improve the quality and diversity of their cultural programmes. It provides advice on running cultural centres more professionally, focusing on activities geared specifically to young people.

The project advises cultural initiatives on ways of making themselves better known. It supports creative artists in improving their output, for example in urban arts, music, modern dance, theatre, art, YouTubing and film, and in using existing channels to gain publicity nationwide.

By providing training courses, the project also enables authorities such as the Ministry of Culture to carry out their role in the cultural sector more effectively. In the interests of greater social cohesion and political participation, it encourages cooperation between local communities, cultural sector players and young people in the context of local policy development.

Last update: February 2022

Additional information