Made famous by its international festival that promotes the art of comic strips (and of which AFD is partner), the territory of Angoulême has developed a real cultural ecosystem over the years based on images and their applications in the fields of entertainment: comic strips, but also animated films and cartoons. In addition to the Cité Internationale de la BD et de l’Image, new schools, companies and start-ups are set up in the Urban Community of Greater Angoulême every year, in particular in the field of new technologies. It is today associated with over a hundred companies, 12 specialized schools with 1,300 students and 1,200 jobs.
Capitalizing on this territorial specialization, since 2012, Greater Angoulême has been cooperating with Zapopan, a Mexican municipality with over a million inhabitants and a neighbor of Guadalajara in Jalisco State, to implement “cultural and creative industries” (CCI) projects.
Strengthening Zapopan’s cultural sector
While this partnership has already allowed Greater Angoulême and Zapopan Municipality to make their cultural influence a real asset to help them stand out, a further step was taken on 29 November 2019 with the signing by Ahlem Gharbi, Director of AFD’s Partnerships Department, and Jean-François Dauré, President of the Urban Community of Greater Angoulême, of a FICOL (French Local Authorities Financing Facility) financing agreement to support the launch of “Creative Confluence”.
Financed by AFD with €715,000, this multi-stakeholder project will allow Angoulême’s entire ecosystem to be exported to the city of Zapopan.
From training talent to supporting creative start-ups, and including the development and reception of an artistic community, all the experience built up by Greater Angoulême over the last twenty years will be used to strengthen the cultural sector in Zapopan.
- Creation of a new Master of Digital Arts Degree, by mobilizing specialized schools in Angoulême (École Européenne Supérieure de l’Image, École des Métiers du Cinéma d’Animation, École Nationale du Jeu et des Médias Interactifs Numériques);
- Launch of a CCI business incubator with support from the Greater Angoulême technopole, Eurekatech;
- Assistance to a new Maison des Auteurs for comic book authors supported by the Cité Internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l’Image d’Angoulême.
“In this project, the Urban Community of Greater Angoulême has managed to get all its public, private and association partners to follow it”, says Émilien Amblat, Internationalization of Territories Officer at AFD. “They will each find a Mexican correspondent in their area of expertise, which will make it possible to scale up and diversify the impacts of the project.”
Promoting the local level
Through the FICOL mechanism, AFD has been supporting local authorities in developing countries for several years based on a simple fact: development decisions are more effective when they are defined at local level.
This tool is being mobilized for the first time in Mexico and is directly financing projects launched and implemented by French regional and local authorities.