EAC states told to tap potential of creative industry
- Creative industries are those based on individual creativity, skill and talent, or which have the potential to create wealth and jobs through the development or production of intellectual property.
Arusha. The East African Community (EAC) member states have been implored to tap the full potential of the creative industry.
The creative economy is projected to represent 10 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by next year, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) projected in December last year.
Creative industries are those based on individual creativity, skill and talent, or which have the potential to create wealth and jobs through the development or production of intellectual property.
“There is an enormous opportunity to harness the economic potential of culture and creative industry,” said EAC’s deputy secretary general Christophe Bazivamo.
The sector will not only promote economic growth and create employment opportunities, it will also improve social inclusion and export earnings.
Mr Bazivamo made the appeal in Bujumbura, Burundi on Monday during the opening of the EAC Arts and Culture Festival.
He said the EAC bloc is blessed with the abundance of creative talents and rich cultural assets that can generate millions of dollars.
IFC said last year that the creative economy would reach a global value of $985 billion by next year (2023) and could represent 10 percent of the global GDP.
A Creative Economy report for 2018, indicates the global market of cultural goods and services had doubled from $208 billion in 2002 to $509 billion in 2015.
The festival, organized by the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the Burundi government, aims to promote regional socio-cultural integration through arts and culture.
The EAC Arts and Culture Festival, also known as Jamafest in Kiswahili acronym to mean ‘Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki Utamaduni Festival,’ is an annual festival held on rotation basis in the EAC capitals.
It showcases culture as a prime driver of EAC integration. The event that took place from September4-12 this month, brought together an estimated 1,000 participants from the seven EAC partner states.
The Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye challenged partner states to use the festival to showcase their creative industries.
It is being held within the provision of Article 119 (c) of the EAC Treaty where the partner states undertake to promote close cooperation in culture and sports.
Gracing the event, Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye said Jamafest was a perfect avenue to create opportunities and distribution channels for cultural products.
“The creative industry is one of the sectors that the EAC region is looking at in creating more employment opportunities especially for the youth,” he pointed out.
The Burundi leader, in a speech whose copy was obtained by The Citizen, said cultural expressions can also resolve and prevent conflicts and enhance relations among countries.
He challenged the EAC partner states to use the festival to showcase their creative industries, and share best practices, thus opening practitioners’ new horizons on the regional and global culture and creative industry market”.