The Creative Economy Report of 2008 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) indicates that Africa’s contribution to world trade in cultural goods and services is less than 1% of such trade; what impact, then, does the creative sector currently have in Africa’s economic growth? This is a question that the African Creative conference scheduled for December 4-6, 2011 in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, seeks to address.
Bringing together creative practitioners and stakeholders in the arts sector, the conference is expected to assess and share some of the research done to date on the African creative economy in order to inform strategies of advocacy in the support of the African creative sector. Participants shall also examine the available research and the relationship between the African creative economy and development, cultural diversity and other contemporary cultural themes.
Time and again artists on the African continent have often mourned the lack of political vision and will to support the arts and creative industries in their countries. National governments in Africa do not recognise the value of art and cultural industry to the economy yet the European Union-Africa, Asia, Pacific (ACP) Symposium on “Culture as a Vector of Development” and the African Union’s Plan of Action on Cultural Industries as views the same as potentially key drivers of development.