Culture and the creative industries, which include arts and crafts, advertising, design, entertainment, architecture, books, media and software, among others, are a vital force in accelerating human development. If well-nurtured, the creative economy can trigger sustainable human development and socio-economic transformation and growth. In many countries in Africa, for example, we are seeing the creative industry contribute significantly to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with Nigeria as a notable case which rebased its economy on the significant contribution of the creative industry such as ‘Nollywood’.
The potential for the industry notwithstanding, it faces numerous challenges both at a micro and macro level. It is incontestable, for instance, that Uganda has very creative youth. The challenge, however, has been turning these creative ideas into functioning and sustainable legal entities or formal businesses capable of employing Uganda’s very young population.
Most creatives, for instance, tend to neglect the financial aspects of their businesses which creates challenges when it comes to applying for grants, bids or even keeping track of profit margins, which furthers inhibits the financial viability and sustainability of their businesses. Furthermore, unlike abroad where intellectual property is recognized and paid for; Ugandan creatives face a challenge of proving the feasibility of the art (as business) not only by government, but also partners and financial institutions such as banks. This is due to lack of copyrighting and trademarking sensitization among the creatives and the high costs of legal services. Lastly, there still exists a very huge gap between the creatives and a market willing to pay for what they produce at an amount to help them live off their creativity. So, challenges remain regarding what to commercialise, where to sell it, who to sell to and how to sell their content and work – basics of enterprise and entrepreneurship.
UNDP’S OFFER ON THE CULTURE AND CREATIVES
The 74th session of the UN General Assembly which, in November 2019, declared this year – 2021 – the International Year of CREATIVE ECONOMY for Sustainable Development. UNDP is well placed to support the culture and creatives industry and is already developing a number of initiatives in line with this.
CATEGORIES TO BE SUPPORTED UNDER THIS ROUND ONE
What’s your idea?