Development Partners Design New Strategies with Cultural and Creative Industries

UNESCO hosted on 12 December at Paris Headquarters the panel “Cultural and Creative Industries: A New Agenda for the Development Community?”, exploring the new role and place of cultural and creative industries (CCIs) in international development strategies.

The discussion  brought together Rima Le Coguic, Chief Energy and Digital Transitions & Cultural and Creative Industries (French Development Agency); Emanuela Gregorio, Economist, Gender and Innovation (African Development Bank); Friederike Kärcher, Head, Culture, Creative Industries, Media and Sport Division (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, BMZ); and Helga Flores Trejo, Principal Specialist, Team Leader for Cultural and Creative Industries (Interamerican Development Bank).

As various national sustainable development programmes around the world are being designed and implemented to include culture and creativity as a major area of intervention, many ministries and development partners are devising specific strategies to address the role of cultural and creative industries in sustainable development, beyond their usual scope of intervention (eg water, health, education, infrastructures, etc).

“The CCIs are the jobs of the future. We need a systematic economic approach to this sector, to help countries diversify”, underlined Helga Helga Flores. “The CCIs can emerge if they are supported by regulatory environments and sound public cultural policies across the entire value chain. The Film Law Colombia adopted in 2003 is an inspiring example. Working with governments, we can envisage loans for culture that make a difference”, she added.

“A new people-centered vision is required, focused on entrepreneurship skills development”, emphasized Emanuela Gregorio. “In Africa, we are using the fashion industry as an entry point, targeting women and small and medium-sized enterprises. The AfDB is now partnering with governments, civil society or private companies like Google Africa. There is a huge untapped potential".

Rima Le Coguic announced that the French Development Agency received a new mandate to develop a strategy on the cultural and creative industries, focusing on issues of capacity development, governance, public policy. “The development community needs a common narrative around the power of the ccis for growth, employment and social cohesion. This sector is transversal and relates for example to education and climate change”. “New and innovative financial tools and mechanisms will also be required, moving from grants to loans”, she said.

Friederike Kärcher, Head of the newly established Division on creative industries within the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, announced the signing with UNESCO of a new project agreement on “Music for Sustainable Development in Morocco".  The project objective, to be implemented in 2018-2019 through the UNESCO Office in Rabat, will be to reinforce systems of governance for the music sector by strengthening human and institutional capacities, cultural infrastructure, as well as regulatory and policy frameworks in Morocco. “Innovation, migrations and cultural governance are the three pillars of our new policy on cultural and creative industries”, she underlined. “Africa is a continent of opportunities. What is key is to help professionalize the cci sector, and make sure the economic benefits of the creative economy help to alleviate poverty”, she added.

During the public discussion, which included Member States, regional organizations such as the OECD and the European Union, and civil society organizations, consensus emerged on a more integrated approach to the ccis in national development strategies.  The social and economic rights of artists who often face precarious situations in terms of income, employment conditions, social security or health insurance was also in focus.

Emphasis on the development and production of local content in the global South was recognized as a key avenue of future policy support. Lastly, all concurred that improving data collection on cultural goods and services, as well as cultural employment, was a key priority to inform development aid policies.

This debate took place on the occasion of the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of the 2005 Convention (12-15 December 2017), and in advance of the launch event of UNESCO’s 2018 Global Report “Re-Shaping Cultural policies”, on 14 December at UNESCO Headquarters. This Report features new data on recent policies and measures taken around the world to support creativity through the implementation of the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, ratified by 145 States and the European Union.

Read the Media Advisory on the Panel.