The culture and creative industries in the United Republic of Tanzania are booming and are employing a majority of young people and women. Vibrant festivals, performances and awards, a dynamic music sector and a thriving crafts, arts, film and publishing sectors are just a few examples of how the CCIs have become a major sector for development. The cultural policy landscape in Tanzania includes the National Culture Policy (1997) and the Zanzibar Cultural Policy (2005), both of which are under review. Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar also have established copyright laws through the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act (1999, Mainland) and the Copyright Act (2003, Zanzibar). Zanzibar and Mainland have equipped themselves with dedicated institutions such as the National Arts Council, the Film Board of Tanzania, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority and the Copyright Society of respectively Tanzania and Zanzibar. The cultural and creatives industries are termed as the fastest growing industries in Tanzania. The Economic Survey 2018 estimates a growth rate of 13.7% (Ministry of Finance and Planning).
Nonetheless, efforts to strengthen the cultural value chain and to build a comprehensive institutional and legal environment for young talents to flourish are needed. As such, Tanzania is embarking to evaluate and monitor its cultural policies and innovative practices as well as to identify specific challenges and gaps through the drafting of its first Quadrennial Periodic Report (QPR) on the implementation of the 2005 Convention. Establishing a unique participatory process to complete this exercise, Tanzania will gather various stakeholders, including governmental representatives and civil society organisations to define key priority areas of actions and to review its cultural policies, notably regarding copyright laws, the status of the artist or the digital environment. This will enable to support Tanzania’s commitment to put creativity as a key pillar for sustainable development.
A multi-stakeholder consultation took place on 24 October 2019 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in view of the elaboration of Tanzania’s periodic report. The consultation gathered representatives from various ministries, civil society actors and cultural operators. The consultation was the opportunity to highlight some achievements and challenges in the cultural and creative sectors, notably that the arts and entertainment sector was identified as amongst the fastest growing sectors in Tanzania, employing a majority of young people and women. However, challenges include inadequate coordination, limited professional capacities of the arts and culture stakeholders as well as limited innovation and lack of support, as well as a need to improve the cultural policies and their implementation.
The multi-stakeholder consultation was followed by a Create 2030 Talk on culture and creative industries and the digital revolution with panellists from civil society. The Talk gave the opportunity to engage a debate on the state of digital literacy among artists and creative entrepreneurs, training programmes designed to strengthen digital skills and competencies and on digital innovations for cultural and creative industries.
A national training workshop took place from 20 to 23 October 2019 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, facilitated by Ayeta Anne Wangusa and David Waweru, members of the UNESCO Expert Facility and supported by Doreen Anthony Sinare, national expert. The national team, in charge of elaborating and drafting Tanzania’s periodic report in a participatory manner, was trained on the UNESCO 2005 Convention and its Monitoring Framework and how to fill in the periodic report form. The workshop included a series of presentations as well as group exercises and led to the identification of a series of policies and measures to be included in the periodic report. A drafting team has been selected to follow-up on the collection of data and drafting of the report. The Tanzanian national team is composed of representatives from mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. Three meetings have been planned with the national team.
On 10 March 2020, a multi-stakeholder public presentation of the draft periodic report was organised in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Co-organised by the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports and the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, the UNESCO Office in Dar es Salaam and the National Commission of the United Republic of Tanzania, the public presentation gathered more than 70 participants. The objectives of the public presentation were to share the process and results of the periodic reporting exercise, to foster an interactive dialogue and gather comments and inputs from relevant stakeholders and to support the formulation of policy recommendations. The Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports gave opening remarks together with the Ambassador of Sweden to the United Republic of Tanzania.
An analysis of the trends of Tanzania’s implementation of the UNESCO 2005 Convention and the draft periodic report were presented to the participants. Interactive discussions through group work was fostered, each group analysing one of the four goals of the Convention’s Monitoring Framework. The participants included representatives from various ministries, professional associations, artists, and civil society organisations. Particular attention was paid to regional representatives and local governance issues through the participation of several representatives from Zanzibar and the Ministry of Regional Administration and Local Government.
The Tanzanian Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports joined forces with the Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA) and Midundo Radio to hold ResiliArt Tanzania on 21st May 2020, World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The theme of the debate was “Challenges and the new normal for the post-Covid-19 era”. The Director of Culture and Development Department on the panel assured the participants that the Ministry is working closely with associations, groups of artists and stakeholders to develop a strategy to cushion the creative workers from the economic ramifications of the pandemic.
“Is there an intercultural dialogue on Covid-19 between East African creatives?” Artists and cultural managers from Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda participated in ResiliArt East Africa on 4 June 2020 to explore unique challenges faced by the creators in the region.
While their artistic disciplines vary, panellists from three countries have made a transition of their creation and distribution process to online. They shared a concern for artists who cannot afford enough data to make this transition as well as for the audience with limited access to the internet. Lack of digital skills and training among culture professionals was raised as another common issue.
At the same time, the voices of resilience and hope were heard. The pandemic has not simply been a negative force – it is also “an opportunity”, said Princely Glorious, a digital artist from Tanzania. The physical distancing measures have forced many artists to “pause and reflect”, and “triggered creativity”. Others felt that there has been a surge in artistic collaborations. They voiced that crowdsourcing knowledge and talent can be the response to the lack of resources in East Africa.
Tanzania participated to a series of hybrid workshops (physical and online) on media diversity and cultural pluralism organized by the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa and involving national stakeholders from three other countries in the region (Mauritius, Ethiopia and Uganda).
The national team, coordinated by the national focal point for the 2005 Convention, included media and cultural stakeholders, national experts and government officers. The training provided a platform to build capacities on the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and to discuss policies and measures needed to support media diversity and its content across countries in Eastern Africa. It emphasized the strategic role the media play for the implementation of Convention by encouraging the production of diverse cultural content and by promoting access to cultural content .
The workshop was the opportunity to exchange between peers at the national and regional levels on challenges and strategies to reinforce the role of media in the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions and to strengthen the network of media and cultural stakeholders in Eastern Africa.
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On 20 April 2022, Tanzania hosted a national launch event on the 2022 Global Report, “ReIShaping Policies for Creativity”, in Motogoro, to discuss the findings of the report and the implementation and monitoring of the 2005 Convention in Tanzania. The participants included officials from the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Sports, the National Arts Council (BASATA), the Tanzania Film Board, the Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA), the Baraza la Kiswahili Tanzania (BAKITA), the Ministry of Information, Communication and Information Technology, the UNESCO National Commission for URT, as well as artists and other civil society organizations and CCI stakeholders.
The event addressed in particular the topic of gender equality, through a presentation of the Special Edition “Gender & Creativity” by the UNESCO Office in Dar Es Salaam and a panel discussion on how to include gender transformative measures and actions in reshaping cultural policies for sustainable development. The event was also the opportunity to raise awareness on the current call for projects for the International Fund for Cultural Diversity, to shed light on the ongoing IFCD project in Tanzania and to showcase two dance theater performances addressing gender equality.
On 9 to 11 May 2022, the UNESCO Dar es Salaam Office organized a meeting with CCIs stakeholder to present the conclusions of the quadrennial periodic report, to review and validate its translation in Kiswahili and to discuss the consolidation and follow-up of policy monitoring mechanisms for the 2005 Convention in Tanzania, notably in view of the elaboration of the next quadrennial periodic report due in 2024.
The dialogue was attended by officials from the government and CSOs including the National Khiswahili Council BAKITA, the National Arts Council (BASATA), the Tanzania Film Board (TFB), the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Sports, the Ministry of Youth, Information, Culture and Sports (Zanzibar), the National Commission for UNESCO, and the Creative Industry Network among other stakeholders.
It was noted that special attention will be given to CSO inputs, research and data in the next QPR and that the current Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP) in Tanzania acknowledges the Cultural and Creative Sectors as one of the areas of action.