Gabon and South Sudan highlight job creation in creative sector as key to achieve SDG 8

Cultural and creative industries (CCIs) are increasingly recognized as a significant source of income and driver of job creation, often through micro, small and medium enterprises. In the face of transformation of CCIs due to digital technologies, Gabon and South Sudan have joined UNESCO’s new initiative, funded by the EU, to create new regulatory frameworks aiming to harness the creative sectors.

When it comes to artistic creativity, Gabon and South Sudan have no shortage of talents. Yet, current informal nature of CCIs and lack of legal support mechanism mean creative workers still struggle to establish a viable career in their field. Strengthening and promoting innovative mechanisms to support creative enterprises is a priority in order to address the issues of professionalization and profitability. The two African nations are committed to take on these challenges through the EU-UNESCO project; they will strengthen governmental support systems for creative workers by designing, adapting and implementing new cultural policies, guided by identified needs and priorities and the spirit of participation, partnership and South-South cooperation.


Gabon: job creation and fair compensation for creatives

With 11 million young people entering the workforce every year in Africa[1], Gabon hopes to leverage the creative sector’s potential to provide modern, interesting job opportunities to their dynamic young labor force. In particular, Gabon is eager to revisit and revise its 2011 draft cultural policy, a result of years of research and consultation. Policymakers will engage in dialogues with cultural actors from all levels so the updated policy reflects emerging needs and challenges on the ground. These consultation meetings will consider new measures to stimulate job creation, entrepreneurship, the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises, and women and girls’ empowerment in CCIs. Upon revision, the cultural policy is expected to represent a new vision of Gabon’s culture sector.

Through this project, the country will be leading the implementation of a cultural roadmap adopted by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in 2018, which calls upon member states to strengthen their CCIs through participatory policymaking.


South Sudan: strong momentum for first-ever copyright policy

While humanitarian needs remain for the most vulnerable population after decades of conflicts, South Sudan is looking to the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) as a motor of sustainable development. It is committed to creating legal frameworks for CCIs, beginning with the first-ever copyright policy aimed at creating an enabling environment for South Sudanese creators.

This project supports South Sudan’s efforts to regulate and structure the creative sector, while ensuring that the copyright policy is created in a participatory manner. The resulting policy will combat piracy and illegal reproduction of creative works, contributing to the system of cultural governance in South Sudan. The project also facilitates South Sudan’s introduction into the international copyright community and consider the benefits of joining mechanisms such as the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO).


Ongoing on-demand call for assistance

This non-financial assistance project, supported by the EU/UNESCO international Expert Facility, lasts 18 to 24 months and is expected to lay the groundwork for dynamic CCIs in developing countries. The call for applications to eligible countries, launched in December 2018, remains open until twelve countries, or more if budget allows, have been selected. The selection is likely to conclude by the end of 2019.

Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis by a Steering Committee composed of UNESCO and the EU. For more information, visit the call for applications page.


[1] African Development Bank Group, Jobs for Youth in Africa, 2018