Rwanda: assessing policy needs for the creative sector

As part of the UNESCO project “Strengthening the sustainability of creative industries in Rwanda”, Rwanda held its third National Steering Committee (NSC) meeting on 23 May in Kigali to assess the policy needs of the creative and cultural industries (CCIs).

Fourteen members of the Rwandan NSC came together in Kigali to review the findings of Ishyo Arts Centre, the national implementation partner for the project, which included training capacity gaps identified during a national mapping exercise and a presentation of proposed trainings to respond to the capacity gaps.

The NSC is chaired by Dr. James Vuningoma, Director of the Rwandan Academy of Language and Culture and includes various experts from the Ministry of Sports and Culture, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Work Development Authority, the Rwandan Development Board, the Private Sector Federation, Rwanda Arts Council, the Rwanda Media Commission, the Media High Council, the National Youth Council, the Rwandan National Commission for UNESCO as well as cultural practitioners.

The findings of the mapping were organized in accordance with the cultural value chain – creation, production, dissemination, distribution, consumption – and presented to the NSC for comments and validation, prior to the development of the targeted training modules. The NSC asked that information and awareness raising on copyright be included in the artists training gaps. They also highlighted the need to include people with disabilities among the targeted participants in all trainings.

The national implementation partner for the project, Ishyo Arts Centre, is working under the guidance of Dr Jenny Mbaye, a member of the Expert Facility of the 2005 UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

The training programme to be developed through this project will target artists, cultural professionals, governmental, civil society and private sector actors who are working in the field of arts and culture to develop cultural and creative industries in Rwanda. Other beneficiaries include a wide range of stakeholders and the general public who will benefit from various cultural goods and services made available in Rwanda, and will enjoy them in a manner than respects intellectual property rights of creators.

The project activities are continuing throughout 2018, and will continue to be guided by the insights and expertise of the National Steering Committee.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Chairperson of the NSC, Dr. James Vuningoma, summarized the three main priority gap areas identified by the NSC for the training programme development:

1) General lack of professional skills (artistic, technical, practical and job skills)

2) Arts management skills, including copyright/intellectual property rights

3) Adaptation of education skills to the market demands

The NSC recommended that training focus on the following three domains in the cultural industries: Performing arts (music, dance, theatre), film and visual arts. The next meeting of the National Steering Committee meeting will be held on 26 June 2018 to review the training programme methodology developed by Ishyo in close collaboration with the UNESCO international expert, Dr. Mbaye. The first training activities will be carried out in July 2018.