Creatives hold great potential – Nghipondoka
By Rosalia David
THE Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Anna Nghipondoka has praised the creative and cultural industry saying that it holds great potential for social and economic development in Namibia.
Nghipondoka said this while speaking at the launch of the European Union (EU) and UNESCO Property and Local Content (IPLC) project which took place recently.
“Globally, the creative and cultural industries contribute three percent to GDP, and this sector favours youth employment in particular and provides 29.5 million jobs worldwide. Furthermore, the global creative and cultural sector contributed USD200 billion to the digital economy in 2013,” she said.
Locally, she said, UNESCO’s Culture and Development Indicators show that Namibian households spend about nine percent of their household budgets on cultural goods, services and activities which indicates that the demand is high.
Although indicators have proven that there is a huge demand for cultural goods, services and activities in Namibia, Nghipondoka said, the nation is faced with low levels of domestic content production, illustrated by the low level of cultural employment, which is about 0.65 percent of the total employed population in the country.
“This mismatch between the demand for cultural and creative goods and services; and the domestic production to respond to that demand, offers Namibia a significant opportunity for sustainable development and growth through the creative and cultural industries.”
In order for Namibia to compete to the global figures while contributing to the digital economy through art, Nghipondoka said it can only be done through the necessary domestic support of content production and regulatory framework that advance and protect the work of creative and cultural entrepreneurs, educators, activists and practitioners.
She went on to comment on the launch of the IPLC project saying that it is a step in the right direction.
The EU/UNESCO (IPLC) funded project is a Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Directorate of Arts partnership with the Business Intellectual Property Authority, which seeks to support the production of local content in Namibia’s creative and cultural industries, and aligning the relevant domestic regulatory framework to support the industries.
Nghipondoka said the project has already started making headway with peer-to-peer learning exchanges within the region and setting the groundwork for the rest of the project implementation.
“We are glad to have the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) on board as a key partner and driver of the revision of the copyright regulatory framework. The project is here to support BIPA’s work in this regard and to take hands in our efforts to provide more robust legal protection to our stakeholders in the creative and cultural industries.
“Importantly, the revision of the regulatory framework will also set out to align with developments in the digital environment. Progress in the digital economy, globally, has been moving at a tremendous speed and Namibia does not want to lag too far behind. We want to provide the governance frameworks that will assist our creators to thrive in the digital environment.”