From Zambianwatchdog.com
Lusaka, 29 June 2011

UNCTAD

At the annual session of its Trade and Development Commission, UNCTAD released the study “Strengthening the Creative Industries for development in Zambia”, a policy-oriented report issued as one of the main outcomes of the multi-agency pilot project for strengthening the creative industries in five ACP countries through employment and trade expansion. The project is a component of the ACP-EU Support Programme to Cultural Industries, jointly implemented by ILO, UNCTAD and UNESCO during 2008-2011.

The report prepared by the UNCTAD Creative Economy Programme in cooperation with the government provides a country policy review assessing the current status and the potential of the creative industries in Zambia. UNCTAD identifies needs, priorities and obstacles by proposing a set of concrete actions to assist the government to shape a feasible and sustainable strategy to foster the creative economy for employment, trade and development gains. In 2008, Zambia exported US$ 2.3 million of creative goods to world markets.

UNCTAD developed and implemented a methodology which provides policy advice for enhancing the institutional and regulatory framework in the country with a view to nurturing creative capacities while promoting trade, investment, technology, entrepreneurship and social inclusion.

The Government has been building cultural villages to support the creative economy. In Lusaka, the Kabwata cultural village, houses about 60 people who live and work making wood sculptures, baskets, crafts and souvenirs. In Livingstone the Maramba cultural village is an ambitious project providing a performance space to promote Zambia’s cultural products and traditions. The cultural villages attract tourists and help to sustain local demand for creative goods and services.

Visual arts, crafts and design are sectors with potential in Zambia. There are some private art galleries in the country but the creation of an internet art gallery is encouraged to promote the artwork of local artists. Given the vast mineral and metals resources and existence of gemstones in the country, jewellery is a creative sector with prospects for growth, both in domestic and international markets. Opportunities also exist in the area of decoration products and furniture using local metalworking and a mix of contemporary and traditional African interior designs.

Regarding the audiovisuals, there are some interesting initiatives. Muvi TV is an example of local production making up to nearly 65% of TV programming “Zambians making TV program for Zambians“. Another case is Yezi Arts a privately owned media company which experience in video production spans over years; some of its works helped to promote debate around social and cultural issues not only through national broadcaster but also by using alternative means like the ‘bus campaigns’. The media has been contributing to raise public awareness and to disseminate information and culture through radio and television programmes, including about the growing importance of the creative economy to advance socio-economic growth in the country.

The electronic version of the study can be found at www.unctad.org/creative-programme. For further information, please contact creative.industries@unctad.org