WINDHOEK, 21 AUG – Namibia is committing to the integration of the creative industry into the wider economy by hosting the 2018 Arts Summit of Southern Africa (ASSA).
The three-day summit started in Windhoek on Tuesday and is being hosted by the National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies.
It brings together arts professionals and policy-makers from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, Europe and Australia, to discuss how the creative economy can be harnessed to improve regional growth and prosperity and how it can become sustainable.
“By enhancing and promoting our creative industries within SADC, we are creating opportunities for economic development in the global economy,” the Chief Executive Officer of the National Arts Council of South Africa, Rosemary Mangope said during the opening of the summit.
She said mainstreaming knowledge and skills to learners at an early age will strengthen arts education and contribute to creative economy development.
At the same occasion, NACN Chairperson, Patrick Sam pointed out the significance of the summit, saying it creates an opportunity for the relationship between SADC and the creative economy to be strengthened.
“As we aim to develop and grow through regional integration strategies, it is clear that creative industries must not be left behind,” he stated.
Sam further urged all participants to work together in order to identify and overcome the challenges faced by the creative sector in SADC.
The summit will amongst others discuss the role of cultural leadership in strengthening the creative economy, arts education, policies for the creative industry, opportunities in creative economies and employment opportunities in the creative economy to national development and regional integration.
Representatives of the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Ministry of Environment and Tourism and tertiary institutions are also attending.
The summit’s theme is ‘Human creativity is a vital economic, social and cultural resource’.