Over the past year, Mimeta has worked with the Godown Arts Centre in Kenya exploring the potential of the cultural and creative industries. A recent WIPO study shows that copy-right based industries stand of 5, 23 % of Kenya GDP. Based on a conference and talk show titled “the Economy of Creativity” arranged in Sept 2009 several focus areas were identified in order to harness the potential of the cultural and creative industries. With a structured approach we believe that the cultural and creative industries could support the growth of overall GDP, increase its share of GDP and sustain more livelihoods.
The conference and talk show also resulted in increased interest from Kenyan public authorities and the business community seeing a sector that can contribute to the development and economic growth of the country and region.
Building on this increased interest, the Godown and Mimeta will continue its partnership to further arranged activities that support the development and growth of the cultural and creative industries. A number of projects will run over 2010 that are designed according to previous findings. Couple of examples of such projects are developing a comprehensive course for creative entrepreneurs, holding workshops with artists and business people in investing in and developing the sector, seeking to arrange a regional conference on this theme including Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.
These projects will focus on the supply side of the economy of creativity – i.e. supporting the players that create and offer cultural/ creative goods and services.
But initiatives and projects on the supply side are may be not sufficient to support economic growth which is why activities will be developed targeting the demand side of the cultural and creative industries. One key area of focus is “cultural tourism” – where visitors seek to consume experiences that go beyond the beach and traditional amusement/ entertainment. There is a niche market within the tourism industry where people seek destinations where cultural festivals are arranged (film or music festivals, art works etc..) which can complement the current tourist offering of Kenya. Focusing cultural tourism would create a demand pull which would stimulate and positively challenge the cultural and creative industries.
Establishing and supporting initiatives, activities and projects which contribute to dynamic demand and supply development effects of the cultural and creative industries is one of our ambitions.