Countdown to African Creative Economy Conference in Cape Town; 6-9 October
With only a couple of weeks to go to the must-attend African Creative Economy Conference (in Cape Town, South Africa 6-9 October), the line-up of speakers and panellists has grown into an inspirational and diverse collective that ranges from fashion entrepreneurs to political analysts, and musicians to government ministers.
This annual conference (the first was in Nairobi in 2011 and the second in Dakar in 2012) will interrogate the role of the creative industries to address Africa's development challenges. The Conference aims to focus attention not only on the continent's creative industries as economic drivers; it will also highlight their potential contribution to the eradication of poverty and underpinning of democracy and human rights. Its multi-layered offerings include key economic and cultural development indicators from some of the world's foremost research institutions; inspirational stories from the continent's dynamic cultural entrepreneurs; and thought-provoking feedback from culture and development experts, funders and commentators.
Academics include Dr David Stevens (Director, Fireside Research, World Policy Institute, USA); Dr Marina Guo, Vice-director, John Howkins Research Centre on the Creative Economy, Shanghai; and Professor Edgar Pieterse, Director of the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town.
Among the creative entrepreneurs are Nigerian lawyer-turned fashion entrepreneur Omoyemi Akerele (Creative and Managing Director, Lagos Fashion and Design Week); DRC-born, SA-based film-maker Johnny Muteba; and Zimbabwean-born, SA-based Patrick Schofield, founder of street wire art enterprise Streetwires and the online crowd-funding café, Thundafund.
Other participants include the eminent Moroccan Minister of Culture, Mohamed Amine Sbihi; Senior Cultural Officer of the African Union, Angela Martins; UNESCO Technical Expert on cultural policy, Zimbabwe, Stephen Chifunyise; and Dr Ammar Kessab, a governance expert at the African Development Bank. (See full list of speakers below).
One of the most valuable take-home benefits could be a detailed overview of the key economic and cultural development indicators of Africa's 54 countries. Researchers engaged by Arterial Network will present their "Africa in Numbers" research, which will include indicators on economies; development (health, education/literacy, etc.); democracy (governance and human rights); and corruption and transparency.
The conference brochure and programme are available from the Arterial Network website. The first day of presentations (Monday 7 October) will set the tone and define the broader economic context for African growth, analysing its drivers and beneficiaries. It will also examine some of the key players in the global economy and the potential impact and meaning of evolving relationships with leading actors such as China and alliances like BRICS. Day two (Tuesday 8 October) will delve deeper into matters related directly to African creative and cultural industries, exploring the role of culture as an integral element of sustainable development. The final day (Wednesday 9 October) will be devoted to defining practical steps based on the issues raised and shared during the conference and will focus on shaping the future of the African creative sector.
Registration fees for the conference are R2239/delegate from Africa, R3278/delegate from Central, America, South America or Asia, and R6000/delegate from Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. Registration can be completed by visiting the website (www.acec2013.org.za) or by email (ACEC2013@ccdi.org.za). Find out more about the African Creative Economy Conference on Twitter and Facebook.
Photo: African Creativity - Boysie Cekwana Performing at Jomba Contemporary Dance Festival