by Judy Bryant

Creative Indaba coming

African Creative Economy Conference bagged

Grant Pascoe, Erica Elk, Peter Rorvik and Anton Groenewald
Creative Economy at Cape Town City Hall (2).jpg

Cape Town, already gearing up for World Design Capital (WDC2014) next year, has concluded another creative coup: it will host the third Creative Economy Conference 2013 and the fourth Arterial Network Biennial Conference from 6 to 9 October 2013. 

The event should attract more than 300 delegates from around the world, including visitors from at least 40 African countries. It will be held in the City Hall with a parallel programme celebrating African creative industries. These will include music, theatre, dance, film, fashion, visual arts, design, literature and cuisine, mostly taking place in the East City district – The Fringe – deemed to be Cape Town’s cultural and innovation precinct.

With research revealing that Africa’s share of the global creative economy is less than 1%, the conference aims to focus attention on the continent’s creative industries - not just as economic drivers, but also to highlight their potential contribution to the eradication of poverty, to democracy and to human rights.

The Cape Craft & Design Institute (CCDI) submitted the successful bid to host the conference, and will be the primary implementing agency. The bid was co-ordinated by the Conventions Bureau and Event Support Division of Wesgro, the Western Cape’s investment and trade promotion agency. The conference will take place under the auspices of the Arterial Network (a network of individuals, organisations, donors, companies and institutions engaged in the African creative and cultural sector).

Cheryl Mulder-Verbruggen, manager: Conventions Bureau and Event Support at Wesgro, said: “We are delighted that Cape Town will be hosting this prestigious conference; it is an ideal opportunity to showcase the Western Cape’s numerous business and cultural attractions to the rest of the continent and beyond.”

CCDI executive director Erica Elk said: “We are very pleased to have won the bid to host this event and we hope it will catalyse a number of annual events that will enrich the quality of and diversity of cultural experiences in our city.

"We are also extremely happy to have the engagement and support of the City of Cape Town, both in the bid for and in the delivery of the event.”

The conference programme will broadly cover:

  • Examining and redefining the creative industries under  African conditions and their relevance to African economic, social and political developments
  • Undertaking and sharing detailed, up-to-date research on each sector in the creative industries; and
  • Discussing the creative industries and their relevance within the broader political and economic context. For example, the role of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) in Africa, and the impact of countries such as China on the creative industries

First held in Nairobi in December 2011, the conference rotates from region to region, with Cape Town being the southern African host after the second conference was held in Dakar in November 2012. The 2014 conference will be held in Casablanca, Morocco, with Central Africa playing host in 2015.

“This is our flagship annual event”, said Peter Rorvik, secretary-general of Arterial Network, “and this is a special year, as we will also be hosting our fourth biannual conference since the launch of Arterial Network in Senegal in 2007. We intend to make this our largest gathering to date. It will set a benchmark in terms of the quality of the input and the range of activities that will form part of the programme.”

Cultural practitioners and organisations who could contribute to the range of parallel programmes aligned with the African Creative Economy conference, are invited to a briefing at 12:00 for 12:30 (until 14:00) at the CCDI Creative Enterprise Training Unit (second floor, Harrington House, 37 Barrack Street, Cape Town) on Monday, 25 February at 12:30.

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