The creative industries have been hailed as the real diamonds that will move Botswana forward after 2022 as they are the core of every other sector of the economy.
The engines of growth that brought Botswana to where it is today, predominately mining and agriculture, are not going to take Botswana beyond 2022.
Recognising this, the Government of Botswana has committed itself to securing alternative drivers of the economy through economic diversification.
If well nurtured, the creative economy can be a source of socio-economic growth, jobs, innovation and trade, while at the same time contributing to social inclusion, cultural diversity, and sustainable human development, said Thabiso Mashaba, the Finance and Sponsorships Director for The Blak Audio Fire Investments.
“Once recognised and with sufficient capacity building to sensitise all key stakeholders on their roles in aiding the creative economy, the industries have great potential,” said Mashaba. Current studies on the creative industries reflect that the creative industries are at the core of every sector, can be a main player in leading to diversified economic growth away from mining.
These industries notably include architecture, archives and libraries, artistic crafts, audiovisual (such as film, television, video games and multimedia), cultural heritage, design, festivals, and music, performing arts, publishing, radio and visual arts.
“The positive spillover effects of these industries cannot be undermined on the rest of the economy and on society as a whole,” said Mashaba.
However, the small businesses in this sector, too often face obstacles to fulfilling their full potential. The current economic crisis adversely impacted on these industries, making it even more difficult for them to access the resources they need to finance their activities and adapt to the new environment.
Mashaba said as Botswana shifts from being mineral dependent to knowledge-based economy creative industries are vital as they promote competitiveness and innovation.
He revealed that reviews and considerations are currently being made in order to include the creative Industries as an official Sector of Botswana Economy with the National Human Resource Development Strategy.
The Business and the arts programme, which was successfully launched October 2011, will act as a very key organ for the creative industry as it will provide mentorship programmes, and will also help in getting perfect knowledge about the needs from business to artists.