Creative industry cuts across economic, social and environmental development hence it is a key engine of sustainable growth and development for Botswana’s economy, said Thabiso Mashaba, the Finance and Sponsorship Director at Blak Audio Fire Investments.
Mashaba said government needs to appreciate this industry as a catalyst that can be used in achieving sustainable development in Botswana. Creative Industries is one of the fastest growing sectors globally as they are resilient to economic crisis; surprisingly, Botswana has not considered it as a sector.
“Botswana’s economy is shifting from mineral dependency to knowledge-based economy and Creative Industries will be pivotal to this as they are the foundation of a knowledge-based economy,” he said.
Mashaba said Creative Industries can perform miracles in improving the general welfare of people through diversifying their sources of income and contributing positively to broad national development.
Botswana has been undergoing Economic Growth without Economic Development.
“The economy and its sustainability highly depends on people’s mental abilities, attitudes and the quality of human resources,” he said. “The creative industries are at the core of the shift from MDG’s to SDG’s as they are at the cornerstone of our vision as a country, lifelong learning, improved nation building, identity and pride,” he said.
He added that due to their uniqueness and cultural component, they instill a sense of pride in the locals.┬áBotswana is party to the UN and AU conventions with regards to the Creative 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.
Creative Industries stakeholders came together in October 2011 to identify debate and align themselves with the Contribution that their industries bring to the Botswana economy.
However creative industries in Botswana have a few benefiting from their potential job creation due to them being sidelined. If they are recognized and taken seriously they can help create jobs for more and hence benefit the country achieves sustainable development.
Mashaba added that, currently, Government and all other stakeholders are finding ways to capture the number of people in the sector, and their real contribution is currently estimated at around P5 million per year.
The performance of this industry since 5 years ago has been tremendously improving, and UNTACD reports show that┬áfrom 2005 – 2008, their contribution to the country GDP grew by 33.3 percent.