The Creative Industry Policy Reforms Required to Achieve the National Industrialization Agenda

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The creative and cultural sectors face policy challenges that lead to inconsistent engagement between sector players and relevant ministries/institutions, subsequently apparent unbalanced development of creative and cultural sector; disorganized, mismanaged, fragmented associations in creative and cultural industries, low entrepreneurship skills and non-existent funding mechanisms for the sector. These challenges result from weak and non-existence of appropriate creative and cultural policy.

This was said during a recent Policy Forum monthly breakfast debate held on the 31st of May 2019 which was dedicated to discussing a report titled “ Assessing Creative Industries for Policy-Making in Tanzania”.

A presentation by Dr. Charles Ruyembe from CHIMABA, focused on the theme “Industrialisation for Economic Transformation: What are the Policy Reforms Required to Achieve the National Industrialisation Agenda?”  highlighted that there is a need of reviewing policies related to creative businesses, which includes, review of existing cultural policy, Intellectual Property Law and relevant public policies such as education, tourism and environment or trade.

Furthermore, to clearly define the role of the government in supporting young people to build a portfolio of core arts, culture, heritage, technical and digital technology inclusion in their future creative occupations, the government should establish a sustainable mechanism which will develop career management skills for all young people aspiring to join and work within the creative workforce.

Dr. Ruyembe accentuated that the social transformation or change must be connected to learning and performance to equip young people and women with adequate knowledge and skills, so that, as they graduate, they will have the ability to participate fully in creative jobs as active members in the Tanzanian society. Learning and performance are influenced by the culture but at the same time, shapes rather expectations of young people’s bright future and makes them able to create new ideas and contribute to the country’s economic development.

Significantly, the Executive Director of Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA), Ms. Doreen Sinare said the main aspect of Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Law (IPRs) need to be strategically addressed in the public policy documents due to the fact that all creative industries are subject to Intellectual Property Law. The current Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act is out-dated and needs amendment and thorough enforcement. It seems that there is lack of understanding the importance of Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Law Number 7 of 1999 on national economies, the arts, culture, heritage and creative industries business and creative sectors contribution to GDP and creative workforce opportunities.

Nevertheless, Ms. Sinare alleged that the policy has to come up with clear statements on the role of creative entrepreneurs, the local community or civil society with a vision to improve access and availability of modern apprenticeships all linked to the sustaining of creative and cultural provisions.

Similarly, Dr. Ruyembe insisted that the policy has to come up with a clear statement on the role of parents, guardians, teachers and the civil society on how the identification, measuring and profiling of current and future skills embedded in the creative capital of young people in Tanzania will be done. The evidence-based survey found that the government and the society have ignored nurturing the creative skills of young people, promoting creative jobs and putting clear opportunities in the creative industries for talented young people to see and join the creative industries and creative jobs and businesses of their interest.

However, the issue of inter-ministerial coordination needs to be addresses by the National Cultural Policy. The government with relevant ministries, agencies and institutions under their respective ministries and the private sector need to be mobilised to enliven the relationship between the creative sector and structure of the Tanzania’s public policies. Hence, there is no clear inter-ministerial coordination to connect policy making, planning, programming and establishment of a framework for policies that cut across Ministries for systematic implementation and positive outcomes.

In conclusion, through enhancement of “cultural resources” embodied in people’s creativity, skills and talents (creative workforce) creates a knowledge-based society which refers to: social relations (mobilize local communities and the Government to materialize and advance social change) , there should be a facilitation of young people and women to learn new things as they are the targeted group of this sector. Reinforcement of  old ideas (cultural heritage) to enable young people to create their own artistic language and contribute to their global development (innovation) and advertisement of the tourism industry should also focus on the creative industry.

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