Africa Month Opinion

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    Africa’s creative sector at a crossroads

    Africa’s creative sector is at a crossroads: rich with opportunities yet plagued by significant hurdles.
    Brenda Fashugba, regional lead: Creative economy, sub-Saharan Africa, British Council (Image supplied)
    Brenda Fashugba, regional lead: Creative economy, sub-Saharan Africa, British Council (Image supplied)

    On one hand, there is an undeniable surge in global interest towards African art, music, film, and fashion, seen in the increasing presence of the continent’s artists, musicians, filmmakers, and designers on international platforms.

    On the other hand, the sector struggles with systemic issues such as inadequate infrastructure, limited access to funding, and a lack of data that can attract further investment.

    Recognising these challenges, the British Council has supported the development of the Cultural Vibrancy Index.

    The Cultural vibrancy Index

    This innovative tool is designed to measure and map the cultural activities of various African cities, providing a much-needed database of creative hotspots and events.

    It aims to furnish stakeholders – ranging from local entrepreneurs to international investors – with reliable data to make informed decisions, thereby fostering a thriving creative economy.

    The Cultural Vibrancy Index was developed in partnership with Africa No Filter, Creative Economy Practice at CCHub with the funding and support of the British Council, and was introduced at the SoCreative Summit.

    In recent years, Africa has emerged as a vibrant canvas for creative expression, marked by a dynamic fusion of tradition and innovation.

    This evolution has not only enriched the continent’s cultural fabric but has also opened up myriad opportunities for economic and social development.

    However, despite this burgeoning potential, the African creative landscape still confronts numerous challenges that hinder its full realisation.

    The Index serves as a pivotal tool in understanding and navigating these complexities.

    Both celebration and challenge

    For too long, the narrative around African creativity has been hindered by a lack of concrete data, making it difficult to showcase and scale the sector’s true potential.

    The Index changes this narrative by providing a comprehensive database that lists events, tracks participation, and measures the impact of creative activities across the continent.

    This is crucial for attracting investment, supporting policy formulation, and guiding creative enterprises towards sustainability and scalability.

    The journey of Africa’s creative landscape is one of both celebration and challenge.

    As we leverage tools like the Cultural Vibrancy Index, we not only illuminate the path to greater economic empowerment but also ensure that the creative expressions of Africa are rightfully acknowledged and valued on the global stage.

    The future is bright, and with continued support and recognition, Africa’s creative industries will no doubt flourish, transforming challenges into opportunities for generations to come.

    About Brenda Fashugba

    Brenda Fashugba is the regional lead: Creative economy, sub-Saharan Africa, British Council
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