Interagency Project: Strengthening the creative industries in five ACP countries through employment and trade expansion
UNCTAD International labour Organization - ILO UNESCO ACP European Union Development

This project — to enhance the economic potential of the creative industries in five African, Caribbean and Pacific countries — embodies a new approach to this fast-growing sector.

By nurturing and building upon cultural assets already existing in these countries, the project intends to develop the music, film, performing arts, publishing and other related creative industries, through a variety of activities spread over 4 years (2008-2011).


The project intends to offer examples of effective ways of stimulating the creative economies of developing countries.

UNCTAD offers policy advice intended to enhance supply capacities and trade as well as attract additional investment to the creative field in the five selected countries.

ILO focuses mainly on promoting entrepreneurship, employment and decent work in the creative sector.

UNESCO promotes standard setting in the cultural field, seeks to safeguard cultural diversity, encourages dialogue among cultures, and strives to enhance the linkages between culture and development.


This pilot project is funded by the 9th European Development Fund of the European Commission, as a component of the Support Programme to ACP Cultural Industries with the institutional support of the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group.

Beneficiary countries





​Phase I.

Fiji was the fifth country visited by a joint mission by UNCTAD, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from 2-6 March 2009.

The mission was led by ILO, the coordinating agency in the country, with a view to launching the pilot multi-agency project. A stakeholder meeting gathered about 30 participants from the government, cultural institutions, creative entrepreneurs, artists and creators. Government ministries, institutions and civil society organizations voiced willingness to support the project's activities during 2009-2011.

UNCTAD is envisaging four modes of intervention:

  • Policy advice for shaping a strategy for the creative economy.
  • Technical assistance for institution-building to facilitate inter-ministerial actions.
  • Capacity-building on trade and investment related issues.
  • Support for some sectors aimed at improving creative capacities and the competitiveness of selected creative products.

Coincidently, at the end of mission the Fiji Arts Centre was officially inaugurated and the Director of the Fiji Arts Council presented its strategic plan for 2009-2012.

A plan of action to start the implementation of the project activities has been jointly prepared by the three implementing agencies and is in the process of being validated.

By October 2009, The Government of Fiji validated the Plan of Action for the Country opening up the way for the implementation of Phase II of the project.






​UNCTAD releases study for Mozambique on Creative Industries. 6 June, 2011, Geneva

UNCTAD released the study "Strengthening the Creative Industries for development in Mozambique", a policy-oriented report issued as a main outcome of the multi-agency pilot project for strengthening the creative industries in five ACP countries through employment and trade expansion.

The study provides policy advice for enhancing the policy framework and the institutional and regulatory environment in the country with a view to nurturing creative capacities while promoting trade, investments, entrepreneurship, technology and social inclusion. The study is available in English and Portuguese.

High-level Policy Dialogue on creative Industries in Mozambique. 29 June, 2010, Maputo

This event was part of UNCTAD's delivery for the implementation of the multi-agency pilot project The goal was to submit for discussion and validation the final draft of the policy-oriented country study prepared by UNCTAD on "Strengthening the creative industries in Mozambique" as one of its main contributions to the project activities during the 2008-2011 period.

The report addresses the objectives set out for phase I, to identify needs and priorities and recommend policies to foster employment, creative capacities, trade and the linkages between culture and development.

By October 2009, The Government of Mozambique and the main stakeholders in the creative industries sector approved and validated the ACP Plan of Action for the country as well as UNCTAD's study "Strengthening the creative industries in Mozambique". The report will be published in English and Portuguese in December 2009.

Phase I.

The first fact-finding mission by the three agencies was held from 30 August to 6 September 2008, to present the project.

Two stakeholder meetings gathered about 30 participants each with partners from cultural institutions, creative entrepreneurs, artists and creators.

The aim of the project is to assist the Government to put in place public policies to boost the economic and social potential of its creative industries, and optimize its impact to generate jobs and trade. UNCTAD is undertaking a country study to identify key issues and bottlenecks with a view to offer policy advice and capacity-building activities.

Our main interlocutors are the Min. of Education and Culture, Min. of Industry and Trade, Min. of Youth and Sport, Min. of Science and Technology, Min of Labour and Min. of Tourism.






Phase I.

UNCTAD, ILO and UNESCO are working towards the objectives set by the Dakar Declaration and Plan of Action for the promotion of ACP culture and cultural industries (2003) and the Santo Domingo Resolution (2006) adopted by the ACP ministers of culture.

The mission to launch the project in Senegal was held 1-7 November 2008.

Consultations were held with government authorities and a one-day meeting with core stakeholders to exchange views with potential partners about the project objectives and expected outcome. Discussions centred on how to unlock bottlenecks and to develop new transversal policy involving several segments of the Government and the creative sector to facilitate internal processes and to support institutions.

Two immediate tasks emerged:

  1. the establishment of a "creative industries task force" to continue the dialogue initiated during the mission; and
  2. for UNESCO, to prepare a brief country profile on the creative industries on the basis of recent studies.

UNCTAD will offer policy advice to reinforce the linkages between trade, investment and technology, with a view to stimulate the inclusion of the youth in this promising sector. Music, visual arts, books and art crafts are key areas of interest.

By October, 2009, the government of Senegal and main stakeholders from the creative industries sector, validated and approved the ACP Plan of Action for Senegal.​



 Trinidad and Tabago



Phase I.

A joint mission to Trinidad and Tobago, coordinated by UNCTAD, took place 1-6 December 2008.

Meetings were held with stakeholders to set up stage and consultations in defining the strategy to introduce and implement the multi-agency project.

A high-level, full-day stakeholder's workshop was held in Port of Spain, attended by over 40 participants, who engaged in a dialogue about the expected impact of the project on national and international policies.

The Minister of Information and the Minister of Public Administration addressed the session. The Minister of Labour voiced the value of the project for job creation and small and medium-sized enterprise development. The Ministry of Trade and Industry had the lead responsibility for the domestic institutional support for the conduct of the project. The United Nations mission team visited Tobago to brief local authorities.

As a result, an "advisory group" will be set up and an action plan is being shaped. Carnival in Trinidad and the Cultural Heritage Festival in Tobago deserve attention.

The validation of the Plan of Action for project implementation in Trinidad and Tobago is now under the consideration of the Government authorities.






​UNCTAD releases study for Zambia on Creative Industries. 6 June, 2011, Geneva

UNCTAD released the study "Strengthening the Creative Industries for development in Zambia", a policy-oriented report issued as a main outcome of the multi-agency pilot project for strengthening the creative industries in five ACP countries through employment and trade expansion. The project is a component of the ACP-EU Support Programme to Cultural Industries, jointly implemented by ILO, UNCTAD and UNESCO during 2008-2011. The report prepared by the Creative Economy Programme in cooperation with the government provides an assessment and a country policy review of the current status and the potential of the creative industries in Zambia. It identifies needs, priorities and obstacles while proposing a series of concrete actions to assist the government to shape a feasible and sustainable strategy as a basis to foster the creative economy for employment, trade and development gains. For further information see the news release.
High-level Policy Dialogue on Creative Industries in Zambia. 2-4 July, 2009, Lusaka, Zambia

This event was an initiative of UNCTAD as one of its main outputs for the multi-agency project. The aim was to present the final draft of the UNCTAD study "Strengthening the creative industries in Zambia" which will guide the project's activities during 2008-2011. On behalf of the Zambian Government, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Community Development signed a document endorsing the study and approving the plan of action. This ceremony was followed by official signing and validation statements by high officials from seven ministries, who consituted the inter-ministerial group. The Publication "Strengthening the creative industries in Zambia" will be printed in Geneva in December 2009.

Phase I: This was the first beneficiary country visited, from 28 July to 3 August 2008. The objective of the mission by UNCTAD, ILO and UNESCO was to hold consultations with relevant stakeholders and launch the project. During the first phase, UNCTAD carried out a situational analysis of the creative economy in Zambia, identifying needs and priorities and making policy recommendations for strengthening creative capacities, institutional mechanisms and the competitiveness of creative goods and services in world markets.
Under Phase II, technical assistance and capacity-building will be provided based on the recommended actions to ensure project sustainability in the long term. The launching ceremony was opened by the Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Affairs, with participation of the Director of Cultural Affairs and the Director of the National Arts Council. Meetings and discussions were held with stakeholders in Lusaka and Livingstone to identify opportunities for the creative sector and its linkages with tourism, technology and education. A test workshop on ILO's Business Skills for Artists trained 15 trainers. The Government of Zambia is committed to support the project for an effective implementation.


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