Strengthening Creative Industries in Mozambique: tailor-made policy actions

29 June 2011

In the context of the annual session of the Trade and Development Commission, UNCTAD released the study "Strengthening the Creative Industries for development in Mozambique", a policy-oriented report issued as the main outcome of the multiagency 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 Mozambique. It identifies needs, priorities and key obstacles 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. In 2008, Mozambique exported US$ 4.5 million of creative goods to world markets.

As per UNCTAD's methodology the study provides policy advice for enhancing the institutional and regulatory environment in the country with a view to nurturing creative capacities while promoting trade, investment, technology, entrepreneurship and social inclusion.

Visual arts and crafts are sectors with great potential in Mozambique. The country has internationally famous contemporary artists particularly for sculptures and paintings, such as the famous Malangatan Valente Ngewnya.

The study suggests that a communication campaign should be articulated through commercial embassies to promote and organize exhibitions particularly of Makonde Art.

The National Art Crafts Fair led by CEDARTE is a good tool for improving the quality and exports of crafts. The government is also encouraged to display in its official buildings and websites illustrations of creative artwork to build the country's creative image.

In recent years, fashion emerged as a promising sector in the country. The Mozambique Fashion Week is attracting growing interest including from fashion designers of neighboring countries. The report recommends the development of an eco-fashion approach including for jewelry and accessories, as well as for handicrafts and interior design products that can work in harmony with nature and take a stake in an increasing eco-friendly global market. UNCTAD suggests the setting up of a creative cluster to bring together professionals from the creative industries, allowing for cooperation, continuous learning, sharing of knowledge and costs for buying materials and equipments with a view to facilitate networking and a target export strategy.

Another viable creative product is Dockanema, a documentary film festival uttered by private initiative. Thanks to the historic culture of cinema in the country, there is a basis to explore the possibilities for the film industry which can go hand in hand with the development of new media and graphic design. Regarding the audiovisual sector, the formulation of a cinema law and a broadcasting law with a funding mechanism for audiovisuals products is encouraged; such a fund could be made up of contributions from broadcasters and telephone companies.