Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Rwanda, Sweden partner to develop creative industry

Rwanda, Sweden partner to develop creative industryThe Rwandan creative industry could soon increase its contribution and significance to the economy thanks to a recently launched partnership involving the Swedish government. The sector, which has long been viewed as informal, is working to replicate best practices from Sweden’s creative industry and its impact the economy through an initiative dubbed “Sweden@Rwanda” The initiative will this week hold a two-day workshop bringing together players from the Rwandan and the Swedish creative industry.

The forum, to run from September 24 to 25, will create interaction opportunities for players in the creative industry from the two countries with an overall aim to increase the sector’s role in national development. The forum is a follow up on a benchmarking trip by a 14-member delegation from Rwanda to Sweden in June.

The forum and initiative comes at a time when Rwanda is seeking avenues to create more employment opportunities and non-traditional ways of generating Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Emma Stenström, a Swedish professor from Stockholm School of Economics, who specialises in the relationship between business and creativity, told The New Times that the creative industry can play multiple roles in national development.

Stenström, who is in the country for the forum, said basing on Sweden’s experience, the creative industry is an avenue for self-employment, entrepreneurship and also supports the development of other sectors. “The role of the creative industry goes beyond direct employment; the sector also supports other sectors and industries by providing cultural capital,” Stenström said. She added that the sector is also important in generating foreign exchange through exports. Sweden’s creative industry is estimated to about 5 per cent to the country’s GDP and about 200,000 jobs.

Among the necessities to replicate Sweden’s experience, Stenström said countries require having a partnership framework between the government, private companies and non-governmental stakeholders. “There is a collaboration between government, non-government players and private companies. Research has shown that it is important to have the three sectors involved,” she said. Read More...


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