Help for Rwanda's creative industry - CNBC Africa

Help for Rwanda's creative industry

East Africa

by Tendai Dube 0

Sweden is now working closely with Rwanda to start a sustainable business model around the creative industry. Photo: Public Domain Images

Sweden is one of the countries recognised for the growth in its creative sector which is one of the biggest exports and contributors to the global economy.

The country is working closely with Rwanda to establish a sustainable business model for the creative industry in the East African country.

"[email protected]" is an event with Swedish and Rwandan entrepreneurs in the creative sectors aim is to contribute to a more innovative society as well as sustainable development.

Now is the time to invest in the Rwandan creative space says Maria Hakansson, Head of the Swedish Embassy, while there is a boost in the amount of creatives in the country.

"We from the embassy wanted to build new networks with Rwanda that goes a little bit beyond the traditional aid.

She looked towards Sweden where the creatives excel and in her three years in Rwanda, saw the potential to replicate the success.

“We see a large number of creative people, artists, designers, painters working in Rwanda, I think there is a potential in this and I think the time is coming also for Rwanda,” said Hakansson.

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She believes the country has not been economically leveraging on the resource.

“I think whilst Rwanda has put a lot of emphasis on culture and its value for society cohesion and maybe not so much on the potential for the economy and what could actually grow outside of the circle of cultural artists,” she said.

In other countries such as Sweden, with smaller populations than Rwanda have creative industries which Hakansson said contribute to the economy with employment and export earnings.

"There’s the part of the creativity and culture that doesn’t have a price tag and cannot be measured, but we mustn’t forget that there is also potential for job creation,” Hakansson said.

She explains how in Sweden its writers have established a whole industry and brands that through the art and the same came be done with fashion designers and musicians for example.

“I think Africa is still not contributing as much as it could to the global creative economy.”

However, investors are a struggle all over the globe especially within the creative sector.

"It’s a challenge because banks and others are confused by what they cannot fully understand and what they have difficulties measuring,” said Hakansson.

The [email protected] event will take place in Kigali, Rwanda on 23–25 September 2015.

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