ECOWAS calls for vibrant creative cultural industry for regional economic gains

The ECOWAS Commission is urging member states to develop the region’s creative cultural industries for greater economic gains towards improving the living standards of the people.

Addressing the opening of a four-day Culture Experts meeting at the ECOWAS Commission Headquarters in Abuja Monday, November 21, 2011,  Dr. Adrienne Diop, Commissioner for Gender and Human Development, predicted that the culture sector would soon become the “engine room for developmental programmes,” and the cutting edge of regional cohesion and sustainable economic development.

In an ECOWAS statement, Dr. Diop charged the participants at the meeting themed “Cultural Industries and Development,” to come up with cogent recommendations to advance the development of the sector.

Participants during the meeting, according to the statement also considered progress report on resource mobilization, as well as the reports of technical committees on culture, the second meeting of the regional copyright observatory, and the jury report of the 6th edition of the ECOWAS Price of Excellence.

In his remarks to declare the meeting open, the statement cited Nigeria’s Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, highlighting the dynamism and versatility of culture industries describing them as “knowledge-based activities that produce tangible goods and intangible intellectual or artistic services with creative content, economic value and market objectives.”

The Minister also charged the culture experts to “articulate strategies that will transform the creative industries from instruments and activities of mere decoration and entertainment to a robust vessel of economic transformation and development which will impact positively on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our countries.”

To this end, he called for effective mapping of the culture industries to trigger proper data collection and documentation that will capture the various sectors with their potentials as well as the barriers hindering the development, according to the statement.

By Ekow Quandzie

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