Creative Economy Week to spotlight creativity, collaboration and innovation

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Creative Economy Week to spotlight creativity, collaboration and innovation
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The organisers the series of events will be an all-out package showcasing a series of curated events aimed at emphasising the significance of creativity, collaboration, and innovation in driving sustainable, dynamic, and inclusive growth.

KAMPALA | The British Council Uganda is primed to unload creativity and innovation in all its intricate and aesthetic value with a week-long festival celebrating creativity across different industries.

The Creative Economy Week Uganda, a replica of similar initiatives in many parts of the world, is set to take place from March 12 to 16 in Kampala.

The organisers the series of events will be an all-out package showcasing a series of curated events aimed at emphasising the significance of creativity, collaboration, and innovation in driving sustainable, dynamic, and inclusive growth.

"This week-long initiative aims to highlight Uganda's rich cultural heritage and its potential contribution to the global creative economy," the Council said in a statement on Tuesday.

British Council launched the first Creative Economy Week last September in Lagos, Nigeria, as a pilot.

"We're now extending the week-long event across the region starting with Zimbabwe from February 29 to March 4, followed by Uganda," said Susan Amu, the British Council regional head of communications for sub-Saharan Africa.

"We will have more countries such as Senegal launching the Creative Economy Week later in the year."

Amu said the initiative is part of the British Council's ongoing efforts to promote and support the creative industries in Africa, underscoring their importance as key drivers for sustainable, dynamic, and inclusive growth.

"Taking place across the city of Kampala as part of a carefully curated week of activity, we are excited to be bringing so many incredible partners and conversations together,” Chilufya Besa, country director of British Council, added.

Creative Economy Week has been celebrated in different parts of the world over the years, with places like the US State of Wisconsin using it annually to dig into community engagement through the arts, creative opportunities, and the arts and creativity as an investment for its people.

The United Nations, too, designated April 21 as World Creativity and Innovation Day to raise the awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development.

But the British Council's package is broader and more encompassing. This March 12-16 event, open to the public, will bring together industry professionals, policymakers, artists, and entrepreneurs.

One of the focal points will be the celebration of Uganda's textile heritage, including Kenyan fashion startup Creative DNA Africa programme in partnership with Bold In Africa, an award-winning Ugandan-based retail store, founded by Bold Women that carries clothing, accessories, and home decor pieces designed and made in Africa.

‘‘We are thrilled to bring Creative Economy Week to Uganda as British Council," said Besa.

"We look forward to bringing audiences, industry professionals, policymakers, creative entrepreneurs and policymakers together to share their experiences and celebrate the power of the inspiring and influential work carried out by talented Ugandan creatives."

Activities

The week will feature the launch of the sector mapping report titled, "Mapping the Current Landscape of the Culture and Creative Industries in Uganda," conducted by CDEA [Culture and Development East Africa] in September 2023.

Among the scheduled activities are a series of events aimed at fostering collaboration and partnership within Uganda's creative sector. Visitors can expect insightful discussions, networking opportunities, and engagements aimed at exploring the potential of Uganda's creative and cultural industries.

The activities will open with the topic, "Reimagining Heritage & Textile through Commerce," at the British Council Foyer on March 12 at noon. Here, curators and enthusiasts can expect to engage with the Jose Hendo Bark to the Roots curators, with bark cloth demonstration led by Master Craftsmen and IGC Fashion, Panel Talks and Conference Creative and Cultural Policy Development in Uganda including Roundtable on the Business of Fashion (Bold in Africa).

B2TR is anchored in ethos of the sustainable development goals, reminding us to preserve both our heritage and the environment.

The morning of March 14 at MOTIV will see artist walk and exhibition with the Annual Njabala Exhibition 2024 taking centre stage before Makerere University Art Gallery gives the public a taste of its innovation in the creative economy.

Ndere Cultural Centre will be the place to be on Friday, March 15 from 5pm, with IGC Fashion presenting a spotlight showcase on Uganda’s rich culture and heritage through fashion.

The British Council says the the Creative Economy Week Uganda aims to achieve several outcomes, including a better understanding of Uganda's creative sector, increased collaboration and partnerships, enhanced appreciation of Uganda's creative and cultural sector, and opportunities for new business development across commercial, business, and cultural domains.

Perhaps it is during the weeklong events that some critics will get to give creativity its perfect definition unlike the UN that says there may be no universal understanding of it.

The Creative Economy Week will surely be the event that will underpin how creativity should be the artistic expression to problem-solving in the context of economic, social and sustainable development.

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