NAIROBI, SEPTEMBER 13 ― Kenya is keen to spur her economy by tapping into the creative industry, which has been identified as a potential driver of economic growth in developing economies, and a viable solution to some of Kenya’s pressing issues.
This comes as Nairobi played host to the maiden “Creative Business Cup Africa Summit”, organized by Junior Achievement (JA) Kenya in partnership with GEN Kenya, NIC Bank and BLAZE by Safaricom.
The two-day summit, which was held this week at the Strathmore University and Metta Nairobi, aims to promote the creative economy by bringing together an extensive network of creative minds, government, policy makers, businesses, investors and academia to engage in discourse and spark action that will tap into the potential presented by this economy.
Founded by Rasmus Tscherning in Denmark in 2010, the Creative Business Cup is a global initiative for entrepreneurship and innovation.
Its objective is to empower entrepreneurs in the creative industries, connect them to investors and global markets and strengthen their innovative capabilities to the benefit of industry and society.
“We are pleased to have partnered with Creative Business Cup to create a space where Kenya’s young creatives can network, secure investments for their businesses and exchange ideas. We envision a future where the creative economy can contribute significantly to our economic growth, because it is not enough to acknowledge the existence of potential; we need to harvest it for sustainable growth,” said John Wali, Executive Director – JA Kenya.
As more youth around the world embrace unconventional careers in sectors such as performing and visual arts, heritage, printed, audiovisual and new media, design and creative services, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has defined the creative economy as an emerging concept dealing with the interface between creativity, culture, economics and technology in a contemporary world, which is dominated by images, sounds, texts and symbols.
Globally, the creative economy is estimated to have created 30 million jobs, generated over US$ 2.2 trillion in revenues and is the number one source for the global digital economy.
It has been identified as a potential driver of economic growth in developing economies, and a viable solution to some of Kenya’s most pressing issues, some of which the Kenyan government hopes to address through its Big Four Agenda.
“The creative economy could be the fuel that will power the engine of Kenya’s economic growth and reduce Kenya’s youth employment rate from the current estimate of 26 per cent. By working together, we can identify and close the gaps, finance ideas, mentor young minds, influence policy-making and create the efficiencies needed to tap into this sector,” said Joseph Ogutu , Director of Strategy and Innovation – Safaricom.
“Safaricom is pleased to be supporting youth through platforms such as BLAZE that are investing in creative ideas and offering mentorship and networking opportunities that are helping young Kenyans create careers in media, the arts, design, among others,” he added.
The Creative Business Cup Africa Summit was held on 12th and 13th September and featured regional leaders in the creative industries such as a prolific creative industries speaker David Parrish, LazyTown Founder Magnus Scheving, Funkidz CEO and Founder Wanjiru Waithaka, Youth Development Fund Chairman Ronald Osumba and BLAZE mentors Abel Mutua (actor, scriptwriter) and Caleb Karuga (agropreneur).
The two-day event also included master classes in creativity, a boot camp and a pitching competition to select the winner for the Creative Business Cup who will represent the region at the Global Finals in Copenhagen, Denmark on 26th-27th November, 2018.
CREATIVE BUSINESS CUP AFRICA SUMMIT
The summit brings together an extensive pool of specialists, global policy makers and influencers, advocates and change agents in the areas of growth, innovation and venture capital to engage in discourse on the development of the creative economy and raise the profile of the creative startup economy in Africa.
Over 11 African National Creative Business Cup winners came together to identify the most creative startup from the African Region and tackle some of the region’s most pressing issues.
The Creative Business Network also invites startups and participants from across Europe to share best practice and learn more about the African creative startup ecosystem.
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy.
Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students, which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy.