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Catalysing East Africa's creative economies

Published on July 21, 2016

The Hub co-sponsored and participated in the Creative Economies Dialogues, organized by our partner HEVA Fund on June 19 and 20, alongside the ongoing UNCTAD 14 conference in Nairobi. Hub involvement focused on promoting exports through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). HEVA works to enable creative sector entrepreneurs secure investment for their enterprises.

The first session, themed 'Show me the money', focused on the need for innovative financing solutions for the creative sector and the need for a supportive regulatory framework. It was noted that while the creative sector holds significant potential for job creation in Africa, especially given the growing youth population, the sector has largely been considered a 'foot-note' in the economic development agenda. The session covered aspects concerning access to finance for creative industry businesses, supportive infrastructure, intellectual property and market access.

The Hub's Value Chain Development Specialist for apparel, fashion accessories and home decor, Ms. Margaret Waithaka, highlighted the opportunities available under AGOA. She further stressed the fact that in many cases entrepreneurs need a lot of assistance with market intelligence and capacity to meet export standards necessary to sell to the U.S.

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The Hub's Value Chain Development Specialist for apparel, fashion accessories and home decor, Ms. Margaret Waithaka

The second session, themed 'The time is now', explored how stakeholders can build high-value, resilient and sustainable creative economy value chains and increasing the competitiveness of the industry both in the local and international market. This discussion involved key public sector stakeholders represented by the Cabinet Secretaries in charge of the ministries of sports, arts and culture, and ICT, in addition to a senior representative from the ministry of industrialization.