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Stakeholders set to reposition creative industries for growth

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The creative sector has proven to be a viable contributor to the economic development of nations, especially with consideration to the immense export potentials of the sector. Nollywood (the Nigerian film industry) is recognised as the second largest film industry in the world and Nigerian music, after conquering Africa, is generating conversation and growing interest across the world.

Despite the activity within the industry, the creative industry in Nigeria continues to maintain a relatively low profile in comparison to other economic sectors and this low profile is attributed to lack of verifiable data on the economic contribution, job creation and other macro economic indices of the sector.

Consequently, a stakeholder forum in July 2011 agreed unanimously that, in order to stimulate interest in the sector, grow its profile and aid policy making, it was imperative that an economic study (a mapping) of the Nigerian Creative Industry sector be undertaken to provide information on size, employment profile and other trends in the sector.

Thereafter, a Mapping Working Group was commissioned by the British Council to facilitate the mapping of the sector. The members of the Mapping Working Group were drawn from the Society for Nigerian Theatre Artistes (SONTA), Pan Atlantic University’s School of Media and Communications and the National Bureau of Statistics.

Following a scoping of methodology in 2012, the mapping is commencing with a pilot study of key creative industry sectors in Lagos. The subsectors selected for this pilot are: Fashion, Film and Music. The decisions were made in recognition of Lagos as one of the hubs of creative activity in these three sectors which are themselves vibrant and high profile sectors and which we are confident, will provide data that make the case for further investment in the mapping process.

Speaking about the mapping, Assistant Country Director of British Council Nigeria, Ojoma Ochai, said that the mapping will be very advantageous to policy making. While Prof. E.S. Dandaura, Head of Department of Theatre & Cultural Studies, Nasarawa State University, President of the International Theatre Institute (ITI)-Nigeria and immediate past President of SONTA, who coordinates the Mapping Working Group,noted that the mapping project will provide the needed empirical data that will demonstrate the extent to which the Nigeria Creative industries offer Nigeria a viable alternative to oil..

The results of the mapping exercise will be announced to stake holders in the creative industry during the 3rd edition of the British Council’s Creative Industries Expo.

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