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Development of creative industry within Indian Ocean Islands ends on fruitful deliberation

Seychelles was chosen as the host country of a workshop on how to boost the creative industry within the islands of the Indian Ocean. Organized by OCPA, Observatory of Cultural Policies in Africa, and OIF (l’ Organisation International de la Francophonie), delegates from Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles, and speakers from OCPA and OIF brainstormed on the way forward to develop creative industries within the islands of the Indian Ocean.

In a series of recommendations drafted at the end of the workshop, it came out strongly that creative industries need to draw its inspiration from tangible and intangible cultural heritages. Delegates also unanimously agreed on the creation of a regional program within the region to promote tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Artists within the Indian Ocean region should become beneficiaries of these programs to promote greater mobility and incite more creativity in their work.

The proposed program will be set up in line with the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) strategy for cultural development in the region. The four-day workshop was opened on Tuesday, December 16, at the Coral Strand Smart Choice Hotel. Vincent Meriton, Minister for Community Development, Social Affairs and Sport, opened the workshop on behalf of his colleague, the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St. Ange, and he spoke of a proposed creation of the Creative Industries and National Event Agency (CINEA), which he said government will announce in 2015 of its official set up.

Minister Meriton said the workshop is, therefore, staged at an opportune time.

“We are happy the workshop falls at the right time, when government is in the process of setting up the creative industry. Studies have proven, the creative industry contributes largely in a country’s economy. It now remains for Seychelles to appreciate its rightful value of this creative industry and its role played in its economy,” said Minister Meriton.

Toussaint Tiendrebeogo, an expert in politics of the creative industry at OIF (L’ Organisation International de la Francophonie) urged participating countries to take out maximum profits from the workshop.

He said lack of adequate cultural policies prevented countries from maximizing benefits of their creative industries. He added that the workshop is there to prevent this from happening.

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