Creative Sector Readies for National Music Industry Summit

  • Summit set to guide creatives towards commercialisation and identify shortfalls that restrict growth




Following the official launch of the National Arts Council Botswana (NACB) in Gaborone recently, creatives in the music industry are gearing up for the country’s first National Music Industry Summit.


The summit is a partnership of NACB, the Botswana-EU Policy Dialogue Facility and the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture and is scheduled for 31 May to 1st June at Protea Hotel by Marriot in Gaborone.


“The objective of the symposium is to guide Botswana’s culture and creative industries (CCI) towards commercialisation, piloting with the music industry,” said Projects Officer at Change Africa, Monkgogi Osenotse, in a statement.


Key participants


“The summit also seeks to identify shortfalls that restrict growth and pinpoint approaches that will enable Botswana’s CCI stakeholders to commercialise, resulting in improved revenue streams.”


Key players in the local and international and cultural and creativity industry, among them Karabo Senna of the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), Wendy Verwey Bekker of Ditto Music and Raphael Benza of Vth Season, will share their insights into how the creative industry can be monetised.


The summit will enable conversations among creatives about exploring means of improving their livelihoods.


Transformation agenda


Speaking at the launch of NACB recently, the CEO of the organisation Shombi Ellis said the summit was motivated by the realisation that Botswana’s CCI has been identified by the government as a part of the nation’s transformational agenda and for the industry to play a vital role in the employment creation, economic development and community revitalisation.


NACB is set to create a platform for emergence of artistic and cultural spaces both in urban and rural communities as safe spaces for artists to work and conduct the business of art and growth of performance and community productions while stimulating local consumption.


“Our work will also look at partnering with a local bank to empower creatives with customised and effective banking products and solutions while exploring the implementation of a financial capacity building scheme aimed at working with the financial sector to build the creative and cultural industries,” Ellis said.


State theatre


Officially launching NACB, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the coming on board of the organisation should accelerate the development of a state theatre which will catapult the arts and culture sector where Botswana will match the best of Africa, if not the whole world, in the arts and culture space.


“We consider the arts as an important contributor to national development, not only as a way to entertain our communities, but also as one of the ways to a diversified economy, and a means of earning a livelihood,” he said.