BEST PRACTICES: ENHANCING THE PACIFIC CULTURAL INDUSTRIES

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BEST PRACTICES OF THE ACPCULTURES+ PROGRAMME: Enhancing the Pacific Cultural Industries

Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands

The project improved dramatically regional cooperation and knowledge

Initiated by the General Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the project implemented a wide support for the development of cultural industries in three countries: Fiji, Samoa and the Solomon Islands. Strengthening the cultural policies and regulatory frameworks, operational and institutional capacity-building, and the development of a toolbox were amongst the key activities of the project.

“The main obstacle is represented by the inadequacy of the infrastructure, beside the weak institutional capacities needed to support the industry development. The marketing of cultural goods and services is not performant and does not have connection with the export sector. The companies working in cultural industries are micro or small-to-medium enterprises, characterised by lack of entrepreneurialism and a low rate of risk. The cultural associations lack of structure and managerial capacities”, explains Jessie McComb, SPC's cultural officer. “Thanks to this project and the contribution of the ACPCultures+ Programme, we improved the coordination and dialogue between arts/culture associations and the public sector departments and development agencies. Secondly, we trained cultural operators in key strategic areas: development of financial services, market promotion, copyright protection and enforcement. We are offering strategic industry coaching to associations, cultural organisations and individual artists. We improved the entrepreneurship abilities of many micro and small companies”, comments McComb.

The results of the project can be measured in a very concrete way.

National strategic industry promotion workshops

All three countries developed strategic frameworks for the development of their national cultural industries. These documents are the foundation of the national promotion strategies. The frameworks are being implemented in Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands in partnership with other government ministries and private sector stakeholders. The Samoa Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture (MESC) has included the strategic framework as part of their draft national policy which will be launched in the second half of 2017. These frameworks are a key to the sustainability of the project since they will support the

Ministries responsible for cultural industries in their continued development of the sector and will guide their activities for the next 2-3 years.

Hosting capacity building workshops

Several workshops were held in Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands. The partners hosted association and collective capacity building workshops in all three countries, with a specific emphasis on the needs of stakeholders in each country. In Fiji, the workshop focused on building trust and relationship between producers and providing information on the types of collectives available in Fiji. As a key result, the performing arts producers are in the process of forming the Fiji Islands Performing Arts Alliance as an industrial association to represent the needs of musicians, dancers, spoken word and other performers. The visual artists have continued the dialogue through talanoa sessions to build trust. A specific workshop was also hosted to support the development of the Fashion Council of Fiji. It resulted in the launch of their strategic and operational plan. In Samoa, the workshop focused on building the capacity of the Samoa Arts Council, the country’s national arts support organisation. It resulted in a revised constitution and strategic plan and a new operational plan to support the sector. In Solomon Islands, the workshop focused on building the capacity of over 18 existing collectives including specific support on the operations of associations.

Intellectual property workshops and awareness raising campaigns

In Fiji, the workshop was held in partnership with the Fiji Intellectual Property Office (FIPO) and the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FIRCA). It created a space for an important dialogue between officials, enforcers and producers as well as increased knowledge on the topic of intellectual property. In Samoa, the workshop was hosted in partnerships with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (MCIL), the state authority with the mandate for intellectual property.

Cultural producers were trained on the process of copyright and trademark registration and MCIL heard about entrepreneurs’ concerns. In Solomon Islands, the current intellectual property protection regime is outdated and not useful for producers. The partners held a consultation workshop on the new traditional knowledge draft bill and the draft intellectual property strategy in order to gain insight from producers on their needs and raise awareness on the importance of intellectual property. The partners also implemented awareness raising campaigns in all three countries to increase public knowledge on intellectual property and its importance for the cultural industries.

Technical missions

One of the most successful parts of the project was the implementation of a number of entrepreneurship workshops. Due to partner and producer requests, the partners held 8 entrepreneurship workshops in total. The curriculum was developed in partnership with Samoa Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) to ensure local ownerships and sustainability. The training specifically targeted the need of cultural producers in local, tourist, diaspora and export markets addressing gaps along the value chain in creation, production, promotion and distribution. Participants learned how to identify a target market, conduct market research, create a marketing plan and develop relevant marketing materials. This knowledge is crucial in supporting their access to existing and new markets.

The national workshop also supported the launch of new partnerships within the government including Fiji Arts Council’s work with the Ministry of Women and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism on branding and certification for cultural producers.

“The project improved dramatically regional cooperation and knowledge, which is an essential avenue for affirming the role of the cultural industries in the economic and social development of the Pacific Islands”, concluded McComb.

 

More best practices HERE

June 28, 2017
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