Cultural and creative industries – drivers of development

Project description

Title: Global Project Cultural and Creative Industries
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Global, priority areas: Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Senegal, South Africa
Overall term: 2020 to 2023


Be it Senegalese music, fashion from Kenya, South African animation films or design from the Middle East, cultural and creative products convey identity, content and values. They connect people around the world and create new social and economic prospects.

The cultural and creative industries create jobs for disadvantaged population groups and make an important contribution of around three per cent towards the global economy. Their innovative power shines out into other branches of the economy and they are a pioneer for tomorrow’s world of work. This gives them the potential to drive development inclusively and in the long term.

Despite the economic and social potential of the cultural and creative industries and the large number of creative talents in Africa and the Middle East, there are often no opportunities to fully exhaust make use of them there. For example, there is a lack of governmental support, needs-based training opportunities, strong interest groups, and suitable financing models and market access.


Those working in the cultural and creative industries in the six partner countries of Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Senegal and South Africa have better employment and income prospects.


With the Global Project Culture and Creative Industries, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has been making use of the potential in this area for the first time since 2018.

The project improves the employment and income opportunities for those working in the cultural and creative industries in the partner countries by promoting entrepreneurial, digital, creative and technical skills through training programmes. In addition, it strengthens the framework conditions and the ecosystem of the creative industry.

To this end, the project supports organisations such as culture centres, business incubators, industry associations, networks or festivals in improving the range of services they offer for those working in the creative industry. This includes technical advice, imparting relevant skills, and access to new markets and financing options.

Interest representation groups and public-private exchange formats also receive support to enable creative minds to network with one another as well as with public decision-makers. The project also pursues cross-border project approaches such as the organisation of conferences, online platforms, joint learning formats or trade fair participation.

Implementation takes place on site in cooperation with the Goethe Institute and local partner institutions. The activities and the focus on creative submarkets vary greatly here from country to country.

Moreover, the project provides BMZ with technical advice regarding development policy positioning in the area of the cultural and creative industries for sustainable development.


Up to the end of the pilot phase in March 2020, the project successfully implemented around 65 activities. So far, the activities have reached around 12,200 people directly and a further 25,000 people indirectly.

Examples of success in the partner countries:

  • 800 people working in the creative industry and students took part in the thematic workshops and events at the Fak’ugesi Digital Innovation Festival in 2019. The festival is increasingly developing into a decisive networking platform for the cultural and creative industries.
  • Around 75 per cent of participants in an export incubator for fashion in Senegal, Kenya, Jordan and Lebanon adapted their product strategy and digital strategy after the training courses.
  • Five Kenyan creative projects completed successful crowdfunding campaigns in 2019 on the new local ‘thundafund’ platform, generating an average of USD 2,500 to expand their product ideas.
  • 68 designers in the Takween project took part in qualification programmes in Jordan. Several of them received startup funding and were able to present themselves at the Amman Design Week in October 2019.

BMZ is supported in positioning the cultural and creative industries as an area of work of relevance to development policy. For example, the project designed and organised panel discussions, workshops and cultural contributions at re:publica 2019, the first German-African ICT forum and the Future Forum Make Globalisation Fair in 2020.


Last update: October 2020