Cultural and creative industries - drivers of development

Project description

Title: Global Project Culture and Creative Industries
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Global, priority regions: Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Senegal and South Africa
Overall term: 2018 to 2020


The cultural and creative industries have the potential to drive development and influence it positively in the long term. The link between culture and development forms part of the 2030 Agenda and is reflected in a number of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 4, SDG 8 and SDG 11. Culture is the fourth dimension of holistic development alongside its social, economic and environmental dimensions. This means that it is an integral part of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Charter for the Future and its Marshall Plan with Africa.

The cultural and creative industries demonstrate what tomorrow’s world of work will look like, with a knowledge-based economy, online forms of communication and cooperation, and substantial potential for innovation. The cultural and creative industries are becoming a cross-cutting sector that contributes to the value chains in many other areas of development.


The conditions for harnessing the economic and development policy potential of the selected cultural and creative industries in six partner countries in Africa and the Middle East and in German cooperation development have improved. The project focuses particularly on disadvantaged population groups.


BMZ is using this project to break new ground in using the potential of the cultural and creative industries to influence development policy processes. It seeks to strengthen the cultural and creative industries in our partner countries in structural terms and to improve individuals’ employment prospects and the likelihood that they will remain in their home country. At the same time, it supports innovativeness in partner countries and strengthens social cohesion.

The priority regions for project activities are Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Senegal and South Africa. The first stage in tapping into creative economic potential is to identify models for support.

The project supports those working in the cultural and creative industries through financing, advisory services and skills development. There is a particular focus on women and disadvantaged population groups. Activities vary widely from country to country. In Lebanon, for example, the project promotes the professionalisation of designers through the Design Residence. In Kenya, it has launched a crowdfunding campaign for creative professionals. And in South Africa, it has supported organisation of a digitalisation festival, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival.

The project also promotes the establishment or development of interest groups in the various creative industries and boosts creative professionals’ willingness to cooperate with each other. The main priority is to facilitate dialogue with state institutions. The creative sectors are mostly unorganised, and the project aims to change this.

It also advises BMZ on development policy measures and BMZ’s aspirations to shape development policy in the area of the cultural and creative industries. For example, it plans dialogue formats between creative professionals and BMZ.

The project is being implemented in cooperation with the Goethe Institute.


  • By the end of October 2019, the project had successfully implemented almost 40 activities. These include workshops, network meetings, online platforms, learning and teaching events, and promotional initiatives. So far, 12,200 people have benefited directly and a further 25,000 indirectly.
  • Professionals working in the creative and cultural industries are also beginning to organise themselves more formally. A designer collective has been set up at the Design Residence in Jordan, for example. Kenya regularly hosts a round table with representatives of the Government, interest groups, creative professionals and entrepreneurs. An online dialogue platform, wabunifu. org, has also been developed to provide information about relevant sector events, publish articles and link up creative professionals, lobbyists and lawyers.
  • BMZ is well aware of the potential of the cultural and creative industries. The project has successfully provided advice and helped with planning on a number of occasions. For example, the project devised and organised a panel discussion on crowdfunding at re:publica 2019 in Berlin.