Developing and Deploying African and Black Creative Energies in the 21st Century: Some Suggestions for Policymakers


Inyang, O.


Within the varied context of global reflections on the instrumentality of the creative sector as a driver of development in different parts of the world, a lacuna exist about what can be considered the appropriate and commonly accepted continental position regarding the issue beyond UNESCO projections. This obviously potentiates a crippling recourse to the interiorization of a serious matter by African leaders and Policymakers in clear adherence to the spin strings of imposed policy templates including cultural policy that should rightly emanate from endogenous sources. This enduring deficit in working out a common and coherent vision of engaging the creative energies of Africa and the Black race leaves us as perpetual recipients of foreign ideation and international cultural policy impositions that often negates the cultural reality in our societies and sometimes operates in opposite terms with the desires and goals of the local creative community. Stemming the tide of this error requires a multiplicity of perspectives, approaches and strategies. This paper aims to articulate a policy-driven template for developing and deploying African and Black creative energies for maximum productivity within the competitive space of cultural and creative globalization in the 21st Century. The paper shall attempt to generate fresh perspectives about the necessity for rethinking the development and deploying of African and Black creative energies with a view to inculcating best practices as well as mainstream the welfare, safety, conducive and equitable work conditions for local artists, cultural workers and creative stakeholders. Using theoretical and analytical binoculars built out of a deep understanding of the African environment and context, the paper idealizes that the development of African and Black creative energies is critical to the realization of African Union’ Agenda 2063 and without the strategic envisioning of what that development entails, Africa and its Black diaspora will find itself being left out of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Moreover, the paper further concludes that the development of a critical mass in the creative sector cannot suffice without the mobilization of all the core players in the economic, education, the organized private sector, the local economies and knowledge systems, foreign direct investors, the public sector and all the agencies and institutions focused on the creative industries in the continent and in the Black diaspora.


Developing, African and Black, Creative Energies, Policymakers, Creative Industries.


Africa’s place as a critical resource base for development in all sectors has been widely acknowledged over the years. Its standing as a rich continent of great history, resourceful people, beautiful environment, inviting biodiversity, a vibrant culture and heritage scene is well-established and extensively documented by generations of scholars and researchers (Aig-Imoukuede, 1991; Bisschoff, 2013; Awodiya, 2017).


Defining Creative Energies Creative Energies represents the fulcrum of artistic and creative resources that are available in the society. They can be classified into the various streams of artistic and creative endowments available in a society as well as the human resources committed to livelihoods and practice in those fields. The Cambridge Dictionary defines creative energy as “having the ability or power to create” or a set of activity and engagement “characterized by originality of thought or inventiveness.”


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