imageSAEuCreative Industries Trade Dialogue

This publication was produced in partnership between EUNIC, the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) and a range of other partners. It brings together insights into and perspectives on the role of trade in creative industries development in South Africa. These insights were generated through commissioned research, a conference and a series of seminars and workshops undertaken over a nearly two-year period.

The resulting picture of South Africa’s position in the global marketplace for creative and cultural goods and services generated is sobering and sometimes troubling. The export of creative goods comprises a negligible proportion of South Africa’s overall exports to the rest of the world. Furthermore, it appears this trend is amplified rather than diminishing over time. At the lower end of the market, South Africa is consuming increasing volumes of industrially manufactured creative and cultural goods emanating from mainly China and leads to a situation in which the value of our goods imports is nearly quadruple that of our exports.

Flowing from the research and consultations, the research identified four key areas for action, aimed at addressing structural weaknesses in the present approach to the promotion of the creative industries trade agenda.

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Arterial Network: Advancing Africa's Creative Sector towards 2015

The Arterial Network is one of the largest intercultural and pan-African networks of the continent. This report is a useful overview of our work. 

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Adapting the Wheel: Cultural Policies for Africa (2010)

This book is the result of a series of monthly seminars and reading group discussions, organised and conducted by Arterial Network in 2010. The series is intended to articulate informed responses to these discourses, rooted in the experiences and interests of civil society, rather than those of the state or parastatal sector. 

This publication aims to assist in the drafting relevant policy instruments and frameworks for Africa.

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Contemporary Arts and Culture Discourse: African Perspectives (2010)

This book is the result of a series of monthly seminars and reading group discussions, organised and conducted by Arterial Network in 2010. 

The purpose of the series is to encourage rigorous engagement with debates relating to culture and cultural development, often emanating from beyond Africa, that concern the priorities, strategies, practices and allocation of resources as they affect the African creative sector. 

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Arterial Network: Arts and Culture information directory 2011

One of the key challenges identified at the founding conference of Arterial Network was the simple need for information. Many delegates lamented the fact that they did not know what was happening in other parts of the continent from which they were separated by distance or language. 

This directory is a modest response to these conditions. It is not intended as the definitive guide to the arts of the continent, nor as a comprehensive library of information about the arts in each country. Rather, its aim is to provide sufficient information about stakeholders and key contacts in the creative sector in each African country to allow the reader, with minimal effort, to find what he/she is looking for.

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Arterial Network: Towards an Arts and Culture Index

The proposed African Arts and Culture Index (AACI) is a mechanism which will facilitate for the measurement and monitoring of the environment conducive to the development of arts and culture in African countries and any progress or regression in these areas. It will also enable comparative analysis of various aspects of the cultural sector.


We believe that it is important to provide tools that will stimulate public dialogue about the value of arts and culture as well as improve the policy and decision making. Needs to give the cultural sector a similar focus to the lines developed for the social, environmental and economic sectors.


How do we measure the state and the advancement of the environment conducive to the development of arts and culture on the African continent? What are the most important parameters to take into account? What are the most relevant indicators to use? How do we overcome the general context of lack of data? What are the challenges related to the diversity of contexts? These are the questions that underpin the Arterial Network’s African Arts and Culture Index project.

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