Namibia moves to boost local content production in cultural and creative industries

Namibia is one of the dozen countries benefitting from the new EU/UNESCO Capacity Building Programme titled, “Supporting new regulatory frameworks to strengthen the cultural and creative industries and promote South-South cooperation”. The project provides expertise and support for peer-to-peer learning opportunities with fellow public officials in partner countries, thus contributing to the creation of international South-South networks for creativity. 

Through the project, Namibia is developing measures to boost local content programming as set out in the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia 2018 Broadcasting Code and revising the country’s Copyright Act (1994); adapting it to the evolution of the digital environment. The adapted Copyright Act will ensure that the work of Namibian creatives is adequately and effectively protected and that they are able to earn income from their artistic work. 

Namibia recognizes the potential of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) to accelerate economic growth and social development. In order to realize this vision, the country committed to create an environment where creative contents are protected and the Namibian artists and cultural professionals are encouraged to create, produce and disseminate their works. Specific needs and challenges identified by the project include:

  • Lack of enforcement of the local content programming regulation
  • Lack of funding for culture
  • The need to adapt copyright protection to current trends in CCIs
  • Insufficient enforcement of copyright-related measures and royalty collecting capacity

On 22 October 2021, UNESCO and the Namibian Department of Arts and Culture organized a national training workshop titled, “National Team Measures Activation Workshop”. The objective of the workshop was to equip the national team with knowledge of the Namibian Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs), intellectual property and local content production in particular - and practical tools to ensure an optimal measure development and legislative re-alignment.

Facilitated by Mr. Farai Mpfunya (International Expert), Mr. Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja and Ms. Rakkel Andreas (National Experts), the national team was familiarized with purpose-designed measure formulation tools to initiate the designing of measures to support local content production and revising copyright legislation. The training followed up on the national team orientation meeting that was held virtually on the 18th of October 2021. 

Prior to the meeting, the Intellectual Property and Local Content (IPLC) results framework, activity plan and stakeholder consultations were shared across key stakeholders in Namibia’s 14 regions; providing important context and project background information. Additional virtual consultations have provided insight into the Namibian project national team and the three pillars anchoring the Namibian IPLC Measures that include: 

  • Local Content Policy 
  • Private Copyright Levy and Local Content Fund 
  • Collective Management Organizations (CMOs)