ENHANCING THE PACIFIC CULTURAL INDUSTRIES

Participants doing a break out exercise on trends and product development. Credits: SPC

Project's partners unite to enhance Samoa’s cultural and creative industries

Apia, SamoaThe cultural and creative industries in Samoa represent an important economic sector as well as the country’s deep heritage and culture.

The Samoa Bureau of Statistics confirmed that in 2011, almost 30 per cent of the country’s population earned some income from handicraft production, just one of the many cultural sectors.

Despite the number of cultural and creative producers in Samoa, there have been few training programmes targeting this unique sector with an in-depth, industry-specific curriculum aimed at boosting the livelihoods of producers and supporting economic growth.

To support the development of the cultural and creative industries, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SCP), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the European Union, Samoa’s Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC) and the Samoa Arts Council have created a partnership with the Samoan Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) to create a targeted training programme to boost the nation’s cultural industries.

The partners hosted two training programme sessions. The first was held in English from 3 to 7 August and second session given in Samoan from 11 to 14 August. 

Participants doing a break out exercise on trends and product development. Credits: SPC

The training was made under the framework of the ‘Enhancing the Pacific Cultural Industries: Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands’ project - supported by the ACPCultures+ Programme, implemented by the ACP Secretariat and financed by the European Union - implemented by SPC’s Social Development Division in collaboration with PIFS, Samoa’s Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture and the Samoa Arts Council.

The training programmed focused specifically on handcraft, fashion and visual art producers.

“Through formal presentations and interactive sessions, the training provided cultural and creative producers with knowledge and skills to enhance their businesses and livelihoods. The participants learned about entrepreneurial and business topics specific to the cultural industries such as quality control, supplier and buyer relationships, distribution channels, marketing strategies and materials, product development and design, and costing and pricing,” the Deputy Director of SPC’s Social Development Division, Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago-Elisara said.

She said that, as part of the partnership, SBEC will integrate the training programme into their existing course offerings and repeat it in the future based on demand, ensuring that the knowledge stays local and producers have a resource for advice and technical support.

The success of this partnership was based on the commitment of the partners and the groundwork laid during the National Development Workshop for the Cultural and Creative Industries in Samoa, hosted by SPC, PIFS, MESC and the Samoa Arts Council in November 2014.

The joint project recognises the contribution of cultural industries to Pacific economies and works to strengthen their positioning in the economy.

August 20, 2015
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