Advancing Creative Industries for Development in Ghana


Start date: 1 April, 2019 End date: 31 March, 2024 Project type: Research collaboration projects in Danida priority countries (Window 1) Project code: 18-05-CBS Countries: Ghana Thematic areas: Economic development and value chains, Lead institution: Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Denmark Partner institutions: Loughborough University (LBORO), United Kingdom University of Ghana (UG), Ghana Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Thilde Langevang Total grant: 11,994,917 DKK

Project summary

Creative and cultural industries (CCIs) are being lauded for their potential to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Supported by a range of UN Agencies, many African governments have bought into the promise of CCIs to deliver economic growth, decent jobs and sustainable development. Policies to support the CCI sector are being introduced despite a lack of knowledge regarding the practices and experiences of creative labour, the opportunities and challenges faced in running viable creative businesses, and the impact of such policies in an African context. To fill this knowledge gap and further advance the capacity of CCIs to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, the research project Advancing Creative Industries for Development in Ghana (ACIG) will use innovative qualitative methods to investigate the policies, labour conditions and entrepreneurship dynamics of CCIs in three regions of Ghana. Ghana represents an ideal case given the recent intense flourishing of the creative sector and strong vocal governmental support. Focusing on the music, film, fashion design and visual arts industries, an international, interdisciplinary team of researchers will work closely with private sector businesses and policy stakeholders to co-produce original empirical and theoretical knowledge on CCIs in an African context. A range of workshops with stakeholders will ensure that participants not only engage in but also benefit from the research, while innovative, participatory dissemination will render ACIG’s findings accessible to a wide range of stakeholders. The original knowledge generated by ACIG willshape understandings and theorisation of CCIs and inform policies to support the sector locally and globally, thus contributing to improved sustainable economic growth and development. Capacity building is central to the project, with research capacity being strengthened through the close collaboration of junior and senior researchers and the training of four Ghanaian PhD students.


First-Year Report:
The project has had a very successful first year and made important progress. All the administrative/budgetary procedures are in place. PhDs and postdocs have been recruited.
The first Project Workshop was held in September, 2019, followed by the first Stakeholder Advisory Board Meeting and a Policy Workshop. The project design was refined based on the discussions during these meetings and detailed plans for the first field research and dissemination activities made. Methods training (in interviews, the River of Life approach, policy research methods, visual and arts-based methods) have been delivered.
First fieldwork activities commenced in January 2020 including two artistic workshops in Kumasi and Accra, a Future Workshop in Tamale, and a number of in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, business model canvas and River of Life interviews carried out in all three study sites (Greater Accra Region, Ashanti Region and Northern Region). Initial drafts of papers have been made based on the field research activities and literature reviews.

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