The Botswana International Music Conference (BIMC) which was hosted in Gaborone, Botswana, last year December, have resulted in a report, detailing the inputs and outcomes of all subject matters discussed at the conference. The recently released report highlights the immediate and future gains and opportunities as well as strategies that can grow the music industry; WeekendLife Editor DAVE BAAITSE discusses some of the recommendations.
The report has confirmed that the music industry in Botswana is faced with many challenges from; a small domestic market, lack of proper facilities for hosting major international and local events, lack of international and regional exposure of music practitioners and poor regulatory framework. The report further indicates that the speed at which the music industry is growing is currently dictated by the digital age and ever growing demand of fresh new content on digital online platforms, television and ever changing landscape of the media as “we are now in an era where content is king”.
The objective of the conference was to look at the structure of the Botswana music industry at national and regional (SADC) level. It looked at opportunities that exist in the Botswana industry and key projects that the country could embark on in the short term to attain quick gains and those that need a long term and would be achieved over the next five years with an effort to create employment and alleviate poverty amongst the nation.
“Due to limited available literature and statistics about the music industry or the entire creative industry, it’s important that the industry works closely with Statistics Botswana to explore ways in which a study could be conducted without compromising the industry value using proper tracer systems and data. Working closely with Statistics Botswana will help in Companies and Intellectual Property Agency (CIPA), Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture (MYSC) (Now Ministry of Youth, Sports and Cultural Development) and other arts organs in terms of how to capture data that can be used to grow the industry,” BIMC recommended.
The BIMC further indicates that MYSC, HRDC and Ministry of Education and Skills Development, must create a fund for research and development of literature on the music industry. This, according to the BIMC, will become valuable in coming years because as it stands, all information about the music industry is based on the South African and American music industry.
The report resolves that both ministries and all organs such as Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) and Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) must come up with ways of training, and building capacity in the music industry. “Capacity building must not be left to MYSC only.
HRDC needs to be in the forefront to make sure there is no mismatch in terms of the current industry demands and patterns and what currently the creative industry is being trained on from Primary School to professional level. BQA must constantly find easier but effective ways of accrediting practitioners in various fields as this can assist in professionalizing the industry,” the report reads in part.
The conference also resolved that infrastructure development in the music industry is of paramount importance. Their contention is that MYSC might look at building state theatres or partnering with Ministry of Local Government by refurbishing 10 community halls countywide into conference and convention centres that can be later used for hosting concepts and conferences. This, BIMC reasons, will create massive employment during construction phase and after completion.
It also resolved that there are available opportunities in terms of cultural export program. “There is a huge demand for Setswana music across the SADC region especially traditional music. Botswana government and stakeholders need a clear plan of how they can tap into the international market. It is not sufficient to just be in Botswana because this ends up saturating the local market and collapsing performance fee prices for artists. Also, having Botswana artists in international events helps to market the country and boosts the tourism sector and Brand Botswana,” BIMC reported.
The report further says that there is also a need to review old laws. “Botswana Cinematography Act and as well as Copyright Act need to be viewed as many works in Botswana in the next seven years will be going into public domain especially the likes of Ratsie Setlhako and Sam Raditsebe. So the country must have mitigating structures in case these works go into the public domain,” the report reads.
Further, the conference noted that the cultural industries growth strategy must look at all aspects of the industry; both deficiencies, opportunities and legal framework and thereafter dissect the key areas of development and the economic impact in terms of employment creation and GDP impact, if the projects are to be embarked upon. Their main contention is that, the cultural development strategy must be aligned to the National Development (NDP) 11, National Policy on Culture, UNESCO Treaties, WIPO Treaties and Copyright Act or any other laws or policies.
BIMC’s advice to MYSC and all stakeholders who intend to carry economic impact studies is that such studies must also be accompanied with a growth strategy of the sector because “it does not make sense to come up with a figure to say the economic impact is so much, if the figure is low, then what happens and if its high then what happens as well! The study should also be clear as to what is the creative industry according to Botswana context.”
In closing, the report suggests that there will also be a need to implement the resolutions and strategies derived from the music conference to make sure the music industry strives. The conference was attended by both local and international speakers, musicians, music promoters, musicians, composers and upcoming musicians.
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On Saturday 29 October 2022 (11:00- 15:00) Bash Connektor will be presenting their 1st TatsoConnekt Leading Women Brunch which will be hosted by Basadi’Bash’Masimolole. Tatso. A Setswana word. Taste .Tatso / ta-tso/. verb.
The Brunch will be held at Myhomecafe by Mogobane Dam and tickets are selling at P650 per person. Only 50 tickets available and sold through pre-booking. The value of the offering will be a brunch meal + bottomless mimosas + connekting conversations that matter with leading women in corporate and entrepreneurship. This is an inspirational / empowerment connekting session for Women.
Bash Connektor is a Marketing Company with a twist founded in March 2022 by Basadi Bash Masimolole who has 15 years plus Marketing Experience. The INTENT of Bash Connektor is to Link People, Experiences, and Brands. The K instead of C is INTENTIONAL. We are all about contributing towards AMPLIFYING brand and country messages through curating experiential offerings and connekting conversations that matter, said Basadi Masimolole.
With a sponsor or funding, Basadi Masimolole’s ultimate goal is to have visual podcasts and empowerment connektor sessions at villages as part of cultural tourism and contributing towards the Botswana Government’s Rural Areas Development Program (RADP).
Individuals interested in purchasing the limited number tickets or Brands interested in participating on the TatsoConnekt Leading Women Brunch through sponsorships/ brand placement opportunities can reach Basadi’Bash’Masimolole on +267 7140 6660 / email@example.com / Bash Connektor Facebook page.