Human creativity is a vital resource – Arts Summit for Southern African

IGCAT’s President, Dr. Diane Dodd had the opportunity to join the first Arts Summit for Southern African (ASSA), 21-23 August 2018 in Namibia. The summit operated under the title Human creativity is a vital economic, social and cultural resource, a topic that is very close to IGCAT’s heart. Patrick Sam, Chair of the Arts Council of Namibia reiterated many times that the creative economy can save (not kill) several birds with one stone. In synergy with what IGCAT believes, participants noted that creativity can help:

  • build pride, self-esteem, self confidence, self-awareness and self-love in people around their unique cultural identities. “If it is not made by us, about us, it is not for us;”
  • elevate sustainable social development for people and the planet (if we commit that everything we do should help protect the environment);
  • support economic growth and job creation to benefit people;
  • strengthen humanity and truth;
  • build opportunities by stimulating cross-sectorial and inter-sectorial dialogue;
  • strengthen talent and skills by imbedding the arts in education (new modes of education i.e. project based – adult training) and;
  • build life-style choices for micro-enterprises (i.e. creative tourism)

Key questions came up during the meeting – how to get communities to be proud and to use and celebrate their diversity and how to value crafted, artisanal and handmade products.


IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.

IGCAT aims to empower local communities by guiding, facilitating, and supporting leaders in regions to understand the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets.

IGCAT provides the Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the European Region of Gastronomy Platform. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award the Local Food Gift Challenge, the Top Food Experiences of the Year and the Food Film Festivals project.

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