The first ever Arts Summit of Southern Africa took place in Windhoek from 21-23 August 2018, co-hosted by the National Arts Council of Namibia and IFACCA. The programme explored the theme Human creativity is a vital economic, social and cultural resource and included sessions on conditions fundamental to a healthy creative ecology; leadership; education; evidence in policy making; and the relationship between the creative economy and national and regional development. The Summit brought together more than 250 highly engaged delegates – including artists, innovators, researchers and government representatives – and sessions generated lively and provocative conversation on important issues which can be streamed online.
The Arts Summit concluded with significant commitment to action for the region. On Thursday 23 August the Africa Chapter of the Federation held a meeting, during which members consolidated findings from the Arts Summit to collectively endorse shared principles, make recommendations and agree to collaborative action. These were issued publicly in the Concluding Statement from members of the Africa Chapter.
In addition, on the final day delegates drafted and endorsed recommendations for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) in relation to creative economy legislation and policy; private sector involvement in the cultural economy; arts education; and encouraging and developing regional integration and cooperation. The Summit was closed by the Honorable Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, Minister for Education, Arts and Culture, Namibia who committed to elevate the creative industries, collaborate with national and regional partners, and present the Summit recommendations to the Government of Namibia, as it began its chairpersonship of SADC.