Speech by Minister Mthethwa at the 13th Annual Moshito Music Market & Conference

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08 Sep 2016

Master of Ceremony
Chairperson of Moshito
Moshito Board members
Captains of the Music sector
Government officials
The media
Our international guests
Ladies and gentlemen
A very good morning to all of you.

It is an honour and pleasure for me to be speaking at the 13th Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition and I would like to extend a warm welcome and express my appreciation to all of you who are here to attend the event.

I am sure you are aware that the African continent is a land of great wealth with abundant natural and human resources. But despite this wealth, the continent share global poverty, malnutrition, diseases and child deaths that are continuing to rise. It doesn’t have to be this way. With globalization as the current phenomenon of international economic life, and consequently, a highly skewed market with an asymmetric structure, the simple choice is to adapt to reality and quickly learn how to create opportunities for ourselves or else we will go under to the accompaniment of loud protestations and bitter complaints.

It is my view that to reduce poverty faster and inequality too, the continent must boost their economy through increased diversification programs. Part of this should be the commitment to increasingly grow and share experience especially in the cultural and creative industries. I hope we are all aware that most nations around the globe are working towards a stronger sense of identity as well as building a solid human network and cultural exchange. I am happy to see that South Africa is part of this evolution. Regardless of our race and cultural diversities, the realisation that humankind is a single community is a great revolution.

As we all know, the current financial crisis that originated in 2007, is the worst the world has seen since the Great Depression that started late in 1929 and continued well into the 1930’s.  Up until today, the world is still feeling the pinch of this economic crisis from which many countries, especially in the developed world have not as yet fully recovered.

Developing countries on the other hand, over the last few years have seen some recovery, especially in Africa.

However, the real growth potential lies in the creative industries across the globe. This industry is the future because amongst other attributes it consist of young people who are innovators by their very nature. Economists agree that the creative industries form a remarkably healthy branch of the global economy. When the crisis hit in 2007, world exports of creative goods and services continued to grow.

The growth of the industry in countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Senegal and Cameroon demonstrate the ability of the sector to contribute to social cohesion efforts.

As part of this, my Department is exercising great efforts to develop, preserve and promote our arts and culture. Such efforts are evident in the numerous arts and culture policy developments and programmes and this include the current process of reviewing our White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage which we are about to finalise.

The White Paper provides the key policy framework for the Department and the sector and has been for the last 19 years been seminal document for the transformation and repositioning of arts, culture, and heritage sector broadly in economic development and in democratic dispensation. The policy has also contributed immensely in the promotion, protection and preservation of the sector including engendering nation building and social cohesion.

Our country is indeed attempting to deal with arts and culture by taking bolder and more aggressive approaches and actions and our investment and commitment in various National Development Programmes (NDP) including the Moshito platform.

Ladies and gentlemen, no country can achieve sustainable economic development without substantial investment in human capital. Investment in human capital improves the quality of life, leads to broad social benefits to individuals and society and eventually raises people’s productivity and creativity and promotes entrepreneurship and technological advances. We believe that the Moshito platform provide an excellent opportunity for growth. The conference, showcasing of cultural and creative products, business networking, and exchange of information are relevant for music practitioners to grow in their businesses and become global competitive.

For us, music cannot just be a soundtrack but should remain an integral part for African development through promotion of regional markets and audiences, and the facilitation of mobility within the continent. That is why our notion of music market has taken a sharp turn to put highpoints on the importance to successfully rekindling the passion for Pan-Africanism, a sense of unity, self-reliance, integration and solidarity. This is partly informed by Agenda 2063 of the AU, an approach to how the continent should effectively learn from the lessons of the past, build on the progress now underway and strategically exploit all possible opportunities available in the immediate and medium term, so as to ensure positive socioeconomic transformation within the next 50 years.

We are extremely grateful to see the participation of our friends from around the world including our partners from the region in particular the Indian Ocean Music Market (Reunion), Atlantic Music Expo from Cape Verde, Doa Doa, and Kenya Music Week from Kenya, Zanzibar Film Festival from Tanzania, who have continued to provide a tremendous commitment and support. The imminent participation of Mauritius and Seychelles in this year’s event is confirmation that the family is getting bigger.

Moshito 2016 has put together a stimulating, thought-provoking programme that we hope will get most of us excited. The programme includes panel discussions led by several eminent speakers from different horizons with debates centred on the theme,Censored: When the Revolution Could not be Televised, as part of recognizing the artists who appropriate their messages through songs and bring the plight of the marginalized voices to the attention of the world. The conference will also tackle current policy issues and ideas on content creation, production and distribution thus preparing our players to confidently take advantage of the global economic space.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the presenters and panelists who are here for taking their time to come share with us their insightful views in pursuance of our cultural development and dynamic exchange. I am confident that the presentations and discussions will reaffirm the important value of the arts and culture sectors and continue to lay the groundwork for the collective development of our people.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Moshito Board for their untiring efforts and hard work in organising this significant event. This team, since its arrival in office in 2014, have ensured that this music market not only grows the number of delegates and music markets attending the conference and/or the number of exhibitors seeking to trade at this premier event, but it also sought to increase the number of  musicians participating and performing at Moshito showcases, concerts and festivals and this include hosting some of the activities in the townships and thus reaching out to our vulnerable and previously disadvantaged people.

What makes this so special is the fact that Moshito is today the most inclusive and functional organisation in the music industry. The monumental achievements when compared to where we were in the past years are really big and sufficient reasons for celebration. If we manage to remain on this path, I am sure this platform will continue to be the fountain head for exploring ways to promote vibrant interchange of arts and culture and to build a constructive civil society network.

In this regard, I hope that the 13th Moshito will continue to provide an opportunity to introduce new ideas, and new ventures in the cultural and creative industries, thereby further enhancing mutual business relations for the benefit of our people.

Once again, I offer my warmest welcome and express my appreciation to all of you and hope that the 13th Moshito will be a pleasant one to all of you.

Thank you very much.