World Creativity and Innovation Day commemorated in Windhoek
28 April 2022
On the 21st of April 2022, the United Nations Namibia, hosted the very first celebration of the World Creativity and Innovation day at the UN House in Windhoek.
The aim of the event, as outlined by UNESCO’s Head of Office and representative to Namibia, Mr. Djaffar Moussa-Elkadhum, is “to promote the role of the Namibian and African textile, fashion and clothing value chain in creating decent jobs and inclusive growth”. This event was attended by different UN agencies, the Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Civil Society Representatives, African Development Bank - Fashionomics, Development partners, various creatives , fashion master students, and the media.
The three-part event kicked off with an exhibition, showcasing Namibian designers and artists’ work within the fashion and artistry industry. UN Namibia and Partners invited UN staff and stakeholders to take part in celebrating the diversity of Namibian and African culture by dressing up in traditional attire. In the spirit of promoting cultural diversity, guest modelled their outfits made by local designers and seamstresses within their respective communities.
The impromptu modelling session by guests was cause for great laughter and enjoyment but more importantly provided a clear visual expression of cultural pride and sense of belonging. With about 11 ethnic groups in Namibia, the land of the brave prides itself of different varieties of traditional dresses. Some colourful, some immersed in history and specific to the country's cultural heritage and others are due to circumstance or status.
Textiles and clothing are a fundamental part of everyday life and an important sector in the global economy. By moving to a circular system, the industry can unlock significant economic opportunities for local business , young entrepreneurs and contribute to the sustainability challenge to buy local products. As highlighted by Moussa-Elkadhum “The textile and fashion industry in Africa is labour intensive and represent an important contributor to economic growth and job creation, especially for women and youth”.
The day’s celebration also promised to inspire a broad audience in the fashion industry with a master class by the African Development Bank’s Fashionomics as well as a dialogue session with local designers. The overall educational session aimed at providing strategic guidance on marketing for fashion designers and how to move toward a sustainable vision, rooted in identifying target audience and implementing better ways to promote their designs or products.
Ending the day on a high note local models, student and professional designers strut down the catwalk at the Katutura Fashion Week. The fashion showcase sought to promote Namibian designers and provide an opportunity for emerging fashion designers to exhibit their work, to gain the necessary exposure and simultaneously provide an advantage for the smaller markets to grow.
With less than a decade to go to reach the SDGs, the world creativity and innovation fashionomics occasion clearly mapped out and demonstrated how culture and diversity fit into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and how the fashion industry can contribute to the creative and cultural targets within the SDGs as noted by Honourable Faustina Carley “Creativity and Innovation is inter- linked, it is part of our daily life. When we face problems, be creative, and as a result innovate to find solutions to those problems”.
Comms and Media Unit
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization