While the definition of “creative industries” remains elusive, this study attempts to articulate a local scope of its sub-sectors through historicizing and contextualizing its various categories. Currently organized under different ministries and state authorities, creative industries in Egypt are entangled in a web of laws regulating questions of registration, taxation, and intellectual property protection.
The study engages creative industries through a process of interviews and visits to initiatives, and projects. It includes 18 encounters with various sub-sectors, such as design and craft, fashion and food, gaming, animation, and digital applications. It also includes initiatives with a developmental approach, engaging communities in informal areas, such as recycling, handicrafts, and sports. A few interviews with representatives of state authorities were also conducted despite challenges reaching high-level officials. Organizations playing an intermediary role are recognized here as key players in supporting and incubating emerging initiatives.
This study focuses on two pillars of policy recommendations pertaining to the role of intermediaries and the question of intellectual properties. Both issues, as is suggested here, ought to be viewed within the context of Egypt and other countries in the Global South, where a prevailing informal sector poses challenges to reinforce policies, while offering opportunities to expand the definition of creative initiatives.