Ayeta Anne Wangusa, was the Programme Director of the 1st Mashariki Creative Economy Impact Investment Conference. She holds a master’s degree in New Media, Governance and Democracy from the University of Leicester, UK and a master’s in Literature from Makerere University, Uganda. Her interests are in the areas of: African Literature, cultural policy, creative economy and impact investment as an alternative funding model for the cultural and creative industries in East Africa, as well as digital marketing and distribution of creative products.

Ayeta is currently  the Executive Director of Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA) a creative think tank in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  She also has a role as the Africa Regional Coordinator, for the International Federation of Arts Council and Cultural Agencies (IFACCA). She is currently a member of the UNESCO Expert Facility for the 2005 Convention (2016-2017).  She is also a member of the Arterial Network Cultural Policy Working Group.

She has served as East Africa’s representative on the Commonwealth Civil Society Advisory Committee (CSAC) from 2009-2012 and advised the Commonwealth Foundation on its programming work on Culture, Gender and Governance & Democracy. She is a published writer.

In 2014, CDEA received funding from the Danish government through the now defunct Centre for Culture and Development –CKU to implement a project  titled: Research in Culture and Creative Industries focusing on the Film and Music sub-sectors contribution to creative economy in Tanzania and EAC Common Market. Ayeta provided advisory support to the research team especially in the area of policy analysis.

One of the key products of the research project is a publication titled: Tanzania Film and Music Industries: Analysis of Industry-specific Framework Conditions Relevant for Growth and Investment.

The research findings of this study provided a key basis for CDEA to enter into a discussion with DANIDA to host this conference as a starting point to unlock the blockages that hinder growth and investment in the film and music sectors in Tanzania.

In November 2016, CDEA launched its Creative Economy Incubator to provide business and technical support to incubatees from Uganda and Tanzania in the fashion and accessories design, film and music industries. The choice to include fashion and accessories design, was informed by studies carried out in Kenya for the Textile and Fashion Sector, as well as opportunities such as the AfDB’s Fashionomics Initiative whose specific objectives are four-fold: (i) increase access to markets; (ii) increase access to finance; (iii) provide mentorship and networking opportunities; and (iv) develop the skills of the target group operating in the formal and informal sector. With Fashionomics, the AfDB assumes leadership in promoting investments in the fashion sector, increasing access to finance for entrepreneurs and incubating and accelerating start-ups. CDEA would like to play a pivotal role in this process.

The choice for selecting the four sectors of focus for this inaugural conference namely: Fashion and Design Accessories Design, Film and music, was based on their alignment to the investment priorities of the Government of Tanzania, which are: Broadcasting, Manufacturing, Mining  and Tourism.