Since March 14, Morocco’s cultural and creative sectors have lost 100,000 jobs and approximately 1,100 companies have experienced a 70% drop in turnover.
Rabat – The Federation of Cultural and Creative Industries (FICC) argues that the COVID-19 crisis presents an unprecedented opportunity to reform cultural and creative industries in Morocco.
In a press release, the FICC said reform is possible through Morocco’s adoption of two strategic axes.
The first axis is based on a social approach aimed at young people to facilitate access to cultural and social living spaces. The approach seeks to stimulate the creative potential of young people and promote their development, according to the press release.
The second axis is based on the development of the creative and cultural industries (ICC), the federation continued. Companies and professionals operating in the sectors should benefit from favorable conditions to encourage the emergence of a real creative economy, an economy that requires vision, ambition, professionalization, and mobilization.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis in Morocco put the country’s cultural and creative activities on pause, the FICC recalled. Scores of events and gatherings were canceled and museums and other avenues closed.
Since March 14, the sector’s activities stopped, including cinema, publishing, visual arts, audiovisual, live shows, concerts, theater, tours, galleries, festivals, and other events.
Cultural associations have had to cease their activity and several thousand independent professionals, artists, and technicians are left without work. Even with professional cards, artists must consider themselves “informal workers” to receive financial aid from the Moroccan government and keep their heads above water during the crisis, said the FICC.
The disruption has cost the sector an estimated MAD 2 billion ($204 million) and 100,000 jobs, and approximately 1,100 companies have experienced, on average, a 70% drop in turnover, the press release said.
Mobilizing creative solutions
Several countries around the world have already announced the establishment of aid funds for the revival of the creative and cultural industries, the FICC underlined, and Morocco should follow suit.
The federation proposes 34 emergency measures aimed at preserving creative and cultural jobs and ensuring the revival of the sector.
Among the proposals, the FICC suggests an exemption of companies for six months — from June to December 2020 — from charges related to IR, CNSS, and AMO. Such exemptions would stabilize the income of employees in the sector.
The FICC also calls for a special fund to support professionals in the sector and for the Moroccan government to encourage regional and local authorities to commit to 2020 budgets dedicated to cultural and creative activities for the year 2020.
To reorganize events canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, project leaders should benefit from an event calendar adapted to Morocco’s deconfinement conditions, added the press release.
Legislative texts to accelerate the modernization of the sector must “see the light of day,” the FICC continued, highlighting artist contracts, BMDA law, and the extension of AMO to industry professionals. Such legal reforms would improve the process for assigning professional cards to artists.
To further benefit the creative and cultural sectors, the FICC seeks to develop digital platforms for the dissemination of cultural creations and productions and aspires to initiate a professional training program.
The federation also proposed a series of specific recommendations adapted to the needs and constraints of each sector. The recommendations incorporate 18 specific measures for the safeguarding of jobs, the unblocking and simplification of procedures, and the granting of subsidies as well as the support for sectors in difficulty, the press release concluded.