Cultural industries at the heart of economic growth
Ivan Zhakata –Herald’s Correspondent
The CULTURAL and creative industries are essential for inclusive economic growth, hence the government’s deliberate decision to continuously support the sector, said Minister for Youth, Sport, Arts and Leisure, Dr Kirsty Coventry.
She said this in a speech read on her behalf by the ministry’s director of arts, Dr Biggie Samwanda, at the launch of Culture Month in Harare yesterday.
Dr Coventry said World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was proclaimed by UNESCO in December 2002 and since then Zimbabwe has set aside a week to commemorate the diversity of culture.
“The organization of such important cultural events by my ministry testifies to the importance the government places on the cultural and creative industries sector in national development,” she said.
“The cultural and creative industries have become essential for inclusive economic growth, the reduction of inequalities and the achievement of the objectives set out in the National Policy for Arts and Culture, the National Strategy for Culture and Creative Industries as well as the Vision 2030 as set out in the National Development Strategy. 1 (NDS 1).
“This is also in line with the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions to which Zimbabwe is a State Party. Beyond that, the celebrations also encompass the commemorations of Africa Day which are an integral part of celebrating who we are as a people during the commemorative activities of this month of culture.
Dr Coventry said this year Culture Month is celebrated under the theme ‘Celebrating cultural diversity, leaving no one or place behind’.
Various activities are planned in the districts and provinces as part of the celebrations.
The nationwide launch of Culture Month is scheduled for Saturday in Mutoko in Mashonaland East province.
President Mnangagwa is expected to lead the proceedings that day.
The Ministry of Youth works with the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), which drives the Culture Month programs.
Dr Coventry said cultural and creative industries exposure activities in music, poetry, theatre, dance, film and fashion were designed to ensure they broaden audiences and increase consumption of industries cultural and creative resources, productions, goods and services.
“Allow me to take this opportunity to invite the nation to attend the Culture Month commemoration activities that will take place in each of our ten provinces and administrative districts.
“The NACZ will make official announcements on when provinces are holding their celebrations and where,” Dr Coventry said.