The Zimbabwean government has finally approved the revised National Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy meant to resonate with the current national development framework.
Speaking at a National Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee meeting in Harare, Minister of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage, Abednico Ncube, said the policy, which was first drafted in 2007, drew attention to issues that had not received adequate consideration.
“The review of the policy was a lengthy, collaborative effort by previous ministries of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture, with various stakeholders through broad and inclusive consultation,” he said. “There were researches and outreaches held in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Education and the Culture Fund Trust of Zimbabwe.”
Ncube said consultations brought out the aspirations of many stakeholders to see the sector’s contribution to social cohesion through providing an enabling environment for the diversity of cultural expressions.
He also said his ministry was seeking to increase access to the arts, culture and heritage.
According to Ncube, “the policy reinforces the need to safeguard cultural heritage as the nexus of dignity, the topmost driver and enabler of social cohesion, national unity and holistic sustainable socio-economic development.”
The policy, he said, was informed by the imperative to reinforce the country’s identity and embrace its culture, as well as celebrate its diversity in a globalised world of the 21st century.
Ncube said the successful implementation of the policy would depend on active political, administrative and technical support for the translation of goals, objectives and strategies into practicable and actionable programmes at all levels of the Zimbabwe society.
In order to ensure that the policy remains relevant and valid to its sector-specific needs, he said the government would make sure it is periodically reviewed and realigned after every five years or whenever need arises.
This article was originally published in NewsDay on 24 November 2016.