Malawi: Cultural policy implementation towards a vibrant culture sector
As per Malawi’s’ Development and Growth Strategy 2011-2016, Malawi has recognized the role of the cultural and creative industries as a motor for growth and employment.
Following a series of consultations and reviews, a National Cultural Policy was elaborated in 2005. In 2011, a National Conference on Cultural Industries resulted in a national coalition of cultural industry operators. The challenge was to review the Cultural Policy and make recommendations for strengthening the culture sector, as well as to develop targeted training.
Considering that the National Cultural Policy was drafted prior to Malawi’s ratification of the 2005 Convention, the aim of the mission was to assist the Government in revisiting its national Cultural Policy framework and revising it in light of the Convention’s objectives principles. One of the specific aims, in so doing, was to put the emphasis on strategic sectors (eg , music and visual arts), as well as to promote arts education and review the Censorship and Control of Entertainment Act in order to ensure freedom of artistic expression, a precondition for artistic creation. Against this background, the Government sought technical assistance from UNESCO.
The legislation review led to a number of recommendations pertaining to the following areas: sector policies, government structures, legislation, funding for culture, education and training, information management and infrastructure.
This notably led to:
- the adoption of a harmonized position aimed at making the Malawi Coalition for Cultural Industry a major national forum for the strengthening of cultural industries
- the adoption of a 6-point action plan to enhance the position of women cultural entrepreneurs within the sector.
Please consult here a summary of the overall results of the missions and the future steps to be taken.