Please summarize in max 3500 characters the main achievements and challenges in implementing the Convention and the outlook for the future. Please note this is not an introduction to the report or an annotated table of contents.:
The ratification of the Convention by Zimbabwe in 2008 laid a solid foundation for cultural expressions in their diversified forms. Specifically, a plethora of arts and culture festivals were established country-wide numbering 47 with 40 of them being hosted by civil society organisations. The emergence of such festivals that are now permanent features of Zimbabwe’s arts and culture annual calendar was influenced by the Convention. Furthermore, 4 civil society organisations Nhimbe Trust, ZimCopy, Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust and Amagugu Heritage Trust were able to access funding for specific cultural expressions programmes under the IFCD out of the 16 submitted. This followed concerted efforts made by the National Commission for UNESCO, the responsible Ministry and National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in raising awareness on available funding opportunities for cultural expressions. The festivals alluded to are held at community, district, provincial, national, regional and international levels guided by the festival guidelines crafted by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe to give impetus to cultural diversity and expressions. In addition, Zimbabwe was able to reformulate her 2006 Cultural Policy taking into cognizance a wide range of cultural expressions, particularly new expressions epitomizing popular culture of the day. Such new expressions are more pronounced in the performing arts genres with music being dominant. The State Party through the then Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture working in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, particularly civil society organisations, was able to hold nation-wide consultations in reformulating the Cultural Policy. 2013 saw the establishment of a new team spearheading the reformulation process despite of the changes at Ministerial level leading to the validation of the draft policy document. All these processes were given impetus by the Convention. Another notable achievement borne out of the Convention’s implementation is the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe-driven National Annual Indaba on Arts and Culture that gave birth to the Chamber for Creative Industries now championing arts and culture development.The major challenges facing Zimbabwe hitherto are:Language: The Convention is available in English disregarding the other 14 official languagesLimited capacity in promoting the Convention at national levelAccessibility of IFCD funding mainly by urban-based beneficiaries. The future outlook is buttressed by the following existing facts:Existence of a standalone ministry (Ministry of Rural Development, Preservation and Promotion of National Culture and Heritage) with a focal person at Principal Director Level for the Convention’s implementation.Mainstreaming of Arts and Culture Education and Training into the formal education system from the lowest to the highest levels.Existence of a robust draft Cultural Policy awaiting Cabinet endorsement.Existence of a culture-friendly National Constitution that espouses the virtues of cultural identity and expressions including indigenous languages.Recognition of civil society in cultural governance and expressions. The current scenario where the State Party deliberately adopted an inclusive approach and established a National Team composed of individuals from diverse institutions (stakeholders) working in the arts and culture sector in producing this report further enhanced implementation of the Convention.