Zimbabwe is currently part of the 16 partner countries of the project “Re|Shaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.” This cultural policy project is a follow up to “Enhancing fundamental freedoms through the promotion of the diversity of cultural expression,” both funded by Swedish International Cooperation Agency (Sida). Zimbabwe is one of six countries to have been selected for both projects, given their commitment to the development of cultural and creative industries demonstrated during the first project. The country’s first Quadrennial Periodic Report was submitted to the 2005 Convention in 2016, followed by Culture for Development Indicators report in 2017. These reports indicate a number of policies and measures that Zimbabwe implemented in order to stimulate the creative economy and support cultural workers more effectively. The revision of the National Culture Policy of 2006 resulted in an updated version that aligns more closely with National Constitution, conventions, protocols and agreements. A particular attention was paid to reflect the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the African Union Charter for Cultural Renaissance into their Policy. The reporting exercise, which included consultations of cultural professionals and artists, also revealed various challenges on the ground. Through the new Sweden-funded project, Zimbabwe aims to address these newly identified issues. The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe will lead the project implementation. The country’s second Quadrennial Periodic Reports (QPR) is to be submitted to UNESCO by 30 April 2020.
A multi-stakeholder consultation was organised on 3 December 2019 in Harare, Zimbabwe. The consultation gathered artists, cultural operators, media professionals as well as public institutions and representatives of various ministries. Speaking at the workshop, the Director of Arts and Culture in the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, Dr Biggie Samwanda highlighted the importance of the QPR as it “highlighted the challenges, strengths and weaknesses, and the measures taken to mitigate the problems in the creative industry”. Participants agreed that the consultation came in at a strategic period where Zimbabwe has been organizing several activities to promote the CCIs, to highlight the recent launch of the National Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy, which is set to guide the creative economy of the country. Farai M’pfunya, member of the UNESCO Expert Facility concluded the multi-stakeholder consultation workshop organised by the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa in cooperation with the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe by a Chinese quote “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".