Zimbabwe reviews its cultural policies and past practices
Several activities will be organised in Zimbabwe by UNESCO in collaboration with National Arts Council of Zimbabwe for the processes of elaborating the Quadrennial Periodic Report for the 2005 Convention from December 2019 to 30 April 2020. The report is an obligatory document completed and submitted by Parties to UNESCO’s 2005 Convention every four years.
A multi-stakeholder consultation meeting will be organised in Harare, Zimbabwe on 3 December 2019. The consultation will gather artists, cultural operators, media professionals as well as public institutions and representatives of various ministries. The purpose of the consultation is to open a space for dialogue between different stakeholders involved in the cultural and creative industries and to inform participants about the main features of the project and the 2005 Convention. Following the multi-stakeholder consultation, a multi-stakeholder national team will be appointed, tasked to elaborate and draft Zimbabwe’s second periodic report.
As a follow up, a 3-day training workshop will be organised for the members of the national team to learn about the 2005 Convention’s 11 areas of monitoring, how to fill in the updated periodic report forms, ways to collect reliable data, and indicator-building methods. The workshop is intended to give the national team the tools and guidelines to prepare the report in a participatory manner. The new periodic report is aligned with the Convention’s areas of monitoring; Parties are expected to report relevant policies and measures supporting one of the areas, such as digital environment, freedom of expression, gender equality, and the flow of cultural goods and services. Civil society will be invited to provide their inputs through a special form dedicated to reporting non-governmental initiatives and measures. This will be an occasion to shed light on some of Zimbabwe’s creative and cultural industries, such as the music industry including the Zimdancehall inspired by Jamaican dancehall and traditional Zimbabwean music.
Led by Farai M’pfunya, member of the UNESCO Expert Facility, the training workshop will serve as basis for the national team to organise the work ahead and identify sources for data collection. The consultation and workshop are organised by the UNESCO Office in Harare in cooperation with the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe submitted its first report in 2016, which featured its 75% Local Content Policy. The Policy created opportunities for local artists by increasing the listenership base for their works and promoting Zimbabwean culture. The periodic report on the implementation of the 2005 Convention will be an opportunity for Zimbabwe to review its cultural policies and highlight challenges and achievements in the past four years.
The capacity-building activities are part of the project “Reshaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions”, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. The project, which includes 16 beneficiary countries amongst which Zimbabwe, aims to strengthen the human and institutional capacities of governmental and civil society actors in order to monitor and report on policies and measures that protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions.