The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, through the Department of Arts, organised a stakeholder refresher workshop on the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions on 21st January, 2020. Participants to the workshops were drawn from relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as from the civil society organizations.
This was followed up by a training workshop on the Quadrennial reporting for the Convention on 31st March, 2020 .
The Government of Malawi, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ratified the UNESCO 2005 Convention in 2010. This followed realization that the convention has a great bearing on the development of the cultural industries in Malawi for sustainable economic development. The Convention is implemented through the Department of Arts of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. Since ratifying the Convention, Government, through its various arms, has undertaken a number of activities to promote the ideals of the convention, through policy, infrastructure, financial and technical interventions. It is pleasing to note that Malawi has now a National Cultural Policy that was approved by cabinet in February 2015. The National Cultural Policy has taken into account the principles and objectives of the Convention and has included measures that will ensure its effective implementation.
As part of Public Sector Reforms and in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the Department of Culture the Department was split into three fully fledged Departments: Museums and Monuments, Arts, and National Records and Archives Services. Previously these three Departments were either Divisions or Sections under the amalgamated Department of Culture. This compromised efficiency and effectiveness and undermined the contribution and impact of culture to the socio-economic development of the country. Since the Acts of Parliament establishing the Divisions and Sections under Culture were enacted before the advent of pluralistic democracy and before Malawi ratified a number of international standard setting instruments, the provisions were either contrary or did not cover some areas in these instruments. A review of each of the acts that established the Divisions under Culture was therefore imperative.
With the aim of increasing contribution of the creative industries to the national economy, pursuant to Article 13 of the Convention, the Malawi Government through the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture came up with the Integrated Arts Development Project. The project seeks to improve the artists’ knowledge and skills, access to finance, quality production and marketing services. Consequently, under this initiative Government embarked on the establishment of an Arts School and enhancement of capacities of Arts Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) and Arts Production and Marketing Cooperative (APMC). The Integrated Arts Development Project strives to provide a holistic approach to address the major challenges facing the creative sector. These include skills gap, access to finance and access to quality production and marketing services.
In terms of participation of the civil society (Article 11) Government has engaged the civil society in a number of forums to discuss national policies for cultural industries. The Government has further employed officers designated to cooperate with the civil society on various cultural industry development issues.
However, the major challenge Malawi has faced in implementing the convention has been availability of sustainable financial resources. The cultural sector continues to be the least funded sectors of Government. The situation has negatively affected Government’s plans to develop cultural industries and raise awareness about the convention. In an effort to mitigate this challenge, Government plans to establish a National Arts and Heritage Council, whose functions will among other things be to develop and implement a resource mobilization strategy for the cultural sector.
In conclusion, the Government of Malawi has demonstrated commitment to promote the diversity of cultural expressions exemplified through the recognition of culture as an important tool for socio-economic development as stipulated in the Malawi Growth and Development strategy (MGDS III). The country further wishes to reaffirm her commitment to promote the diversity of cultural expressions as it is essential for mankind in the same way as is biodiversity for the environment.
Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA)
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Film Association of Malawi
Goal 1 - Support Sustainable Systems of Governance for Culture
Cultural and Creative Sectors
Public Service Reform: Organization Performance Agreement Between Malawi Government and the Ministry of Sports and Culture (Part IV article 3): Restructuring The Department of Culture
Strengthening Skills and Relationship among Players in Publishing Industry
National Cultural Policy. Article 5 Policy Priority Area 1: Preserve, Present and Safeguard Malawi's Culture for National Identity, Education and Posterity
Copyright Act 2016, Section 102(1): Blank Media Levy
Arts Production and Marketing Cooperative Limited:Go!Luso
Partnering with Civil Society
Culture Fund for Malawi (CFM)
After the first two years of implementation CFM, through its review of 2018, observed that there were some marginalized groups
that did not benefit much from the fund. Hence going forward the initiative focused more on the role of women and girls in arts and culture.
Goal 2 - Achieve a Balanced Flow of Cultural Goods and Services and Increase the Mobility of Artists and Cultural Professionals
Mobility of Artists and Cultural Professionals
Malawi-Egypt Cultural Agreement (Articles 1-10): Cultural Exchange Programmes
Flow of Cultural Goods and Services
Treaties and agreements
Goal 3 - Integrate Culture in Sustainable Development Frameworks
National Sustainable Development Policies & Plans
Malawi Government Public Sector Investment Programme: Integrated Arts Development Project
Malawi Tourism Development Master Plan: Five-year Strategic Plan for the Malawi Tourism Sector 2012-2017
International Cooperation for Sustainable Development
Malawi-China cultural agreement, (Article 2):Cooperation in exchange visits of artists and other professionals in culture and holding of exhibitions on culture and art in each other's country
Goal 4 - Promote Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Public Service Reforms: Organization Performance Agreement Between Government and the Ministry of Sports and Culture (Part IV article 3.1): Review of the Censorship and Control of Public Entertainment Act of 1968