Draft National Cultural Policy
The Draft Cultural Policy of Zimbabwe is in sync with the country’s home-grown Constitution that clearly articulates the aspirations of the people. It also strives to be consistent with the African Union Charter for Cultural Renaissance and aspiration number 5 of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 among other international Conventions, Protocols and Agreements that the Zimbabwe Government is party to. Its objectives are as follows:
- To create a culturally vibrant, cohesive and progressive Zimbabwean society where various forms of arts, culture and expressions thereof serve to showcase as well as celebrate the nation’s diverse heritage;
- To create an enabling environment that allows for inclusive, equitable and energetic participation by all Zimbabweans in the arts, culture and heritage sectors for greater social cohesion, economic empowerment and nation-building;
- To give due recognition to the distinctive nature of cultural activities, goods and services in the country as well as acknowledge them as vehicles of identity, values, meaning, socio-economic empowerment and nation-building;
- To encourage individuals, groups and communities, state as well as non-state actor institutions to contribute towards safeguarding Zimbabwe’s culture, artistic expression, tangible as well as intangible heritage for posterity;
- To strengthen the role that Zimbabwe’s rich national heritage and culture, premised on the virtues and values of Ubuntu/Unhu, could play in the nation’s growth and sustainable development;
The Draft Cultural Policy contains the following as key strategic areas of focus (priority areas):
- Safeguarding Zimbabwean Cultural Identity
- Appreciation and Respect for Indigenous Zimbabwean Identities and Cultural Diversity
- Safeguarding Zimbabwean Heritage
- Promotion of Indigenous Knowledge
- Cultural and Creative Industry Development
- Infrastructure Development
- Education and Training and
- Culture and International Relations.
- Resource Mobilisation
The Draft Cultural Policy contains the following as the main feature on the integration of Culture in Sustainable Development at National and International levels:
Zimbabwe recognizes that culture is one of the mainsprings of development. It also acknowledges the important need to consider the cultural aspects of development as being just as important as its economic aspects. The imperative therefore is for all Zimbabweans to fully participate in and enjoy the country’s heritage and culture, as well as the artistic expressions thereof. It is in society’s unfettered participation as mentioned above that sources of livelihood will be positively affected resulting in better economic activity of each community.
The Draft Cultural Policy acknowledges that cultural identity and diversity are rich assets for individuals and societies within the country. In order to fully benefit present and future generations, the protection, promotion and maintenance of cultural identity and diversity are essential requirements for sustainable social and economic development. This therefore is inevitably the basis for supporting the deliberate integration of culture in Zimbabwe’s development policies at all levels, for the creation of conditions conducive to sustainable development as well as to foster aspects relating to the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions.
A robust institutional framework for ease of coordination and implementation of the draft policy constitutes the backbone of this document. The following ministries are identified and mandated to ensure effective integration of culture into sustainable development:
- Ministry of Rural Development, Preservation and National Culture and Heritage – core mandate of arts, culture and heritage the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, National Library and Documentation Services, National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, National Archives of Zimbabwe, Chiefs and Local Authorities
Safeguarding Zimbabwean Cultural Identity: The State Party’s cultural identity shall be safeguarded and preserved for posterity in the global village we call world today.
Appreciation and Respect for Indigenous Zimbabwean Identities and Cultural Diversity: Cultural identities and diversity define the different people of Zimbabwe and such traits need to be appreciated and respected with equal measure.
Safeguarding Zimbabwean Heritage: The country’s rich heritage is a national treasure whose safeguarding is apriority.
Promotion of Indigenous Knowledge: Indigenous knowledge is critical for development to take. It must be harnessed for the benefit of local communities.
Cultural and Creative Industry Development: This economic facet is awash with business opportunities and sustainable livelihoods. It needs to be supported and nurtured for the benefit of the people, particularly those endowed with innate artistic skills.
Infrastructure Development: Appropriate, purpose-built and accessible infrastructure is required for the creative industries to blossom.
Education and Training: The full integration and development of the arts, culture and heritage in education and training is of paramount importance. It enhances cultural expressions.
Culture and International Relations: As a member of the community of nations, Zimbabwe needs to ensure the visibility, practice and appreciation of Zimbabwean culture locally and abroad.
In order for the Draft Policy to be fully implemented by Government and various stakeholders, it is imperative to ensure funding and resource mobilisation support across the board. Funding and resource mobilisation therefore are facets which involve the active participation of internal and external stakeholders. Existing Government instruments that may also be invoked to ensure the implementation of the Draft Policy are key to its functionality. According to the Draft Policy, the State Party pledges to:
- To give financial and technical support to reclamation, repatriation, preservation and protection of Zimbabwean archives and historic places within and outside the country.
- To support the promotion and development of the cultural and creative industries.
- To promote investment in the sector.
- To support the growth of the sector through tax incentives
- To develop sustainable funding models for the growth of the cultural and creative industries.
- To create private and public partnerships for the development of the sector.
- To facilitate technical and material investment for the growth of arts, culture and heritage.