Farai Mupfunya, a 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".
The workshop was part of several activities that are being organized for the processes of elaborating Zimbabwe’s Second Quadrennial Periodic Report (QPR) for the 2005 Convention to be submitted to UNESCO Secretariat by 30th April 2020. The QPR is an obligatory document completed and submitted by Parties to UNESCO’s 2005 Convention Secretariat every four years.
The workshop, organised in Harare on 3rd December 2019, gathered artists, cultural practitioners, media professionals as well as public institutions and representatives of various ministries. It opened up space for dialogue between different stakeholders involved in the culture and creative industries and informed participants about the main features of the Quadrennial Periodic Report (QPR) and the 2005 Convention. It also served as the basis for the national stakeholders to organise the work ahead and identify sources for data collection for the QPR.
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 saying it “highlights the challenges, strengths and weaknesses, and the measures taken to mitigate the problems in the creative industry”.
The consultation came at a strategic period when Zimbabwe has been organizing several activities to promote the culture and creative industries (CCIs). It also came at the backdrop of the launch of the National Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy, which is set to guide the creative economy of the country.
As a follow up to this, a multi-stakeholder national team will be appointed by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe to draft and finalise Zimbabwe’s second periodic report. A specific training for the team on the periodic reporting processes and the Convention’s monitoring tools will be organised in due course.
The consultation was part of the capacity-building activities 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 (SIDA). The project, which includes 16 beneficiary countries including 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.